Charlie, Presumed Dead
Author: Anne Heltzel
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
In Paris, family and friends gather to mourn the tragic passing of Charlie Price—young, handsome, charming, a world-traveler—who is presumed dead after an explosion. Authorities find only a bloodied jacket, ID’d as Charlie’s. At the funeral, two teens who are perfect strangers, Lena Whitney and Aubrey Boroughs, make another shocking discovery: they have both been dating Charlie, both think Charlie loved them and them alone, and there is a lot they didn’t know about their boyfriend. Over the next week, a mind-bending trip unfolds: first in London—then in Mumbai, Kerala, and Bangkok, the girls go in search of Charlie. Is he still alive? What did their love for him even mean? The truth is out there, but soon it becomes clear that the girls are harboring secrets of their own.
No one knows whom to trust in this thrilling tale of suspense and deception.
What inspired you to write Charlie, Presumed Dead?This question is never easy to answer, no many how many times someone asks. The truth is, I once dated a guy who had a secret girlfriend on the side.
But the real story is less about the guy and more about the way his girlfriend and I communicated when the secret came out. She’d been suspicious for a while; and one night in a bar, she snooped in his phone and found an email from him to me discussing his plans to visit me for Memorial Day weekend. (She attended law school with him in North Carolina and I lived in New York.) She emailed me, and from there we swapped maybe a dozen more messages in which we unraveled his lies by comparing notes. It was appalling how dishonest he’d been; but much more noteworthy was the way we bolstered each other over the course of a few days and a handful of emails. That’s why Lena and Aubrey’s friendship took the course it did. I became very curious about a girl friendship born from a scenario that could have caused animosity.
Who are your writing influences?There are so many writers whom I admire—in particular Alice Munro and Rohinton Mistry on the adult side. But my biggest inspirations are my YA/middle grade writer friends here in New York. They all juggle multiple demanding responsibilities (families, novels, second careers). They are determined, ambitious, and supportive of one another. I’m lucky to be surrounded by so many strong, talented women.
If Charlie, Presumed Dead had a theme song what would it be?“Elastic Heart” –Sia
What was the last book you read and loved?My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
That ending was crazy, can you share any plans (or maybe an excerpt) from the sequel?No plans for a sequel yet! But I do have a lot of ideas floating around. When I wrote the novel, I thought I knew exactly how Lena and Aubrey’s story would end. Now I’m not so sure….
Emily: Whoa! That can not be the end we definitely need more story!
About the AuthorAnne Heltzel is a children's book editor and author from New York City. She has also lived in Paris and India, both of which inspired scenes from her new novel, CHARLIE, PRESUMED DEAD (HMH/June 2, 2015).
3 winners will receive a finished copy of CHARLIE, PRESUMED DEAD and a Gold Rose Necklace - Antique Gold Pewter Rose Charm on a Delicate 18 Inch Gold Plated Cable Chain. US Only.
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