Writers Read: Author Brent Hartinger Reads from His Novel Three Truths and a Lie

Three Truths and a Lie - Brent Hartinger_350

Three Truths and a Lie

Author: Brent Hartinger

Themes & Genres: LGBT, Mystery, Thriller, Horror

WARNING: Mature Content


(For readers 14 and up)

Deep in the heart of the forest, four friends gather for a weekend of fun.

Truth #1: Rob is thrilled about the weekend trip. It’s the perfect time for him to break out of his shell…to be the person he really, really wants to be.

Truth #2: Liam, Rob’s boyfriend, is nothing short of perfect. He’s everything Rob could have wanted. They’re perfect together. Perfect.

Truth #3: Mia has been Liam’s best friend for years… long before Rob came along. They get each other in a way Rob could never, will never, understand.

Truth #4: Galen, Mia’s boyfriend, is sweet, handsome, and incredibly charming. He’s the definition of a Golden Boy… even with the secrets up his sleeve.

One of these truths is a lie… and not everyone will live to find out which one it is.


What inspired Brent to write Three Truths and a Lie?

It was as simple as my visiting a remote cabin in a rain forest on the Olympic Peninsula near Seattle and thinking, “Oh, my God, this would make a fantastic setting for a book!”

Everyone knows what a tropical rain forest is, but these are temperate rain forests, which means they’re cold and dark and misty. They’re also incredibly lush, with ancient trees, and hanging moss. It’s like everything is growing, but nothing has changed in millions of years. Talk about a forest primeval!
But as one of the characters keeps saying, “Nothing is exactly what it seems in this place.” This is very much a psychological thriller.

As an author, I know I’m known for more lighthearted books, books with a lot of humor. And as a person, I think I’m sort of a genial, not particularly provocative guy.

And then out comes this book that’s a dark, edgy, sexy horror/thriller novel.

But I’ve always written in lots of different mediums and genres. I definitely intended for this to be something truly different, both for my own career and YA books in general. I hate to toot my own horn, but I also think it might be something new for a gay teen book, partly for reasons that I can’t talk about without giving away the ending.

Speaking of which, I’ve always been a fan of twist endings, but only so long as the writer plays fair. You can’t just pull it out of thin air. It has to all make perfect sense in retrospect. And on one hand, that’s more difficult to pull off seamlessly than it looks.

On the other hand, once I had the central conceit of the book, it was very clarifying. This is one of those books where almost everything that happens, definitely every scene, relates directly to that ending, and to the book’s theme. So in a way, it was a very difficult book to write, but in another way, it was very easy.

A little bit more about the book:

  • An Edgar Award Nominee, 2017
  • YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, 2017
  • An Amazon.com “Editor’s Pick” for August 2016
  • A Barnes & Noble “Most Anticipated Book” for August 2016

Where can you buy the book:

Add Three Truths and a Lie to your Goodreads shelf (link takes you straight to the book)

Books by this author that I’ve reviewed:

Want to learn more about Brent? Read the interview he gave me!

Find him here:

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