I was born in Peoria, Illinois, but spent most of my life living in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Currently, I live in Chesapeake, Virginia, which was recently voted the 3rd most boring city in the country. But, I love it. Quiet enough to give me some peace of mind and twenty minutes away from Hipster Norfolk and touristy Virginia Beach.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I watched a lot of Little House on the Prairie reruns on TBS, so I always wanted to be a teacher like Laura. I am gearing up to start my ninth year of teaching middle school.
Tell us about your latest book.
The Language of Silence is my first venture into the YA Contemporary world. It’s a dark and heated tale of two teenagers who are brought together by the loss of someone close to them. While attempting to discover the reasons behind their loved one’s death, Brett and Tristan learn that the darkest secrets are the ones they are keeping from each other.
Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it?
I am about thirty pages into a new manuscript right now about two best friends who decide to road trip it to a music festival before starting college. Shenanigans and scandalous fun will be had.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?
Staying focused. Netflix is the kryptonite to my writing afternoons. So much so, I often have to force myself to a coffee shop to get some writing done. The writing for television has been so good as of late (Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Orange is the New Black) that I can’t stay away.
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Stick with it and keep writing. Don’t fear rejection because it doesn’t stop once you publish a book. It helps toughen you up, and you can truly learn from it.
Who is your favorite author and why?
I couldn’t name just one. That’s like asking me my favorite snack food, and I LOVE them all. My oldies but goodies are Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen, and Shakespeare. My modern loves are John Green, Gayle Forman, and Stephanie Perkins.
What books have most influenced your life?
The last book to utterly change me was The Fountainhead. I reference it quite a bit in The Language of Silence.
How did you deal with rejection letters?
There were tears at times, but I talked them over with good friends and that helped. So did a good can of PBR.
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
Wit and ability to build a social media platform. You have to be able to play the game.
The Language of Silence
YA Contemporary Romantic Suspense, @66.5k words
Brett is certain that someone is responsible for her brother’s death. He wouldn’t just leave her and his best friend, Ed, behind. Although Tristan’s death is ruled an accident, Brett and Ed know there is something more sinister happening. They are looking for the secret that no one in this small Georgia town of Wendall wants to acknowledge, the truth that may rock the town establishment and particularly one of its most upstanding families.
Together, Brett and Ed must discover the hidden truth behind Tristan’s death and deal with their feelings for each other, or they might just discover the darkest secrets are the ones they are keeping themselves.
“How’d your mom tell you?” Brett offers a short, bitter laugh in response. I scratch my chin and shake my head. “That good, eh?”
“You would think she was auditioning for a Lifetime movie or something.”
For some reason, I laugh. Brett smiles. An actual smile. The kind of smile that transforms a face. If she was beautiful before, she’s luminescent now. These sorts of moments are so rare, so precious, I feel both a need to forever stay in this place and flee it as soon as possible.
I’ve always had a crush on Brett Jensen. I’ve just been smart enough to know that I’m too messed up to ever be with her. And now, with Tristan gone, I’m pretty sure I’m damn near done. Ruined. And maybe that’s what I deserve for not convincing him to stay with us.
“Maybe she thinks Julia Roberts will play her,” she continues, pulling at the grass growing up between the cement base of the bridge. “I mean, this has movie written all over it. All-American boy dies under mysterious conditions.”
Oh, Brett. There is no mystery about it. He left us.
“More likely some has-been from one of those medical shows,” I say instead.
Brett nods. Suddenly, her hand is on mine. I feel the tension she is holding within herself by the pressure she exerts onto my skin. My cheeks burn, and I am ashamed by my body’s quick reaction to this small movement.
“You can be whatever you want now, Ed,” she whispers.
I try to pull my hand from her grasp, but she merely holds on tighter. “What are you talking about?” I manage.
“You have a get out of jail free card thanks to Tristan. You could skip school for a week or flunk the whole year, and no one could say anything. You are…were the best friend of the dead kid. Who would give you grief? You could become anyone.”
She’s holding on so tightly to my hand that I begin to lose feeling. I let her words sink in. Settle. And the funny thing is—they make sense. Perfect sense. I know how I am going to deal with all of this.
Tiffany Truitt was born in Peoria, Illinois. A self-proclaimed Navy brat, Tiffany spent most of her childhood living in Virginia, but don’t call her a Southerner. She also spent a few years living in Cuba. Since her time on the island of one McDonalds and Banana Rats (don’t ask), she has been obsessed with traveling. Tiffany recently added China to her list of travels (hello inspiration for a new book).
Besides traveling, Tiffany has always been an avid reader. The earliest books she remembers reading belong to The Little House on the Prairie Series. First book she read in one day? Little Woman (5th grade). First author she fell in love with? Jane Austen in middle school. Tiffany spent most of her high school and college career as a literary snob. Sherefused to read anything considered “low brow” or outside the “classics.”
Tiffany began teaching middle school in 2006. Her students introduced her to the wide, wonderful world of Young Adult literature. Today, Tiffany embraces popular Young Adult literature and uses it in her classroom.
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