Please welcome Bronzeville Books Submission Editor Sandra Ruttan back to the blog today. Today she interviews author Dea Poirier.
Dea Poirier's debut, Next Girl to Die, is an evocative debut with exquisite writing that indulges your senses and compels your investment in Calderwood’s emotional journey as she races against time to solve a case that has haunted her for more than a decade. Calderwood is a worthy addition to the genre. Her spirit, like Poirier’s voice, is tenacious and captivating, compelling the reader’s investment in her journey, and Calderwood is determined to hold her own against her male counterparts. She doesn’t take the easy path in her personal or professional lives, and the fact that her emotional issues haven’t been glossed over with glib resolutions gives her plenty of room for growth in sequels to come." - Sandra Ruttan
Learn more about Dea via her website http://www.dhpoirier.com/ or follow her on twitter @deapoirierbooks
Sandra Ruttan is an author, reviewer, and the submissions editor for Bronzeville Books:
Sandra Ruttan: Your debut, Next Girl to Die, comes out May 1, 2019. What's the elevator pitch for this novel?
Dea Poirier: Fifteen years after her sister’s unsolved murder, Claire Calderwood returns to her home town when another murder that’s startlingly similar to her sister’s occurs.
SR: Claire has her own ghosts to contend with when she returns home. What is it about the homecoming of a character that appealed to you as a storyteller? Were there specific themes you wanted to explore with this aspect of the story?
DP: I really felt that having Claire return home was necessary to the story, it makes her face so many demons that have been haunting her, her entire life. The island and all the characters on it make her face her sister’s death, and the people she abandoned when she tried to escape her grief.
SR: What do Claire and Dea have in common?
DP: I’m not sure we have much in common, actually. I think I’m more similar to Noah.
SR: You use some really strong language to speak to the senses and really take advantage of the setting for Next Girl to Die. As someone who lived on a small island for many years, I appreciated that. What was it about this setting that appealed to you for this story?
DP: For starters, I think the isolation really raises the stakes. It adds a whole other layer to a police investigation. I also really enjoyed the setting because I think it is very representative of grief in itself. While processing loss, it’s very lonely, you feel isolated. So to me it felt natural to echo this.
SR: Now, the second book in the series, Beneath the Ashes, will be out this November. Where does this book take Claire to?
DP: This book takes Claire to another small town in Maine. Though the setting isn’t an island again, it still has an isolated feel. I’ll be sharing more about the story soon, but that’s all I can share for now!
SR: Can you tell us if she's keeping Noah around?
DP: I can’t share that, you’ll have to read Beneath the Ashes to find out!
SR: Were there specific themes you wanted to touch on in your story?
DP: The main themes I wanted to touch on were grief, isolation, and the secrets we all keep. Each of my characters has a secret. They’re all emotionally broken to some extent. I wanted to weave these things in because I feel like it makes it much more realistic. Murders in small towns have ripple effects, they touch everyone’s lives, and I really wanted to show that.
SR: Now, assuming tomorrow marks the zombie apocalypse, how long will Claire survive? You?
DP: If Claire’s on the island, I think she’d survive for quite a long time. Noah… not so much. I think I’d have a pretty good chance of survival as well. I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve.
SR: You like to paint. Do you find that helps you in your writing process?
DP: My writing and painting are completely separate entities for me. They’re just such a different creative process. I always feel the need to create, but sometimes the words don’t flow. That’s when I turn to painting.
SR: Carpool Karaoke time. What's Claire's song? Noah's? Yours?
DP: I think Claire and I would sing Bad at Love by Halsey. Noah would sing I Wanna Be Sedated by the Ramones.
SR: If you had to pick a theme song for Next Girl to Die what would it be and why?
DP: Oh man, that’s tough. Heaven or Hell by Digital Daggers.
SR: What children's book has had the most significant impact on your writing and why?
DP: This one is also difficult. I don’t remember very many books from my childhood other than Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. So I guess I’d say those.
SR: Best piece of writing advice you've ever been given?
DP: Any time you get a crappy review, go look at the 1-star reviews for your favorite books. It really helps put things in perspective.
SR: Do you have any events coming up that you'd like to let people know about?