What Scares You, Andrea Bartz?

Oh, hi, you may have heard of Andrea Bartz? You know, her new book, We Were Never Here? That’s a Marie Claire #ReadWithMC pick? And, oh, a Reese’s Book Club pick? And, oh, a New York Times bestseller????
It’s been a thrill to see this book get so much buzz because it’s SUCH A GOOD BOOK. And while I would never, ever, go on vacation with Andi after reading WWNH, I will read anything and everything she writes. I highly recommend you do the same.
And while her book tapped into one of my greatest fears–encountering a scary stranger while traveling in an unfamiliar place–we are here today to find out what freaks her out…..

What is your greatest fear?

One of my fears—a very human fear, but one we don’t talk about much—is saying or doing something that would make me unlovable. I think that’s why I write female protagonists who seem to have it all together but, under the surface, worry that they’re too much or not enough…and, in their most vulnerable moments, they believe that if others saw the chinks in their armor, their loved ones would turn on them. Shame is such a powerful emotion, and I love using interior dialogue to bring characters’ deepest fears out into the light. Sure, some readers hate them for it (calling them “unlikable” or “annoying” or “whiny”), but forcing my characters to be honest about their fears makes me feel braver, too. 


What is your weirdest fear?

Marionettes have always freaked me out! Especially vaguely realistic ones. I remember when TEAM AMERICA came out, I had to look away every time an ad for it showed up on TV.


Do you believe in ghosts?

I do, because it’s comforting to think that the energy of our loved ones lives on after they die. To me, it’s like “believing in” crystals or Tarot cards—what’s the harm in seeing a little inexplicable magic, or at least acknowledging there’s more to the universe than what we can prove?


Do you have any horror movie dealbreakers?

No, but I have an opposite: I know many people who won’t watch a horror movie or read a thriller if the dog dies. I’m a total animal lover, but I don’t understand this at all—it’s fiction! No actual pets were harmed in the making of this book or film!! If it’s just an empathy exercise, shouldn’t we be more offended by all the fictional human carnage?!


What’s worse: being buried alive or bitten by a vampire?

Being buried alive, for sure! A vampire bite grants you power and immortality. Which comes with its own existential panic, I’m sure, but better than dirt compressing my lungs and filling my nostrils.

Andrea Bartz is a Brooklyn-based journalist and author of We Were Never Here, The Lost Night, and The Herd. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Marie Claire, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, Martha Stewart Living, Redbook, Elle, and many other outlets, and she’s held editorial positions at Glamour, Psychology Today, and Self, among other publications.