Can Tessa pose as Madison . . . and stop a killer before it’s too late?
Tessa is a Variant, able to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and mimic their appearance. Shunned by her family, she’s spent the last two years training with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI. When a serial killer rocks a small town in Oregon, Tessa is given a mission: she must impersonate Madison, a local teen, to find the killer before he strikes again.
Tessa hates everything about being an impostor—the stress, the danger, the deceit—but loves playing the role of a normal girl. As Madison, she finds friends, romance, and the kind of loving family she’d do anything to keep. Amid action, suspense, and a ticking clock, this super-human comes to a very human conclusion: even a girl who can look like anyone struggles the most with being herself.
Hi Tessa, nice to have you here! Please describe yourself for our lovely readers who have never met you.
Tessa: I’m sixteen. I have turquoise eyes. People always notice them first because they aren’t quite normal. (Pauses and glances at Major who’s observing the interview. He gives a small nod.) Many Variants have strange eyes. My hair is curly and auburn, and I’m not very tall. At least I think that’s my own appearance. With my Variation, you never know. Maybe when I was a toddler I lay beside another baby in the baby unit and decided to steal their appearance. I guess, we’ll never know.
So you’re a Variant. What exactly is that and what can you do?
Tessa: We are humans who have a Variation, or mutation, that gives us certain talents. You wouldn’t believe what kind of Variations exist! (Major clears his throat.) I can’t really say much about my fellow agents’ Variations. That’s classified information, but my Variation is that I can absorb the DNA of other people and transform into them.
You’re an agent. What was your most exciting mission so far?
Tessa: Oh, I’m one of the youngest agents, so I didn’t have any exciting missions yet. So far all I’ve done were training missions with my best friend Holly, but soon I’ll be doing my first real mission. I’ll take the place of… (Major interrupts. “The mission isn’t part of this interview.”)
How would your perfect day look?
Tessa: No training. A late breakfast with Holly. Martha – she’s the best cook in the world – would make her perfect French toast for us and I would drink a big cup of Chai tea. After that Holly and I would spend the day on the sofa in the common room, eating pizza and watching her favorite romance movies. In the evening Alec and I would do a horror movie marathon.
Why don’t you tell us a bit about your family?
Tessa: FEA is my family.
Then maybe tell us a bit about your childhood? Your fondest childhood memory?
Tessa: There’s… not much to tell. My best memories are from my time in FEA headquarters.
What scares you the most? Maybe spiders? That’s what many girls would say, right?
Tessa: Why would I be scared of spiders? There are far worse things in this world. I’m afraid of losing Holly and FEA, and...myself.
Tessa: Sometimes my talent can be confusing.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Tessa: I’ll still be working for FEA. I hope Holly and I will be doing missions together. And maybe I’ll be with someone.
Someone? We want details! Maybe that someone is Alec?
Tessa: (Blushes and glances at Major) Alec is one of my best friends. He’s always there for me. (Major gets up. Tessa follows and smiles tightly.) Thanks for interviewing me.
Susanne Winnacker studied law before she became a full-time writer. She lives with her husband, a dog and three bunnies in Germany. She loves coffee (in every shape and form), traveling and animals. When she isn't writing, you can usually find her in the kitchen, experimenting with new vegan dishes. Her YA thriller IMPOSTOR will be published on May 28, 2013. It has been optioned for TV by Warner Brothers!
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