Interview with Kerry Schafer, Author of Dead Before Dying

12 Feb 2016
Tell us a little bit about your new release, Dead Before Dying.

Dead Before Dying is a fun combination of mystery, thriller, and supernatural horror, set primarily in a retirement home.
Maureen Keslyn is a seasoned paranormal investigator who has been wounded during her last mission and needs a place to recover. Home isn’t an option, since her husband has taken up with another woman, so when her contact at the FBI Paranormal Unit offers her an undercover job at Shadow Valley Manor, she agrees to take it on. Maureen worries she’s going to be bored hanging out in a retirement home with a bunch of senior citizens, but when her primary contact turns up dead and the manor residents start dropping like flies, she realizes she’s up against forces that are too powerful for her to handle alone. Despite her fierce independence and serious trust issues, she is driven to create uneasy alliances with the local sheriff, the manor cook, and the undertaker’s uncanny daughter in order to stop a dark and intelligent evil.

You’re hosting a literary dinner party. Which three writers are invited?

I think it would be great fun to get Charles Dickens, Terry Pratchett, and Douglas Adams in a room and see what they end up discussing over dinner.

What are you currently craving?

Dark chocolate with sea salt and toffee bits.

If you had to pick one place to vacation for the rest of your life, where would you choose?

If we’re talking the rest of my life – then I want to vacation right here at home. I live in a little house in the mountains. When I look out my window I see trees and rocks and sky. Deer come around every day, along with wild turkeys. One morning there was a mountain lion just sitting in my yard, staring at me. Send me somebody to clean and cook and bring me drinks, and I will happily vacation here until the end of time.

What books are currently on your night stand?

If we’re strictly honest, it’s not the night stand, it’s a shelf in the bathroom. At the moment, the inventory is as follows: The Summer Tree, by Guy Gavriel Kay, The Ape Who Guards the Balance, by Elizabeth Peters, Ash and Silver, by Carol Berg, and Saint Odd, by Dean Koontz.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A figure skater, a concert pianist, a nurse, and a writer. Hey, I’ve got two out of four! Not half bad.

How do you like to spend a rainy day?

In front of a toasty fire with a book, the cat, and an endless supply of coffee. And chocolate

What’s your favorite quote or scene from Dead Before Dying?

I’m very fond of Gerry Vermeer, the character who spawned the whole idea for this book, so I’ll choose something that involves him:
“Vermeer is hanging from the shower rod by a thin cord tied in a slipknot around his neck, pulled so tight it’s embedded in the skin. He’s mostly naked, wearing only a pair of boxers, his knobby arthritic knees bent a little, feet dangling. He’s growing bunions on both big toes and his nails are yellow and clawlike. Every time his body spins the tips of his toes thud against the edge of the tub.
His face is purple and swollen, the eyes open and staring at me.
Really staring at me. Focused.
His face crumples into a grimace and his lips move. Of course there’s no sound, since his windpipe is completely cut off by the rope, and it takes me a couple of tries before I’m able to lip read what he’s trying to say.
“Cut you down? Give me one good reason why I should do that?”

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

I have several, but this bit from the poem Ulysses by Tennyson is my favorite:
“Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’
Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades
For ever and forever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!
As tho’ to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.”

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Kerry Schafer is the author of the new book Dead Before Dying.

Connect with Kerry
Author Website
 Twitter

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