Interview with Quinn Avery, author of The Dead Girl’s Stilettos
22 Apr 2019
What can you tell us about your new release, The Dead Girl’s Stilettos?
I was inspired to create a spunky female sleuth after watching (and re-watching x100) the Veronica Mars movie. I’ve been a diehard fan since the TV series first aired on WB, and adore Veronica’s wit. Bexley Squires has her own unique set of challenges when she starts out as an amateur sleuth at age 28 (i.e. a missing sister and a strict father in the military), but she comes across an entertaining cast of supporting characters along the way. There’s an overall dark theme to the story that plays with the idea of how far the rich and famous would take their wealth, but Bexley’s dry humor and her relationship with a certain detective brings some lightness to the table.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
I wrote a short story about My Little Ponies in 3rd grade, and remember announcing that I wanted to become a writer. Then I got hooked on Stephen King around 5th grade, and knew without a doubt it’s what I would do when I grew up. I wrote a ton of stories until college when I was discouraged from pursuing a degree in English, and changed gears. Then life and family got in the way. But after someone close to me was diagnosed with cancer at a young age, I finally decided I had to actually publish something, or it may never happen. There was a time I was disappointed in myself for waiting so long, and felt like I had disappointed my younger self. But after publishing 30 books, I’m over it.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
Yikes…this was a hard one! I swear this list changes all the time. Ask me again in a few months, and I’ll probably have a totally different answer. For now I’d say: Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham’s Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line, Stephen King’s Full Dark No Stars, Pam Godwin’s Dark Notes, Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood, and Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club.
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
I would love to have another chance to talk with Charlaine Harris! I met her at a convention in Atlanta while waiting in a line for an author event. She was delightfully hilarious, and especially gracious as I fan-girled all over her (she even posed for a selfie). I enjoyed the Sookie Stackhouse series, and would love to pick her brain on how she kept a quirky heroine going for so long.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
I love becoming immersed in my stories as a way to escape the real world. Too often life doesn’t go as planned. I can remedy that by creating my own world.
What is a typical day like for you?
After sending my youngest to school, I work on marketing and everything else that comes with being self-published until lunchtime. Then I try to spend the rest of the day writing. It almost never goes as planned though. In the evening I usually end up either marketing some more, attending my son’s high school events, or hitting the bar in an attempt to quiet all the stories constantly floating through my head.
What scene in The Dead Girl’s Stilettos was your favorite to write?
Without giving any spoilers away, I really got into the scene where we finally get to see a glimpse of the heroine’s sister’s story about 3/4 in. I love how Cineste’s life went from mundane to exciting in a matter of minutes. I had actually written that portion of the book as a novella when I was having a serious case of writer’s block. I ended up weaving it into The Dead Girl’s Stilettos as a subplot.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
Be a pineapple: stand tall, wear a crown, and be sweet on the inside. I try to be proud of my accomplishment and beliefs no matter the situation, and I try my hardest to show kindness to others. My youngest daughter and I have matching tattoo pineapples because that saying perfectly summarizes the values I tried to teach her when she was little. The crown part fits her better because she was homecoming queen. Not sure how I would apply that to myself, except maybe that I’m a rock and roll princess of sorts. *shrugs*
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