Guest Post: 10 Things Paula Stokes Would Pack If She Were on the Run

12:00 AM Serena 2 Comments

Hi, guys! If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen me talking about a most exciting guest post from Paula Stokes that I had coming up on my blog. This is that post, and I'm super stoked to finally be sharing it with you all! So, without further ado, I'll hand it over to Paula and let her talk about the ten things she'd bring with her if she were on the run from the FBI. 

Paula: Hi. My March release, LIARS, INC., tells the story of Max Cantrell, a kid who starts a business selling forged permission slips, cover stories, etc. to his classmates. This is all well and good until he hooks his friend and business partner Preston up with an alibi so he can leave town, and Preston never comes home. Pres just happens to be the kid of a powerful senator, and Max soon finds himself being interrogated by the FBI, who seem convinced that Max is guilty. Max ends up fleeing from the FBI because he feels like the only way he can prove he didn’t kill his friend is to find out who did, and that means staying out of jail.

I’m hoping never to have to go on the run from the FBI *prays they never confiscate computer and look at search history* but just in case, Serena and I thought it would be a good idea if I made a packing list.

What do you mean we can’t come?

The most traumatic thing for me in creating this list was the realization that Taz and Mufasa can’t come with me. They’re both high maintenance kitties with their own snuggle beds, special blankets, food bowls, carriers, litter boxes, you name it. Way more stuff than I can comfortably carry as I dash through the trees and jump from cliffs like poor Max. So, here’s what I decided I would pack:

  1. Flash bangs: No, I’m not talking about blinging out my hair. Flash bangs are non-lethal stun grenades that emit a bright flash and loud noise when you use them. At least that’s what Parvati told me anyway. The idea is to disorient your adversaries without causing permanent harm. Since I won’t have my kitties--who make excellent distractions due to their epic cuteness--I’ll need some other way to create a diversion if I get trapped.
  1. Survival manual: Laugh if you want, but I carried this survival guide in my purse for the first thirty or so airline flights I took. Now I’ve gotten lazy, but I really should go back to keeping it on me. If I’m running from the FBI, knowing how to create a shelter or which mushrooms not to eat could be the deciding factor in my survival.

  1. Nook (wifi disabled): Unfortunately, when you’re not dying from hunger or exposure, the US Army Survival Guide isn’t the most compelling reading, so I’ll need my Nook to keep me occupied during those long stretches of hiding I’ll no doubt have to do. Shout out to The Archived, a book I could definitely read more than once.
  1. Instant coffee: Yeah, yeah, I know it’s bad form to waste one of my ten items on coffee, but without it I’ll be caught in about ten minutes when my cloudy and confused brain gives the Starbucks barista my real name when I sneak in all disheveled for my morning fix.
  1. Chocolate: A girl’s gotta eat. When you’re on the run, you don’t have time to bake bread or steam vegetables. You need something that’s compact, convenient, and dense with calories. I’d pack dark chocolate for the heart-healthy benefits, because if I’m really running from the FBI, my heart is going to need all the help it can get.
  1. Burner cell phone: No, not for tweeting! For making contact with someone I need to help me in an emergency. You know, like if I run out of instant coffee.
  1. Pocket knife: My mom thought I was “going through a phase” when I asked for one of these in high school, but let’s face it, my Swiss Army knife is pretty freaking awesome. Forget the knife part and the adorable little saw if those aren’t your thing. Haven’t we all desperately needed a teensy pair of scissors, a nail file, or a bottle opener at some point while we were traveling?

  1. Fishing line: There’s no time for fishing when I’m running from the FBI, but fishing line has a ton of survival uses. It can help secure makeshift shelters, work as a snare in animal traps, be useful as an emergency tourniquet or suture material in case of injury. Heck, I might even use it for flossing. Like Julia Roberts said in Pretty Woman:  “You shouldn’t neglect your gums.”
  1. Chapstick: We all have addictions. We all have needs. If I had to go more than two or three days without Chapstick I’m fairly certain I’d hop a plane to D.C., walk into FBI Headquarters, and kneel down with my hands behind my head a la Red Reddington in The Blacklist in exchange for a tube. (Serena add in: This would definitely be one of my ten items, too! I need my Chapstick!)
  1. Water bottle with filter: I used to use those water purifying tablets when I was out in the wilderness, but those make your water taste like crap. Now you can buy liter bottles with special filters in the cap that make it possible to drink safely from lakes and rivers. I’m pretty sure I need water almost as much as I need Chapstick :D
Paula: What do you think? How long can I evade capture with my survival gear? What’s the number one thing you would pack if you had to go on the run?

About Liars, Inc.:
For fans of Gone Girl, I Hunt Killers, and TV's How to Get Away with Murder.

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? In a story that Kirkus Reviews called "Captivating to the very end," Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters. 

About Paula:
Paula Stokes writes stories about flawed characters with good hearts who sometimes make bad decisions. She’s the author of THE ART OF LAINEY, INFINITE REPEAT, LIARS INC., and several other forthcoming YA novels. When she's not writing, she's kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. Paula loves interacting with readers. Find her online at or on twitter as @pstokesbooks. 

Links you might need:

Be sure to check Paula out on the interwebs and look for Liars, Inc., in stores March 24th! Also, answer Paula's question in the comments or on Twitter (Paula. Me.)! I'd love to hear what you'd take with you on the run! Also times two, huge thanks to Paula for writing for the blog today! It was great having you. :)


  1. Very cool list! Now I'm thinking I need one of those survivor manuals, because you just never know! And I have one of those filter bottles, too many unknown bacteria in unknown waters!

    1. Right? I love this list. Paula's answers are golden. And yes! I totally think I need to get myself a survivor's manual too.