Author Chat with Kit Frick (I Killed Zoe Spanos)!
Today we're excited to chat with Kit Frick author of
I Killed Zoe Spanos.
Read on for more about Kit and her book!
Meet Kit Frick!
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.
Meet I Killed Zoe Spanos!
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.
What happened to Zoe won’t stay buried…
When Anna Cicconi arrives to the small Hamptons village of Herron Mills for a summer nanny gig, she has high hopes for a fresh start. What she finds instead is a community on edge after the disappearance of Zoe Spanos, a local girl who has been missing since New Year’s Eve. Anna bears an eerie resemblance to Zoe, and her mere presence in town stirs up still-raw feelings about the unsolved case. As Anna delves deeper into the mystery, stepping further and further into Zoe’s life, she becomes increasingly convinced that she and Zoe are connected—and that she knows what happened to her.
Two months later, Zoe’s body is found in a nearby lake, and Anna is charged with manslaughter. But Anna’s confession is riddled with holes, and Martina Green, teen host of the Missing Zoe podcast, isn’t satisfied. Did Anna really kill Zoe? And if not, can Martina’s podcast uncover the truth?
Inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, Kit Frick weaves a thrilling story of psychological suspense that twists and turns until the final page.
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
When the idea for I Killed Zoe Spanos was bouncing around in my head, I’d recently re-read Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca for the fourth (fifth?) time and couldn’t help wondering: What if Rebecca de Winter had gone missing today, in the age of Serial and The Vanished and Bear Brook and all the other excellent true crime podcasts that have sprung up over the last five years? The idea came from a marriage between two obsessions of mine: Rebecca and true crime podcasts.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel! The title was originally Windermere, which is the name of the creepy old gothic estate next door to the house where Anna is nannying for the summer. My editor wisely pointed out that a book with the title Windermere could just as easily be a historical romance as a YA thriller, and so we landed on I Killed Zoe Spanos, which so clearly gestures toward the book’s compelling murder mystery!
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
I loved writing the podcast transcripts for Missing Zoe, the amateur true crime podcast hosted and produced by local Herron Mills teen Martina Green. It was almost like dabbling in a new genre. I listen to so many investigative podcasts that the style and cadence came really easily. I can’t wait to listen to the I Killed Zoe Spanos audiobook, which will include a full-cast recording for the podcast chapters!
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
The gorgeous cover is illustrated by Levente Szabó and designed by Debra Sfetsios-Conover. My absolute favorite feature is the sunglasses—look closely!
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or revising?
Revising for sure. I live in a state of near-constant panic when I’m drafting. What if I get two-hundred pages in, and it all falls apart? Even though I outline extensively, I still bite my nails throughout the entire drafting process. Once I have that first draft down on paper, I love digging into revisions. That’s my opportunity to make the story really sing.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
Schedule. Your. Time. Writing time = working time. Put it on your calendar like you’d mark down any other appointment or meeting or work engagement. You will have to guard your writing time fiercely. Sometimes you will have to say no to other plans. Sometimes others won’t understand. Don’t be afraid to say, “I’m working.”
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) does amazing work. Their mission is to help find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation, and prevent child victimization. As part of my pre-order promotion for I Killed Zoe Spanos, I’m giving a gift to NCMEC. The pre-order promo ended June 29, but you can still support NCMEC’s work by giving online < https://www.missingkids.org/HOME > and boosting their campaigns to find missing children and teens on Twitter < https://twitter.com/MissingKids >.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2020?
Can I get four? I’m greedy! There are several excellent YA thrillers coming out this summer and fall, and everyone should pick up Little Creeping Things by Chelsea Ichaso, Throwaway Girls by Andrea Contos, I Hope You’re Listening by Tom Ryan, and Those Who Prey by Jennifer Moffett
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I have a new YA thriller coming out with S&S/McElderry in summer 2021! Here’s a teaser: It’s a story about two girls searching for answers in a cursed New York town and the true crime docuseries calling national attention to the town’s many mysteries—and opening the door to new danger.
I Killed Zoe Spanos
By: Kit Frick
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry
Release Date: June 30th, 2020