I had the privilege of interviewing A.V. Geiger about the upcoming release of her debut novel, ‘Follow Me Back’, which will be released one week from today on June 6th! It is published by Sourcebooks Fire.
Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it’s like he’s speaking directly to her…
Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn’t help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.
When a fellow pop star is murdered at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric’s plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world’s best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn…
Told through tweets, direct messages, and police transcripts, this thriller for the online generation will keep you guessing right up to the shocking end.
COURTNEY: Where did you get the idea for ‘Follow Me Back’?
A.V. Geiger (aka VIV): About 5 years ago, I developed a sudden and intense celebrity crush. I [spent] way too many hours of my life obsessing over a certain real-life pop star who shall remain nameless. I fangirled. I tweeted. I wrote fanfic. I followed everything he did, online and offline, like it was a religion. Even after my crush faded, I realized that the experience gave me a ton of material for an original YA novel. I wrote FOLLOW ME BACK as a way of reflecting back on my experience with online fandom after the fact.
C: Is ‘Follow Me Back’ a duology, trilogy, or longer series?
V: For now, it’s a duology… but I reserve the right to change my answer in the future. We’ll have to see how the story unfolds in book two.
C: What do you hope readers take away from your novel?
V: You never know who you’re talking to online. Tessa and Eric, the main characters, learn this lesson in a couple different ways. In the beginning, they nearly miss out on friendship due to the wrong assumptions they make about each other. On the other hand, they both find themselves in real danger from people who initially seemed harmless online. Social media is tricky that way. It requires a balance between open-mindedness and skepticism with every person you encounter. I hope my book helps readers think about their own online behavior, whether they tend to be too trusting or too closed off.
C: Can you give any hints as to books of yours that readers can look forward to? Other than the untitled Follow Me Back #2, are there any other super secret stories you’re working on?
V: I might have some secrets up my sleeve, but nothing I can reveal just yet. The title for Book 2 should be announced very soon, and I can’t wait to start dropping hints about the sequel plot. There is a first draft posted on Wattpad, but the plot has undergone DRASTIC changes. Not even my Wattpad readers know what’s coming… There’s an official website to sign up for teasers for readers who can’t wait.
C: Where did you get the idea to create twitter pages for Tessa and Eric? (I know Twitter is a central plot point in the novel, but seeing the profiles makes the book feel more real!)
V: I started the character accounts before the book had been acquired for publication. They were an experiment after I’d finished the online first draft of Follow Me Back. My Wattpad readers were clamoring for more from Tessa and Eric. It seemed like a natural to give brief glimpses of the characters. I love using them to talk with each other and answer questions from readers.
[HUGE thanks to Viv for allowing me to interview her! I had the opportunity to read the ARC of this book, and it is phenomenal! You can check out my (spoiler free!) review of it here, and the links to purchase the book are below, as well as more information on how to connect with the author!]
BUY ‘FOLLOW ME BACK’ HERE:
Connect with the author!
You can connect with A.V. Geiger at her website, or at any of her social media platforms, which are linked down below!
Wattpad = @adam_and_jane
Twitter = @av_geiger
Instagram = @avgeiger
Connect with Tessa and Eric!
Tessa’s Twitter = @TessaHeartsEric
Eric’s Twitter = @EricThornSucks
A.V. Geiger is an epidemiologist who spends far too much spare time on social media. By day, she studies women’s psychiatric and reproductive health. By night, she can be found fangirling, following people back, and photoshopping the heads of band members onto the bodies of unicorns. Her writing career began with celebrity fan fiction, and her work draws extensively on her own experiences with online fan culture. Her original teen fiction has received millions of hits on the story-sharing website Wattpad, ranking as high as #1 in the mystery-thriller genre. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and twin boys.