'My boyfriend could get into trouble if he gets caught. He could go to jail.' I moan softly. 'So could I.' 'Anything you tell me is completely confidential.' I sigh deeply. What have I got to lose? 'I wouldn't know where to begin.' 'At the beginning?' she says. 'In your own words.' So that's what I do. I start at the beginning like she says. The day I met Suzie.
Indigo (Indie) rings the Samaritans. She is frightened and desperate with no one to turn to. Over the course of one long night, Indie tells her story to the person on the end of the phone. She realises that her friend Suzie has taken over her home, her friends, her work, her boyfriend - and her life. After every few chapters we are brought back to the present moment, and see how piecing the story together helps Indie progress towards resolution.
About Chris Higgins:
Before writing her first novel, Chris Higgins taught English and Drama for many years in secondary schools. Chris has worked at the Minack, the open-air theatre on the cliffs near Lands End. She now writes full time. Chris loves to travel and has lived and worked in Australia as well as hitchhiking to Istanbul and across the Serengeti Plain. She was born and brought up in South Wales, but now lives in the far west of Cornwall with her husband. Chris Higgins has written 10 novels for teenagers. They all deal with issues that every teenager can identify with. Chris has won a number of awards including YoungMinds, the Lancashire Book Award, the KYBA and has been twice nominated for Queen of Teen. www.chrishigginsthatsme.com
Where did the inspiration come from to write The Day I Met Suzie?
I’m not sure. I’m always intrigued by the faces people choose to show to the world to get their own way. Suzie appears to be a pathetic, helpless little creature but in reality she is a highly-dangerous predator who takes over Indie’s life and bleeds her dry.
How do you think your book will relate with teens?
I’m hoping teens will recognize the kind of highly manipulative person Suzie is, the kind who pretends to be your friend but is actually using you for her own ends. What Suzie does is extreme but we all know people like that and it’s normally in our teens that we become aware of them properly.
Who is your favourite character from the story and why?
I’m not sure any of the characters are particularly likeable, including Indie! But she is feisty, a characteristic I admire, and refuses to let Suzie and Logan get the better of her or her fit but weak boyfriend, Rick. Suzie is the most interesting character. We don’t know if she she’s a product of her dysfunctional background which at least goes some way to explaining her behaviour or whether she’s a cold, calculating psychopath who’s made her sad childhood up to gain sympathy. I’d go with the psychopath!
Do you have a favourite quote from the book you would like to share with us?
It’s hard to choose one quote but I’ll try. Maybe it’s the moment on p.338 when good girl, Indie, finally fully understands just how bad Suzie really is and decides to turn the tables on her.
“Oh Scarlett. Or Suzie. Or whoever you are. This is just a game to you, isn’t it? A taunting, sadistic, torturous, vindictive game played to your rules which only you can win. You love it all, don’t you? Setting the trap, luring your victims in, holding them captive, pinning them down, watching them squirm. Tricking and duping and cheating and snaring your way through life, you think you’re so clever. You think no-one is a match for you.
I am about to prove you wrong.”
Tell us about some of your favourite reads?
They change all the time, depending on what I’ve just read. I love John Boyne, Mark Haddon, Ben Rice, Malorie Blackman, Hilary Mckay, Angie Sage … I could go on for ever.
Are you working on anything at the minute that you can share with us?
I am just starting a new book which is in the same vein as “He’s After Me” and “The Day I Met Suzie”, in other words a psychological thriller with lots of twists and turns. There’s no point in telling you too much about the plot at this stage because my books never turn out as I planned!