DEAD GIRL by Karrie Faye, Feature
DEAD GIRL by Karrie Faye, Feature
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The Big Thrill Discusses DEAD GIRL with Kerrie Faye

Book Cover: DEAD GIRLDying has its perks…mostly. Bullied teen, Ember O’Neill goes from the weird girl to the tyrant of her school when she is resurrected from a deadly prank. Now secretly supernatural, she dethrones the school drama queen and snags the hot new guy, but her reign is at risk when the Order, a heretical sect, sends an assassin to eliminate her.

Ember must expose her powers, potentially losing all she has gained, in order to save herself and her friends as her killer closes in.


Kerrie Faye recently sat down with The Big Thrill to discuss her young adult debut, DEAD GIRL.

When you first created your protagonist for this book, did you see an empty space in crime lit that you wanted to fill? What can you share about the inspiration for that character?

Ember O’Neill has been compared to Steven King’s Carrie. She is the weird girl. Bullied for being different, Ember, in my mind, represents anyone whoever felt shame or embarassment or less-than, for not being accepted into the “cool” crowd at school. Many books portray the ugly-duckling becoming the swan to gain acceptance. Here, Ember doesn’t necessarily change, she becomes who she already was, but embraces it.

Author Photo: Karrie Faye

Kerrie Faye

Were there any particular books, movies, or songs that were knocking around in your head while you were writing this one?

Love this question! Yes! The book is set in 1990. I made a Spotify playlist. On there, I included the songs that were playing in scenes from the book. But also, I added current music that gave voice to the feelings or themes that transpired as the story progressed. It is an eclectic mix with 80’s rock and country to Prince and Taylor Swift. I have a link on my website for those who might be interested in hearing it.

A novel is such a major undertaking; there’s the writing of it, of course, then you’re spending months and months revising, polishing, and then promoting it. How did you know this was the book you wanted to spend the next couple of years on?

To be fair, I didn’t know that this book was going to be my debut novel. I just fell in love with Ember, my main character, and I knew her story needed to be told. In a world where the pressure to conform can be debilitating for teens, I wanted to show that it is the very characteristics that make you different, special, that are the ones that should be celebrated, not masked. I hope DEAD GIRL can be a beacon in the dark and bring hope to others who suffer like Ember did.

Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?

They tell you as a fledgling author to write what you know. When I took that advice, the book poured from me. DEAD GIRL is set in Western Kentucky and is drawn heavily from my hometown. From there, I played with themes and tropes that interested me: life and death stakes, angels and demons, first love, and conspiracy theories.

In addition to a great read, what do you hope readers will take away from this story?

At its core, DEAD GIRL, is about feeling like you don’t fit in and how that experience shapes you. It’s a book about learning to accept yourself and embracing what makes you unique, special. It’s also a story about imperfect families, friendship, first loves, angels and demons, and conspiracy theories. Above all, I hope readers come away feeling empowered and embracing who they are.

What can you share about what you’re working on next?

I am currently revising DEAD GIRL BOOK TWO. I think readers will be excited to follow Ember’s journey to New Orleans where she learns more, not only about her origin story, but also about the Nephilim that are hiding amongst us–spoiler alert, vampires are real! Next month, I hope to get back to revising a young adult romantic fantasy. I joke that it’s Bridgerton meets Pirates of the Caribbean meets Gladiator. What can I say? I love drama and life and death stakes!


Kerrie Faye is a Gen X wife and mom who found her passion to write later in life. A graduate of Murray State University, she has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. Raised in Western Kentucky, where her debut novel, DEAD GIRL, takes place, the author currently resides near the Rocky Mountain Flatirons in Colorado where there is far less humidity, but not nearly enough BBQ. Her debut novel, DEAD GIRL, will be published on February 26, 2024 by The Wild Rose Press.

To learn more about the author, please visit her website.



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