Please give a warm Debutante Ball welcome to this week’s guest, Dea Poirier!
Dea Poirier was raised in Edmond, Oklahoma, where she found her passion during a creative writing course. She studied computer science and political science at the University of Central Oklahoma. She later spent time living on both coasts and traveling the United States before finally putting down roots in central Florida. She now resides somewhere between Disney and the swamp with her son.
Keep reading to find out how you can win a signed copy of Dea’s debut novel Next Girl to Die, the first book in the Calderwood Cases series (out now from Thomas & Mercer!).
The road to publication is twisty at best–tell us about some of your twists.
I originally signed with my agent for a YA project, and never actually had any plans to write Adult mysteries, thrillers, or suspense—that is, until my agent recommended that I try it. I wrote a few romantic suspense projects that I immediately shelved, then started to plan Next Girl to Die. My agent sold Next Girl to Die based on the synopsis and first chapter to a publisher, but that was not the end of my journey. While Hurricane Irma hit Florida, we lost power and internet for days, I had to drive a bit to get service on my cell, and on one of my journeys to connect to the outside world, I discovered that Next Girl to Die had been dropped—along with a significant portion of other contracts with my publisher. I was absolutely devastated. It’s nothing I had anticipated, as I’d just finished developmental edits. My agent, Laura Bradford, and I brainstormed, got the project out on submission immediately, and she was able to sell it to Thomas & Mercer within two weeks.
What’s the strangest job you’ve ever had?
Early on in my career, I was a graphic designer. I absolutely loved retouching photos and really anything that involved photoshop. When I moved to Southern California in my early twenties, I worked for an escort agency making designs for their escorts. I have to say, it was a blast.
In what fictional place would you most like to spend a day? What would you do?
Black London from A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. While I’m absolutely fascinated with all the different Londons that she created, Black London holds the greatest appeal for me. Strange, dangerous magic? A decaying world that’s completely empty? That’s my dream. I want to live there.
Tell us about one of your writing disappointments or failures.
The project that I wrote that got me my agent, After You Died, was a YA Historical Supernatural Thriller that took place at the Dozier School for Boys in Florida. The Dozier School (this was a real reform school in Marianna, Florida) had a twisted past that horrified and fascinated me, so I wrote a book where the school was the setting. I wove in many pieces of the actual history into the plot, I love the book to pieces, however no one picked it up on sub. It’s a very dark, weird book, so I can’t say I’m surprised. But it still breaks my heart. I’m hoping that one day it might get repurposed into a graphic novel.
Tell us about your next big project.
I’ve got three big projects on my plate at the moment, another mystery with a psychological element and a very unreliable narrator (unrelated to the Calderwood Cases series), a YA historical fantasy with a family of witches, and an Adult Historical Fantasy that’s very—very dark.
Retweet this post (make sure you follow @DebutanteBall too!) or share it on Facebook for a chance to win a signed copy of Next Girl to Die! We will contact the lucky winners on Friday, May 10th (US Only).
Solving the case will avenge her sister—unless the killer finds her first.
It’s been fifteen years since Claire Calderwood’s sister, Rachel, was brutally murdered in their small hometown in Maine. Claire has finally carved out a life for herself as a homicide detective in Detroit, but the past comes calling when the local police back home ask for her help with a murder eerily similar to Rachel’s.
Still haunted by Rachel’s cold case, Claire returns home, hoping to solve the crime and finally put her grief to rest. As she starts investigating, the last thing she needs is tenacious journalist Noah Washington asking questions she’s not ready to answer. But like her, Noah won’t give up until he finds the truth—and Claire reluctantly finds herself relying on him more and more when disturbing new details about Rachel’s death come to light.
When the killer strikes once again, Claire knows he’s not done. Now he’s set his sights on Claire, who will have to find the courage she needs to survive a deadly confrontation years in the making.