Imagine if you could see inside the minds of everyone around you – your best friend, your boyfriend, your enemies…? NYT bestselling author Kimberly McCreight discusses why she wrote The Outliers the first book in a breathtakingly brilliant new trilogy, packed with tension, romance and thrilling twists and turns.
Like my adult books, my debut YA novel, The Outliers, is many things: a mystery, a speculative thriller, a character-driven drama.
But when the idea for the series first came to me, I had something else in mind: a warning to my daughters. And also a promise.
Let me explain. Sometimes I think my older daughter spends more time inhabiting the hearts and minds of others than she does her own. She can be so emotionally intuitive that it occasionally verges on unsettling. And, the truth is, so am I. This common thread—being preternaturally empathetic—is also evident in my closest female friends. We all operate on the same heightened emotional frequency.
Which led me to wonder: what if women really are just naturally more intuitive than men. But what if, instead of that being some fatal female flaw, it’s actually a great strength. One with tremendous untapped potential.
Thus, the seed for The Outliers series was planted. This opening book is first and foremost a mystery about one troubled teenage girl trying to overcome her fears and find her missing best friend. But it’s also about finally claiming your rightful place in the world by accepting the truth of who you are. And it marks the beginning of a journey about what it means to be a girl—for better and for worse.
So while The Outliers trilogy is meant to be a warning to my daughters about the world they will grow up in and the people who might deem them unworthy, it’s also a promise. That they are more than powerful enough to rise above it.
To them and everyone else I say the key is this: Trust your instincts.
Kimberly McCreight is the New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia, which was also nominated for an Edgar Award; one of CNN’s Reader Favourites for 2013 and a finalist for Goodreads Best Mystery of the Year. OUTLIERS is Kimberly’s YA debut; it has been optioned for film by Lionsgate, Mandeville, and Reese Witherspoon’s Pacific Standard. Kim lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters.