Interview with Catherine Lo, Author of Easy Prey

Catherine Lo is the author of How It Ends, which Jeff Zentner called “as harrowing and realistic a look at the life cycle of a young friendship as I’ve ever seen.” She has spent the last decade and a half as a teacher working with at-risk youth. She lives outside of Toronto with her husband and two children.

Only three students had access to a teacher’s racy photos before they went viral. There’s Mouse, a brainy overachiever so desperate to escape his father and go to MIT that he would do almost anything, legal or not. Then there’s Drew, the star athlete who can get any girl’s number—and private photos—with his charm but has a history of passing those photos around. And finally there’s Jenna, a good girl turned rebel after her own shocking photos made the rounds at school last year, who is still waiting for justice. All three deny leaking the photos, but someone has to take the fall. This edgy whodunit tackles hot-button issues of sexting and gossip and will have readers tearing through the pages to reach the final reveal.

“Lo (How It Ends, 2016) creates realistic, multidimensional characters while exploring the legal and ethical ramifications of privacy as it plays out in a hormonally charged high school environment . . . A provocative story about the consequences of poor decisions in our digital world.”— Kirkus Reviews

Why you should read this book?

  • Edgy and on trend: YA that tackles heavy topics continues to dominate the bestseller list
  • Current issues: Sexting scandals are all over the news as young people test the boundaries of new technology, and Easy Prey raises the important and topical issue
  • Engaging whodunit: Every character has secrets—and readers won’t know who did it until the very end


Hi, Catherine! Welcome to YA SH3LF. Tell us 3 random things about Catherine Lo.

Hi! Thank you so much for having me on the blog.

Three random things about me…

1. I’m both a high school teacher and an author.

2. I make the world’s greatest grilled cheese.

3. I am a complete Netflix addict and have been known to binge-watch great shows for embarrassingly long sessions.

If the characters from How it Ends were to meet those from your new book, Easy Prey, who do you think would get along well and who wouldn’t?

What a fantastic question! I think Annie and Jessie from How It Ends would be completely intimidated by all three main characters from Easy Prey. Mouse, Jenna and Drew are all seniors, and Annie and Jessie are sophomores.

Personality-wise, though, I think Annie and Jenna would click right away. They’re both driven and feisty and fueled by their sense of justice and fairness. Mouse and Jessie would also find they have a lot in common. They’re both a little anxious and unsure of themselves, and they both feel like outsiders at school.

What’s your favorite memory from the writing process of
Easy Prey and what was the most challenging part?

My favorite memory from writing Easy Prey would have to be the day I wrote the final scene of the book. I don’t write scenes in order, typically, and the final scene came to me one day when I was about two-thirds through the first draft. It’s difficult to describe the circumstances around the inspiration for the end of the book without giving spoilers, but I was writing a conversation between two characters and suddenly the entire last scene popped into my head. I love when inspiration strikes like that – it’s so exhilarating! I rushed through the chapter I was working on so I could get that last scene down on paper before I forgot any of it.

As for the most challenging part, that was probably getting the timelines just right and revealing information at the best times. Each of the three main characters has secrets, and keeping track of who knows what, and when, was a challenge!

Do any of your characters from Easy Prey have a personality that is similar to your own? Which ones?

I think there’s a little bit of me in each of the characters in Easy Prey. I identify with Jenna’s rebelliousness and her anger at injustice. As for Drew, I aspire to his “live and let live” attitude and the ease with which he adapts to different social situations. And Mouse…I think we can all identify with Mouse’s feelings of being an outsider and different than his peers.

If you could bring one fantasy book character to our modern-day earth and help them adjust to normal life, who would you choose?

This is such an interesting question for me, because although I read fantasy, I pretty much never write it. I find I’m firmly in the contemporary realistic category of young adult fiction. One of my favorite fantasy characters of all time, though, is Lazlo Strange from Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer, so I suppose I’d say him.

Who’s your book best friend, the fictional character you just know you’d get along great with?

From my own books?

Adult me would say Jenna. When I was a teenager, though, I probably had more in common with Mouse.

If Jenna were older, we’d definitely be friends now. I love how complex and driven and passionate she is.

When I was a teenager, though, I’d have bonded with Mouse. I felt just as different and strange as does, and, like him, I couldn’t wait to graduate and start my life outside of high school.

If you could be anything other than a book writer, what would you be?

In addition to being an author, I’m also a high school teacher. Even if I wasn’t writing, I’d still be a teacher. There’s something so rewarding about getting to work with young people as they grow up over the four years of high school. I get to spend my days with some truly exceptional teens as they figure out who they are. That’s an amazing thing.


  • Imprint: Amulet Books
  • Publication Date: October 16, 2018
  • Price: $17.99
  • Trim Size: 5 12 x 8 14
  • ISBN: 978-1-4197-3190-7
  • EAN: 9781419731907
  • Page Count: 352
  • Format: Hardcover
  • YA SH3LF REVIEW : 5/5

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