James Patterson’s new young adult mystery series Confessions is full of suspense and betrayal. In the first book Tandy Angel proves that her and her siblings are not guilty of her parents’ murder, in the second novel CONFESSIONS: THE PRIVATE SCHOOL MURDERS Tandy has to prove that her oldest brother didn’t kill his girlfriend. Since Tandy Angel is one of the strongest lead characters we’ve come across, we thought it’d be fun to interview her through the mind of her creator. Read on to see how she dealt with her parents’ murder and how she feels investigating a case that puts in her harms way.
MISS LITERATI: Solving the mystery behind your parents’ deaths must’ve been a tough experience. How did you find the strength to power through and focus on your goal without having your emotions get in the way?
TANDY ANGEL:A lot of that comes from the way my parents raised me. My life was about “being perfect” all the time, and they said getting emotional was basically the enemy of “achieving the height of my potential.” The rest really came out of necessity. The officers assigned to the case were investigating my siblings and me as suspects, and there was no way I was going to let us land in jail for the rest of our lives. So that was a pretty good motivator to focusing on figuring out who the murderer was.
MISS LITERATI:Family is obviously very important to you. Your brother Matthew is in prison for the murder of his girlfriend. How have you and your other siblings been coping with this and what do you hope happens with the case?
TANDY ANGEL:He’ll be acquitted. He’s completely innocent. In the meantime, my brothers and I worry for Matty a lot. Seeing him in handcuffs, grieving for the woman he loved and knowing that the whole world thinks he killed her is incredibly difficult. Sometimes I don’t even regret that my parents raised me not to let emotions get in the way… because I have to be honest, it’s not looking great for him at the moment. But I’m confident new evidence is out there. And I’m going to find it.
MISS LITERATI: You believed the recent murders in town, including one of your classmate’s, might be the work of a serial killer. Were you ever worried that you could be putting yourself in danger trying to solve these murders yourself?
TANDY ANGEL:Sure. There’s always the possibility of danger when you’re dealing with a murder case, and this serial killer seems to be targeting girls just like me. But these girls who were killed had long lives ahead of them, and that was senselessly taken away. Getting to the bottom of these crimes is something I just have to do, because their families deserve to see the killer brought to justice, even if it’s dangerous for me.
MISS LITERATI: You were in love with a boy, James Rampling, but your relationship has an air of mystery around it. What’s the biggest lesson you learned from that relationship?
TANDY ANGEL:The biggest lesson for me was that I couldn’t trust my parents. Or their shrinks. Or my Uncle Peter. Or James’s father. All of these people were trying to keep us apart and confuse me about my relationship with James—and then he disappeared. But love has to be worth all this insanity, right?
MISS LITERATI: Did you ever expect that you would become a detective? Or was it something that just came about due to the circumstances that have taken place in your life?
TANDY ANGEL:I don’t mean to brag, but I’ve always known I was smart—my parents weren’t shy about discussing my high IQ. And for a long time I was very proud of my ability to coldly analyze a situation or person and figure out exactly what was going on. But that was just how I dealt with everyday life and my family. Until the cops knocked on the door to tell me my parents were murdered—and oh, by the way, they were pretty sure it was me—I never wanted to be an actual detective. But since I’ve discovered I’m pretty good at it, I’ve become obsessed with it—especially now that I finally have a chance to help people like Matty or those innocent murder victims.
MISS LITERATI: What advice do you have for teens who might be dealing with a tough home life, similar to what you’ve experienced?
TANDY ANGEL:I’m not exactly a bastion of mental and emotional health, but if I were to give advice, it would be to talk to someone you can trust about your problems. There’s nothing like turning to Harry (my twin) or C.P. (my best friend) and bouncing ideas off of them, or venting about the things that are bothering me. Having someone to listen to you can be the best way to come up with a solution to your problem. I’ve only just recently learned to open up this way, and I highly recommend it.
MISS LITERATI: Will you continue to use your intellect to solve more murder cases?
TANDY ANGEL:Most definitely. Like you mentioned before, my brother is still on trial, the love of my life mysteriously vanished, and there’s been a rash of murders of teen girls in my neighborhood. My caseload is full, you might say. I could do with a little less death in my life, but I won’t rest until these investigations are closed. Hopefully then I could work on a few cases that don’t involve cold-blooded murder, but with my current track record, I might be carving out a little niche for myself—whether I like it or not!