Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in the blog tour of I KILLED ZOE SPANOS by Kit Frick! For fans of Sadie and Serial, this gripping thriller follows two teens whose lives become inextricably linked when one confesses to murder and the other becomes determined to uncover the real truth no matter the cost. This YA thriller debut releases on June 30th, 2020 from McElderry Books!
Read on to learn more about Kit Frick’s upcoming book, I Killed Zoe Spanos, her writing process and lots more!
Hi Kit! Welcome to my blog! Can you tell me a little about yourself?
Thanks so much for having me! And absolutely—in a nutshell, I’m a YA author from Pittsburgh, PA who loves writing complicated teen characters into twisty mysteries and watching them find a way out. I’m a board game enthusiast, avid cook, true crime aficionado, and pet parent to two adorable cats and a snuggly Chiweenie.
How would you describe I KILLED ZOE SPANOS in five words?
My early readers have been calling it atmospheric, twisty, intricate, haunting, and addictive—and I think they’re onto something!
What was your inspiration behind I KILLED ZOE SPANOS?
True crime podcasts and Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca! The novel is not a strict retelling of the classic seaside thriller, but I drew inspiration from Rebecca when creating both the concept and the characters for I Killed Zoe Spanos. You don’t need to have read the classic to enjoy Zoe, but there are a whole bunch of Easter eggs sprinkled throughout for Rebecca fans! I wanted to explore what would happen when a modern, feminist update of the Rebecca de Winter character—my Zoe Spanos—goes missing in the true crime podcast era. Then I landed on the Hamptons setting, and the novel evolved from there.
Your book mentions a Martina Green, teen host of the Missing Zoe podcast. Assuming you listen to podcasts, can you recommend some of your favorites?
I am, indeed, an avid consumer of true crime podcasts! I’m endlessly intrigued by crime and criminality. There’s so much to be learned about humanity, the criminal justice system, prejudice, and even storytelling through the examination of real cases. That being said, all true crime podcasts are not created equal. I’m not a fan of those that set out to sensationalize or seem to forget that their subjects and their families are real people.
A few investigative true crime podcasts I’ve really enjoyed are: Serial season one (obviously!), Bear Brook, Direct Appeal, Finding Tammy Jo, and all the seasons of the CBC podcast Someone Knows Something. A few currently-airing weekly true crime podcasts on my regular rotation are Women & Crime, DIE-ALOGUE, and Criminal.
How would you describe your writing process?
With each book, I’ve become more and more of a plotter. In an ideal world, I like to spend two or three months developing a story concept, characters, and outlining. Then usually two to three months intensively drafting and many more months revising. In reality, other commitments, my day job, and life often intervene, and that window for intensive, daily drafting is rarely as concentrated as I’d like it to be. But somehow the books still happen!
What are some of your favorite thrillers/mystery novels?
A few of my auto-recs in YA are: Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson, The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas, Sadie by Courtney Summers, Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus, Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig, I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall, and A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo. I could go on for pages! I’m really looking forward to This Is My America, the debut YA crime novel from Kim Johnson coming next month.
Are you currently working on anything new?
Always. ☺ My next book is still a secret! (Ssh.) I hope to be able to spill some details soon.
Lastly, do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Read widely in your age category and genre. Get to know the playing field. Seek out trusted readers for your work and listen to their feedback. Know that you don’t have to take every piece of feedback. Revise. Revise more. Remember that publishing is not a meritocracy. There’s a lot of luck and timing involved in getting a book published, and while both of those factors are beyond your control, understanding that they play a key role can help put your experience and others’ in perspective. Also, don’t call yourself “aspiring.” Just do it.
– About the Author –
Kit Frick is a novelist, poet, and MacDowell Colony fellow from Pittsburgh, PA. She studied creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and received her MFA from Syracuse University. When she isn’t putting complicated characters in impossible situations, Kit edits poetry and literary fiction for a small press and edits for private clients. She is the author of the young adult thrillers I Killed Zoe Spanos, All Eyes on Us, and See All the Stars, all from Simon & Schuster / Margaret K. McElderry Books, as well as the poetry collection A Small Rising Up in the Lungs from New American Press. Kit is working on her next novel.
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Signed pre-orders from Riverstone books: https://riverstonebookstore.indielite.org/pre-order-signed-copies-kit-fricks-new-book
Thank you for reading! Have you added I Killed Zoe Spanos to your tbr? I’d love to know in the comments below!