Updated: Feb 12, 2019
February debuts are here!!! Aaaahhhh!
by Jodie Lynn Zdrok
Sixteen-year-old Nathalie Baudin writes the daily morgue column for Le Petit Journal. Her job is to summarize each day’s new arrivals, a task she finds both fascinating and routine.
That is, until the day she has a vision of the newest body, a young woman, being murdered…from the perspective of the murderer himself.
When the body of another woman is retrieved from the Seine hours later, Nathalie realizes there is a killer haunting the streets of Paris—and her strange new ability may make her the only one who can discover his identity. Her search for answers sends her down a long, twisty road involving her mentally ill aunt, a brilliant but deluded scientist, and eventually into the chilling depths of the Parisian Catacombs.
Nathalie must follow the clues in her visions to discover the truth about who is murdering the young women of Paris—before she becomes a target herself.
February 12th, 2019 Check out my review!
What’s the most surprising part about your debut journey so far?
Two things: 1) The bonding with my fellow 19s and 2) the enthusiasm of readers and prospective readers. There’s so much passion out there for books. I love it! It makes me want to write more, read more, engage with the writing community and readers as much as I’m able…I love it.
Give a shout-out to a fellow debut!
SO MANY. There’s so much talent among the Novel 19s, and I’ve only read the tip of the ARC iceberg. My fellow French historical fantasy authors, Gita Trelease (Enchantée—I haven’t read yet but preordered) and Addie Thorley (An Affair of Poisons), have become good friends. Other great reads so far: Gravemaidens by Kelly Coons, Descendant of the Crane by Joan He, The Bone Garden by Heather Kassner, and my current read, The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson.
Describe your main character in three words.
Curious, clever, and insightful. Anyone who has read Spectacle just got an Easter egg with that answer. 😊
What was the hardest scene to write?
The action and chase scenes were the hardest to write. The cadence of every word and sentence has to be just right to nail the pace. But it’s more than pace, because you also have to juggle intense action with character emotion to convey fear, unease, dread, and so on…all with as few words as possible. One of my reviews praised a Catacombs sequence that took a lot of effort, so that was a wonderful compliment.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
Lots and lots of off-page work, particularly with the logic underpinning the storytelling. I think things through cinematically, so it’s as if I’m playing a “movie” in my head until pieces come together well enough to write or, if I’ve already started drafting or revising, well enough to incorporate. I run, swim, and bike regularly, and much of my off-page work is done while I’m working out. (OR while I’m having cookies afterward or something because, you know. Balance.)
What is your writer patronus?
It would have to be a cat! There was often one near me as I wrote Spectacle. And all my cats, past and present, have little kitty cameos in my novels.
If you could only buy one book this year, which book would it be?
Caleb Roehrig’s Death Prefers Blondes. I’m a big fan of Caleb’s other YA thrillers, Last Seen Leaving and White Rabbit, and I can’t wait to read the next one. His writing is so sharp—very smart and very witty—and his books are unputdownable (is that a word? If not, let’s just say it is now…at least for this interview).
Show us pictures of your novel aesthetic!
Jodie's beautiful novel is out on 2/12/2019! Check it out!