Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Nekesa Afia | 20 Questions: DEAD DEAD GIRLS
Author Guest / 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…

Susanna Calkins | Writing the Speakeasy Murders
Author Guest / June 3, 2019

How does a 17th-century British historian move from mead and murder ballads to cocktails and speakeasies? When I first announced my new series, The Speakeasy Murders set in 1929 Chicago, I was met with excitement and some questions. Why the big jump? After all, my first series was set in mid 17th century London. Some people, very sweetly, even asked if Gina Ricci (my new protagonist) was the great-great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Lucy Campion (my original 17th-century protagonist)! I get the questions. I mean, on the one hand, as someone who has taught world history from the beginning of recorded time to present day, I can assure you that 260 years is not very long timespan at all! But on the other hand, the Roaring Twenties probably seems a thousand years away from the 1660s, with its decimating plague, religious warfare, and the Great Fire (After all, I used to half-joke that contemporaries referred to 1666 as the “Devil’s year.”) Socially, culturally, politically—these are very distinct eras, and I approached researching my new series very differently. While I did seek to familiarize myself through scholarly books with the general trends of the 1920s, and Chicago more specifically, I also spent a lot…