Interview with Amy Garvey, author of Cold Kiss

I’m so excited to host this interview with Amy Garvey, author of Cold Kiss and the forthcoming sequel, Glass Heart. Amy and I share an editor at Harper, and when said editor sent me an ARC of Cold Kiss over a year ago, telling me I’d love it, it sat on my shelf for quite some time because I’ve never been a big paranormal reader. But then I picked it up and ohmygosh this story! What a moving and gorgeously written tale with a unique take on zombies. I want everyone to read it.

Cold Kiss

It was a beautiful, warm summer day, the day Danny died. Suddenly Wren was alone and shattered. In a heartbroken fury, armed with dark incantations and a secret power, Wren decides that what she wants—what she must do—is to bring Danny back.

But the Danny who returns is just a shell of the boy Wren fell in love with. His touch is icy; his skin, smooth and stiff as marble; his chest, cruelly silent when Wren rests her head against it.

Wren must keep Danny a secret, hiding him away, visiting him at night, while her life slowly unravels around her. Then Gabriel DeMarnes transfers to her school, and Wren realizes that somehow, inexplicably, he can sense the powers that lie within her—and that he knows what she has done. And now Gabriel wants to help make things right. But Wren alone has to undo what she has wrought—even if it means breaking her heart all over again.

I absolutely adored Cold Kiss, both for its uniqueness in plot and its heart-warming characters, especially Wren and Danny. When you started writing the novel, did the characters or plot come to you first?

The idea of writing a zombie YA came first, and I had to let it brew for a little while. I think I had Wren semi-formed in my head when I heard The Hush Sound’s song, “Honey,” which goes, “Honey, honey, honey, you’re the death of me…you’ve got a dark heart, you’ve got a cold kiss,” and the whole thing just sort of exploded into being. What I love, too, is that you could listen to the song from Danny’s POV.

I never knew a song inspired so much of the story! How cool. Music aside, what’s a typical writing day like for you?

There’s not really any such beast. Life with three kids, and sometimes volunteering at school, as well as freelance work, means I’m writing in bits and pieces here and there most of the time. One thing I always do, though, when I’ve started a new project, is to keep it in my head whenever I can, especially when I can’t be writing. So I’ll get in the shower and think about how to solve a scene problem, or I’ll drive to the library thinking about a plot point. When I am writing, I could be anywhere with the laptop, but I’m generally on my bed, because why not?

Why not, indeed! So what about getting feedback on your early drafts? Do you have a critique partner or beta reader?

I don’t, actually. I was part of a critique through a RWA chapter when I was in upstate New York, and those women were a huge help when I was first starting Cold Kiss (and with other stuff), but I’ve never had anyone I went through an entire book with. Pre-internet, which was when I started writing, I didn’t have any other writer friends for a long time. So I really got accustomed to writing on my own. Sometimes now I’ll have friends take a look at a scene to get a sense of their reaction, but for the most part it’s just me and the laptop, and my husband, who’s my go-to person when I need to work out a plot problem. He’s an excellent sounding board (and cook, and hugger, and tea-bringer).

Yay for supportive hubbies! (I don’t know what I’d do without mine!) Between all the writing, what are you reading these days?

I’m finishing up Melissa Marr’s faerie series—I love them and I got behind on reading while I was writing Cold Kiss. I’m planning on catching up with some Stephen King I’ve missed. I also have The Night Circus to read, as well as A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper, which looks fantastic and I’ve heard wonderful things about.

The Night Circus! So magical. (There are several fans of that book here on Pub Crawl.) Any final words of writing advice or inspiration?
Read as much as you write. Don’t forget to live, too—writing is always enriched by the world around you (i.e. it’s hard to write believable dialogue if you don’t have any, for instance). Always be curious, and ask questions. “What if” is one of the writer’s most useful tools.

So true! Speaking of tools…AHH! Pub Brawl!!!!! What weapon are you wielding?

The Big Book of Omitted Adverbs. It’s about a thousand pages long, and all those bitter “lys” really sting when they hit you.

Smart choice. Say you could spend a night at the pub with any three authors (alive or dead), who would it be and why?

This is a hard one. I think Sylvia Plath first, because I would like her to see what an incredible legacy she left. Edith Wharton, because she would have amazing stories to tell about Europe and old New York. And Stephen King, because his imagination is so boundless, and his work ethic is incredible.

I am already jealous of this evening. Make it up to me and mix me your ideal literary cocktail. Pretty please?

