Author Stories Podcast Episode 694 | Melissa de la Cruz Brings Us A Suspense Classic With The Birthday Girl
Today’s author interview guest is Melissa de la Cruz, #1 New York Times, #1 Publisher’s Weekly and #1 IndieBound bestselling author of The Isle of the Lost and the new suspense thriller The Birthday Girl.
In the thrilling, suspenseful new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz, all of Ellie de Florent-Stinson’s secrets come to light in one eventful evening full of twists, turns, and surprises.
Before she became a glamorous fashion designer, Ellie de Florent-Stinson was a trailer-park teen about to turn sixteen. But a night of birthday celebration doesn’t go exactly as planned and descends into a night she’ll never be able to forget.
Now, on the cusp of her fortieth birthday, it appears Ellie has everything she ever wanted: a handsome husband; an accomplished, college-age stepdaughter; a beautiful ten-year-old girl; adorable and rambunctious six-year-old twin boys; lush, well-appointed homes in Los Angeles, Park City, and Palm Springs; a thriving career; and a dazzling circle of friends.
Except everything is not quite as perfect as it looks on the outside—Ellie is keeping many secrets. And hiding those skeletons has a cost, and it all comes to a head the night of her fabulous birthday party in the desert—where everyone who matters in her life shows up, invited or not. Old and new friends and frenemies, stepdaughters and business partners, ex-wives and ex-husbands congregate, and the glittering facade of Ellie’s life begins to crumble.
Beautifully paced and full of surprises, The Birthday Girl is an enthralling tale of a life lived in shadow and its unavoidable consequences.
Melissa de la Cruz is the #1 New York Times, #1 Publisher’s Weekly and #1 IndieBound bestselling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for readers of all ages. Her more than thirty books have also topped the USA Today, Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times bestseller lists and have been published in over twenty countries.
The Isle of the Lost, the prequel to the Disney Channel Original Movie The Descendants, has spent more than fifty weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, fifteen at #1, and has over a million copies in print. The Descendants starring Kristen Chenoweth and Dove Cameron is the #1 cable TV movie of 2015, and #5 of all time, and its soundtrack is the #1 bestselling album on iTunes. The Isle of the Lost’s sequel, Return to the Isle of the Lost, is also a #1 New York Times bestseller and spent sixteen weeks on the New York Times List. The third Isle of the Lost book will be published in May 2017.
De la Cruz is the author of the Blue Bloods series (with three million copies in print), among many others. Her first series for adults launched with Witches of East End, which People magazine called a “bubbling cauldron of mystery and romance.” The bestseller was followed by Serpent’s Kiss and Winds of Salem. Lifetime Television aired a two-season drama series based on Witches of East End,starring Julia Ormond, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Rachel Boston and Mädchen Amick. De la Cruz’s young adult spin-off of the series, Summer on East End has also been optioned for television.
Her recent books include Something in Between, a YA contemporary novel inspired by de la Cruz’s own immigrant experience coming from the Philippines which launched the Seventeen imprint at Harlequin Teen, as well as Alex and Eliza, a historical novel about the romance between Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler, forthcoming from Penguin Teen in April 2017.
Angel Falls, a television movie she wrote for the Hallmark Channel, will premiere this December as part of the network’s Countdown to Christmas and will star Rachel Boston from Witches of East End. Pride, Prejudice and Mistletoe, her latest novel for adults will be published by St. Martin’s and Melissa has also written the script for the television movie.
A former fashion and beauty editor, Melissa has written for The New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney’s, Teen Vogue, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends and fame for CNN, E! and FoxNews.
In addition to her literary work, Melissa is the co-founder of YALLWEST, and the co-director of YALLFEST, two of the largest teen book festivals in the country. She is also on the Advisory Board of Facing History, which reaches five million school children nationwide with a curriculum devoted to teaching empathy and social justice.
She grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. At Columbia University, she majored in art history and English.
Melissa de la Cruz lives in West Hollywood, California with her husband and daughter.