Thank you to TBR & Beyond Tours for the Review Copy and Interview. Get the full tour here!
About the Book
An ambitious and juicy whodunit doused in Hollywood lore, perfect for readers of sexy summer thrillers like The Twin by Natasha Preston and The Agathas by Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Lawson.
No one at Hollywood High knows who’s behind We’ll Never Tell—a viral YouTube channel where the anonymous creators trespass behind the scenes of LA’s most intriguing locales. The team includes CASEY, quiet researcher and trivia champ; JACOB, voice narrator and video editor, who is secretly dating EDDIE, aspiring filmmaker; and ZOE, coder and breaking-and-entering extraordinaire.
Now senior year is winding down, and with their lives heading in different directions, the YouTubers vow to go out with a bang.
Their last episode will be filmed at the infamous Valentini “murder house,” which has been left abandoned, bloodstained, and untouched since a shocking murder/suicide in 1972. When the teens break in, they capture epic footage. But someone trips an alarm, and it’s a mad dash to get out before the police arrive—at which point they realize only three of them escaped instead of four. Jacob is still inside, slain and bleeding out. Is his attack connected to the historic murder, or is one of their crew responsible?
A week of suspicions and cover-ups unfolds as Casey and her remaining friends try to stay alive long enough to solve murder mysteries past and present. If they do, their friendship may not survive. If they don’t, the house will claim more victims.
Where did you first get the idea for this book?
I’ve been wanting to write a book like We’ll Never Tell for years. The idea of the four YouTubers
exploring abandoned and off-limits places around LA has made it into a few book ideas, and finally I
found their home here! I’ve always been fascinated with places like the infamous Hotel Cecil, which
has proven a sort of focal point for dark and spooky happenings. I’m interested in the idea that
something so evil can happen in a place that it leaves a psychic imprint, drawing more evil to it.
Haunted houses, spooky happenings—this book is my creepy little darling.
How do you balance a healthy level of fear and graphic situations for your audience?
I decide what kind of violence and/or scary stuff to put in based on the promises that I think I’ve
made the reader by nature of the premise. For example, if I were to write a book about a chef, but
then the chef never cooks anything, the reader might think that was a little disappointing. You don’t
pick up a book about a chef because you DON’T want to read any cooking scenes. If I’m writing a
book with a haunted murder house, I better give you some scary haunting and some murdering in
the house! So I never put anything in gratuitously. It’s all because I want to make sure I’m sending
the reader on the roller coaster ride they signed up for, no more, no less.
What surprised you most about writing this book?
How emotional it was! The premise doesn’t sound extremely heartwrenching, but it was! I was
talking about victims, survivors, the impact of horrible violence on families. And the relationship
between Jacob and Eddie really pulled at my heartstrings. When I got to the scene with Casey in the
parking lot, I was full on sobbing writing it.
When you write, do you know where the book is going before you start, or do you let the story
evolve without a strict outline?
I outline, but vaguely. I always know the main plot points, but I only scene plan a handful of scenes in
advance. And I never outline the ending. I get to the end of Act 2 and reassess to make sure I write
an ending that has all the themes tied up, a climax that has all the metaphorical guns going off, etc.
What is one thing you hope your readers take away from this book?
I’d love readers to reflect on true crime, on how victims are treated, on how we think about the
whole entire thing. And I’d love readers to just fall in love with the characters. I’d love readers to feel
the poignancy and preciousness of life and to look at their own loved ones with fresh eyes. And I’d
absolutely love it if it gave anyone a new view of LA.
Is there anything on the “cutting room floor” that you wished you could include?
I could have written 200 more pages of Eddie + Jacob and of the four of them just doing their
breaking and entering.
Wendy Heard is the author of suspense and thrillers for adults and teens, including THE KILL CLUB, SHE’S TOO PRETTY TO BURN, and DEAD END GIRLS. Wendy has spent most of her life in Los Angeles, California, which is on fire more than she would honestly prefer, and can often be found haunting local hiking trails and bookstores. She loves all things vintage and has a collection of thrillers and adventure books from the 80s.
Find Wendy Online
Get the Book:
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/well-never-tell-wendy-heard/1142157093