Monday, September 15, 2014

YA Guy Hosts... Margo Kelly!

YA Guy's psyched to host Margo Kelly, author of the soon-to-be released WHO R U REALLY? (Official release date: 9/18.) Today on the blog, Margo shares the disturbing real-life events behind her chilling novel.

Margo Kelly’s Debut Who R U Really? was Ripped from a Real Life Event!

After her daughter narrowly survived a man she met in an online role-playing game, Kelly wrote a breathless young adult thriller with the hopes of helping others spot and unmask internet predators.

When a Nampa, Idaho, police detective said to Margo Kelly’s daughter, “It is your job to tell others—your real everyday friends that you go to school with—tell them what happened to you, so nothing like this can happen to them,” … she agreed. 

“My daughter is my hero,” Kelly said, “for being willing to share her personal choices, conversations, and feelings in order to help others, regardless of the negative judgment she might receive as a result.” Additionally, Kelly realized if she wrote a novel about her daughter’s experience, this could help more people avoid the traps of internet predators. Thus, while Who R U Really? is a work of fiction, the essence of the plot is what happened when Kelly’s daughter was nearly abducted. The fictional elements are based on what has happened to young women across the country on a too frequent basis.

“Inspired by her own daughter's terrifying story, Kelly has painted a realistic picture of how a smart girl can get caught up in something dangerous online,” said the School Library Journal. “Guaranteed to give readers goosebumps—particularly as events heat up toward the end.… A good choice for families to read together.”

Who R U Really? will be published in hardcover and e-book versions by Merit Press (F+W Media) on September 18, 2014.

More about Who R U Really?

When Thea discovers a new role-playing game online, she breaks her parents’ rules to play. And in the world of the game, Thea falls for an older boy named Kit whose smarts and savvy can’t defeat his near-suicidal despair. Soon, he’s texting her, asking her to meet him, and talking in vague ways about how they can be together forever. As much as she suspects that this is wrong, Thea is powerless to resist Kit’s allure, and hurtles toward the very fate her parents feared most. Who R U Really? will excite you and scare you, as Thea’s life spins out of control.

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More about Margo Kelly

Margo Kelly is a native of the Northwest and currently resides in Idaho. A veteran public speaker, she is now actively pursuing her love of writing. Who R U Really? is her first novel. Margo welcomes the opportunities to speak to youth groups, library groups, and book clubs.

Follow her online:
Twitter: @MargoWKelly

Scheduled Appearances:
September 26, 2014 – 5pm – Book Signing at Hastings in Meridian, Idaho
September 27, 2014 – 4pm – Book Signing at Hastings on Overland in Boise, Idaho
October 3, 2014 – 7pm – Book Launch Party at Hyde Park Books in Boise, Idaho
October 11, 2014 – 4pm – Book Signing at Barnes & Noble in Boise, Idaho


  1. Wow. Just wow. This is an IMPORTANT book. I wish it hadn't happened in real life to her daughter, but thank heavens she's all right! This is something I should share with my own daughters, even though they will roll their eyes and tell me, "I know, Mom!" But even smart kids can be caught up in something like this.

    1. Ah, yes ... the eye roll of teenagers. ;) And that's exactly why I wrote this book from the teenager's perspective. When they read the story from the POV of someone their own age, it strikes closer to their hearts. I love getting feedback from teenage readers telling me they cleaned up their FB friends list after reading this book. :)

    2. I worry about my own teen daughter, even though I monitor her online behavior fairly closely. I'm so glad Margo was willing to transform her own experience into a cautionary tale for others!

  2. Yikes, the premise of this book should strike fear in every parent's heart! Sounds like a must read for when my child gets old enough. He's a boy and so I would think might be a little less at risk, but you never know. Males and females sometimes reach out to the wrong people for emotional support. And the Internet just makes it too easy!