Ooh, interesting. Probably two parts journey (and all that implies, real or imagined), one part mystery, with a shot of romance and a nice tart twist of horror (or at least suspense).

That sounds delicious! And very reminiscent of Cold Kiss if I do say so myself. 😉

And to celebrate the paperback release of Cold Kiss (which just hit shelves this week), we’re going to give one away! To enter to win a copy of Cold Kiss, leave a comment telling us who you would raise from the dead (if anyone), assuming you had the powers to do so. Then fill out the handy form below. We’ll announce a winner next week, but please note: this giveaway is US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

AMY GARVEY is a former editor who now works on the other side of the desk as an author. She grew up reading everything she could get her hands on, watching too much TV, and wishing she was Samantha Stephens from Bewitched. (She still wishes that, actually.) COLD KISS is her first novel for young adults but she’s always writing something (when she’s not obsessively discussing TV’s Supernatural with her friends online and thinking about cupcakes). You can catch up with Amy around the interwebs, mainly on her blog and Twitter.


39 Responses to Interview with Amy Garvey, author of Cold Kiss

  1. Christina K. May 24 2012 at 5:17 am #

    I’d choose William Shakespeare from the literary world, because I’d love to know the true inspiration behind his plays. And on a personal note, I’d choose my grandma, because I miss her.

    • Erin Bowman May 24 2012 at 9:06 am #

      I’d probably bring back some grandparents, too. 🙁

  2. Julie May 24 2012 at 6:00 am #

    Great interview, Amy and Erin! Amy, COLD KISS sounds like an awesome story! I cannot wait to check it out! 🙂

  3. JoSVolpe May 24 2012 at 6:43 am #

    Great interview! My husband is also my sounding board. I don’t know what I’d do without him.

    Also…nice cocktail!

    • Erin Bowman May 24 2012 at 9:08 am #

      I’ve come to believe that behind every person in publishing, there is a supportive sounding board. (And thank goodness, or we’d probably all be crazy 😉 )

  4. Sigal May 24 2012 at 9:00 am #

    In a heartbeat, I’d bring back Percy Bysshe Shelley. I tried once, by the power of my stare, to make him come alive from his portrait at the national gallery. I stood there for half an hour, willing him step out of it. I may have succeeded, because he comes to me sometimes, whispering lewd suggestions in my ear, telling me about our past life fabulous exploits together. I adore him and his poetry. So rich and colorful. And I like to think that maybe its true, maybe I did know him back then in the nineteenth century, and we were lovers 🙂

    • Erin Bowman May 24 2012 at 9:10 am #

      This entire comment had me smiling. I vote, yes, you were lovers back in the nineteenth century. And perhaps you should have stared at that portrait a tad longer. I hear the going rate for resurrecting poets is 31 minutes of staring… 😉

  5. Linda C. May 24 2012 at 9:20 am #

    That’s a tough one, a la Pet Sematary. If I absolutely HAD to, maybe I’d do it for someone else who lost someone. So far I’ve been lucky.

  6. Rowenna May 24 2012 at 10:30 am #

    The only thing I can think of is that “ground’s sour” line from Pet Sematary, so I think I’d skip bringing someone back!

    Amy, I have to cop to being a closet Supernatural fan…my husband watches it, and I “watch it with him” but have grown really fond of the show!

    • Erin Bowman May 24 2012 at 2:35 pm #

      Hooray for Supernatural fans! I am one solely because of Amy’s gushing. She is the reason I’m now hooked. (Sam + Dean forever!!)

  7. Megan D. May 24 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    My immediate thought is John Keats. Last year I unwittingly watched Bright Star on the anniversary of his death. Quite creepy but also moving. I felt like he was in the room with us, like he was reaching through time towards life. He died so young and the world suffered for it. Imagine if he were alive today, the art that he could make? Love, love, love him.

    • Erin Bowman May 24 2012 at 2:37 pm #

      I haven’t seen Bright Star. I feel like I should remedy this sometime soon 🙂

  8. Krispy May 24 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    I don’t know that I’d bring anyone back from the dead. I’m sort of with Dean on the whole “what’s dead should stay dead” business. But if I had to, maybe grandparents or my old pets! 🙁

    And I just have to say that I loved Cold Kiss (thanks for the rec, Erin!) and was so delighted to discover there’s a sequel (thanks again, Erin!)! Oh and Amy, I loved A Brief History of Montmaray! I hope you like it too. I also recently discovered there are sequels to it, so yay for more pleasant surprises!

