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Nekesa Afia | 20 Questions: DEAD DEAD GIRLS

June 4, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release?

Dead Dead Girls

2–What is it about?

Dead Dead Girls is a prohibition-era about a tiny, tired Black lesbian who is forced into solving crime.

3–What do you love about the setting of your book? 

I love the vibrancy and how alive the 1920s were. Even when the world was reeling, postwar, there is a generation that still grew and thrived on their own terms.

4–How did your main character(s) surprise you? 

My main character, Louise Lloyd, surprised me by being so confident and determined. She is put into many different situations and still manages to come through as herself and stronger.

5–Why will readers relate to your characters? 

I think readers will relate to my characters because they’re human. They get to make mistakes and have fun and be wrong and right.

6–What was one of your biggest challenges while writing this book (spoiler-free, of course!)? 

One of the biggest challenges while writing this book was getting the vibes exactly right. I was trying to get myself in the headspace of a woman who was born nearly a century before me, and has lived a completely different life. It’s impossible to get every detail exactly correct, but what is the most challenging is also the most fun part.

7–Do you look forward to or do you dread the revision process? 

I LOVE the revision process, more so than the drafting process. I think I rewrote Dead Dead Girls three times before submission and every time the story radically changed. I see revision as the real story coming out of the woodwork, and it’s always exciting to see the story and characters take shape.

8–What’s your favorite snack to have on hand while writing? 

I’m not a huge eater, but I usually have a Coke beside me while writing.

9–Where would you go for an ideal writer’s retreat? 

Italy. For at least three months.

10–What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve received? 

Patience. Writing requires patience. All of publishing requires patience.

11–Who is the fictional character you want to hang out with the most? (anyone in literature!)

Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables. I think she would be a wonderful companion to spend time with. I imagine we would spend our days writing and solving small crimes.

12–What’s one of your earliest book memories? 

Scholastic Book Fairs. I remember always being so excited to peruse the shelves and pick out a couple of new books. They always felt so magical and full of possibilities.

13–If you had to write in a different genre, what would it be and why? 

Romance, maybe! I love the idea of people falling in love. There are also so many classic tropes I love but cannot fit in my mystery novels.


14–What song will automatically put you in a good mood? 

I’m a drama student trapped in the body of a 20-something, so I listen to a lot of musical theatre. One song I can always recommend is “Don’t Lose Ur Head” from Six. It’s Anne Boleyn’s number and it’s flawless. For a more mainstream recommendation, I always go for “Baby Love” by the Supremes, which is a perfect song.

15–What is your favorite way to practice self-care?

I’ve been focusing on this a lot lately, with the pandemic fatigue. When faced with burnout, I always turn to my one non-screen hobby.

16–What can you eat and never get sick of? 

Again, I’m not really an eater. I like doughnuts, though.

17–Will you share a favorite, recent-ish book you recommend? 

The Other Me by Sarah Zachrich Jeng. It was so unsettling, delicious and twisty. It was such a brilliant novel with an original premise. I am so obsessed with it. A more recent release I loved was Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers. It gave me, and I mean this sincerely, all of the feelings.

18–Do you have any hobbies? 

My one non-screen hobby is sewing. I’ve been sewing for five or so years now, and I love the low stakes puzzle of putting a garment together.

19–Are you an early bird or a night owl?

Early bird. I’ve always been an early bird. I get it from my mother.

20–What can readers expect from you next? 

Dead Dead Girls has a sequel that is coming out in 2022! My focus has been on making that novel as amazing as possible.

DEAD DEAD GIRLS by Nekesa Afia

A Harlem Renaissance Mystery #1

Dead Dead Girls

The start of an exciting new historical mystery series set during the Harlem Renaissance from debut author Nekesa Afia.

Harlem, 1926. Young black women like Louise Lloyd are ending up dead.

Following a harrowing kidnapping ordeal when she was in her teens, Louise is doing everything she can to maintain a normal life. She’s succeeding, too. She spends her days working at Maggie’s Café and her nights at the Zodiac, Harlem’s hottest speakeasy. Louise’s friends, especially her girlfriend, Rosa Maria Moreno, might say she’s running from her past and the notoriety that still stalks her, but don’t tell her that.

When a girl turns up dead in front of the café, Louise is forced to confront something she’s been trying to ignore—two other local black girls have been murdered in the past few weeks. After an altercation with a police officer gets her arrested, Louise is given an ultimatum: She can either help solve the case or wind up in a jail cell. Louise has no choice but to investigate and soon finds herself toe-to-toe with a murderous mastermind hell-bent on taking more lives, maybe even her own….

Mystery Private Eye | Historical [Berkley, On Sale: June 1, 2021, Trade Size / e-Book, ISBN: 9780593199107 / eISBN: 9780593199114]

About Nekesa Afia

Nekesa Afia

Nekesa Afia is lives in Canada. When she’s not writing, she’s sewing, swing dancing, or trying to pet every dog she sees.


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