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.
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.
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.