    • Erin Bowman May 24 2012 at 2:38 pm #

      If the Winchesters actually followed their “What’s dead should stay dead” motto, the series would have ended before it really began. But I’m not complaining, of course. Love those boys.

  9. April Tucholke May 24 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    Amy, I’m loving your King love.

    Who would I raise from the dead? Agatha Christie, maybe. She faked her own death/disappearance, and she wrote about poison–this is a woman I could talk to. Marlene Dietrich. That woman fascinates me. And Robert Johnson, the blues musician who sold his soul to the Devil at the crossroads. I want to find out more about this.

    • Erin Bowman May 24 2012 at 2:33 pm #

      April! There is an entire Supernatural episode focused on the idea of selling your soul to the devil at the crossroads, and it opens with Robert Johnson getting chased down by hellhounds. (Do you watch the show, btw? Brilliant stuff!)

      • April Tucholke May 24 2012 at 4:20 pm #

        Really??? I’ve never seen Supernatural. Now I have to find that episode. O Brother Where Art Thou referenced the RJ crossroads thing, too. Faustian myths. They NEVER get old. Love, love, love.

        • Erin Bowman May 24 2012 at 4:35 pm #

          I can’t say enough good stuff about the show! Creepy ghosts, lore, etc, hilarious brother, fabulous acting. Also, here’s the opener to that episode with Johnson:

        • Rowenna May 24 2012 at 5:50 pm #

          YES! I love the O Brother reference! “You sold your everlasting soul?” “I wasn’t using it none…” 😀

  10. Tabitha Williams May 24 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    I don’t think I would bring anyone back. I’ve seen so many movies where they ressurect a loved one and things go horrible wrong.

    • Erin Bowman May 26 2012 at 9:26 am #

      I hear ya! While the intentions are good, things always seem to backfire 😉

  11. Aliaa El-Nashar May 24 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    If I could…I’d raise a Pharaoh, there’s seriously a bunch of stuff I’d just love to know!

    • Erin Bowman May 26 2012 at 9:27 am #

      Ancient Egypt has such a fascinating history. (If you have success with this, let me know! I want to drop in and learn some things, too 😉 )

  12. Peggy Eddleman May 24 2012 at 6:15 pm #

    I’m going to go with my grandma. She died when I was much too young!

  13. LisaAnn May 24 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    Great interview! The book sounds fantastic, and what a gorgeous cover!

    • Erin Bowman May 26 2012 at 9:28 am #

      The cover is even more stunning in person — all shiny and reflective. 🙂

  14. Shila A May 25 2012 at 9:24 am #

    My mother! I lost my mother at the age of 9. Went through my teens without her, lost a huge part of my childhood. Now that I’m a new mommy I miss her more than anything. If I had to raise someone from the dead, it would be her! As I know she wouldn’t only make me a better person, but also a better mom to my little girl.

    • Erin Bowman May 26 2012 at 9:29 am #

      I’m so sorry for your loss, Shila. It must have been tough growing up without her. 🙁

  15. Kayla B. May 25 2012 at 11:10 pm #

    On the condition that he could think and speak as he did before his death, I think I’d enjoy spending the afternoon with Tolkien or Einstein. I would have so many questions for either one of them!

    • Erin Bowman May 26 2012 at 9:29 am #

      Fantastic choices. I’d have question for them both, too!

  16. Soumi Roy May 25 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    If I had the power of bringing some one back I would brought back Robin Hood. He is all time favorite real hero. I always had a crush on him since I was 12 years old and his story was on our textbooks. I did research on him. i never missed any movies, tv series and Books written on him. I wish I were Maid Marian 🙁 🙁

    • Erin Bowman May 26 2012 at 9:30 am #

      Robin Hood! (I had a minor obsession with the Disney version of the story when I was younger.)

  17. Yael Itamar May 26 2012 at 11:07 pm #

    One of my older brothers (I think) was born dead. My brothers tend to be interesting people, so I would raise him, mostly out of curiosity.

  18. Lori T. May 28 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    While it seems like a great concept to raise someone from the dead, someone you either admire or miss, I totally agree with everyone who says it could be a bad idea. Like the previous examples of Pet Semetary and Supernatural, nothing good ever comes from bringing back the dead (as much as I’d love to see my grandmother again, I just don’t think I’d enjoy her in zombie-form).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.