Author Dorothy Ellen Palmer (When Fenelon Falls), who just happens to be one of the authors I publicize at Coach House (insidery!), very kindly interviewed me as part of her tenure as Writer-in-Residence at Open Book Toronto.
She asked me a few questions about The Dead Kid Detective Agency, with particular interest in October Schwartz and how she fits into the grand lineage of girl detectives. I’ve excerpted my favourite question and answer below, but you should read the whole interview at Open Book Toronto. (And while you’re at it, you should also read Dorothy Ellen Palmer’s novel, When Fenelon Falls, now available in epub format!)
From the interview:
Although some of your characters are likewise undead, do you see TDKDA as a healthy antidote to the pervasive phenomenon of young girls falling helplessly for male vampires that predominates so much of YA fiction?
Maybe. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with falling for the undead. Buffy the Vampire Slayer fell for a few vampires in her day and I think she’s a killer role model. But I did want to avoid any swooning or falling head-over-heels in love for October. For one, she’s thirteen. When I was thirteen, I was wearing monochrome sweatsuits and obsessing over the soundtrack to Sonic the Hedgehog. Romance was like a foreign country to me. For two, it was more important to me as a writer to make a heroine who was defined by who she was and how she acted. Not who she was crushing on or who was crushing on her. Maybe later in the Dead Kid series October will start making out with cute high school boys (or girls) in secluded locker bays. But for now, she’s got way too many teacher murders to solve to worry about that.