Letter to Readers from April Henry
I make my living by stealing and killing – but it’s only on paper. A few years back, I was reading the New York Times when I came across a story about teens suing shady overseas boot campsthat routinely beat and mistreated students. I immediately thought – “I need to ‘steal’ that story!”
So I took it and made it my own and called it Shock Point. And I added a twist. I had also read about unscrupulous doctors who enrolled patients into drug trials and then did things like keep a pitcher of “clean” urine in the office fridge. I combined the two and wrote the story of Cassie Streng, a 16-year-old girl who discovers her psychiatrist step-father is covering up that three teenage patients enrolled in his drug trial have died. But before she can meet with a reporter, she finds herself shipped off to a boot camp in Mexico after her stepfather plants drugs in her room. She thinks the men who capture her are kidnapping her. This actually happens in real life – parents can pay someone to “kidnap” their kid and forcefully take them to a boot camp.
So how can Cassie escape the hellish boot camp and come back to the United States to expose her stepfather and prevent further deaths?
I write some books for adults and some for teens, and have been lucky enough to be on the New York Times bestseller list. I love nothing better than putting my characters in a jam – and seeing how they get out of it.