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Dead Girl: Debut YA Fantasy/Thriller

Dead Girl the debut YA fantasy/thriller by Kerrie Faye

Author Interview + Book & Author Info + Author Pet Corner!

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Dead Girl

Dead GirlDying has its perks … mostly. Bullied teen, Ember O’Neill goes from the weird girl to the tyrant of her school when she is resurrected from a deadly prank.

Now secretly supernatural, she dethrones the school drama queen and snags the hot new guy, but her reign is at risk when the Order, a heretical sect, sends an assassin to eliminate her.

Ember must expose her powers, potentially losing all she has gained, in order to save herself and her friends as her killer closes in.


To purchase Dead Girl click any of the following links: Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


Interview with Author Kerrie Faye for her debut novel, Dead Girl

Hi Kerrie,

Great to have you join me on my blog for the launch of your debut novel, Dead Girl! Dead Girl is a YA fantasy/thriller novel, but it deals with very real-world bullying. What drew you to those elements for your debut?

Sadly bullying is a timeless issue, but I didn’t set out to write a book about it.

My main character, Ember, came to me first. She was clearly distraught and didn’t want to live. I had to dig deep to determine what made her that way. Turns out there were several issues at play, but her primary tormenter, Wayne, was her biggest concern.

At its core, Dead Girl is really an underdog story where an outcast navigates self-discovery and acceptance while balancing the pressures of high school and outside forces. Ember realizes that what makes her different is also what makes her special.

Dealing with a bully is not an easy journey, but I think, in the end, there is a satisfying resolution.


Dead Girl hinges on a prank turned wrong and teens acting badly, combined with the supernatural aspects this definitely conjures thoughts for me about Stephen King and Carrie. What writers are your inspirations? What can we find you reading? 

Wow, I keep hearing that! I have not read King’s Carrie, but he is definitely an idol of mine. I LOVE The Stand! I had always assumed Carrie leaned towards the horror genre which I tend to avoid, but now I think I have to read it! 

Actually, my author/book inspirations for Dead Girl are more in the realm of young adult fantasy. Cassandra Clare is an icon, and I drew a lot of inspiration from her Mortal Instruments series. Just like in her story, my main character discovers that she is more than human. She is Nephilim. And similarly, she has a male best friend that stays by her side and helps her navigate that supernatural journey while being hunted by an outside force.

I have always been an avid reader! I definitely lean more towards what I write, which is primarily young adult fantasy.

I am rereading Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series right now, not only for pleasure, but also for technique and growing my craft as an author. I feel like my TBR list is ginormous and is always growing! However, I will say one book that I am looking forward to reading in 2024 is Jay Kristoff’s second book in his Empire of the Vampire series. Kristoff writes with such voice and layered characters that is truly an immersive experience to read his work. I love his writing so much!


Dead Girl includes a heretical sect called The Order. Tell us about that group:

Yes! This is a fun question!

Without giving too much away, the Order is completely made up; but I took from real world institutions and let my imagination run wild!

If you are into conspiracy theories, you might have heard of the Illuminati. I sort of played with that idea of the rich and powerful secretly running things behind the scenes. The Order, in this story, is a subsect of the made-up Order of Saint Michael, who are privately funded to eliminate perceived “evils” in this world.

I would say they are similar to the Opus Dei in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. They are heretical and fully believe they are doing God’s work. Unfortunately for Ember, she lands on their radar when she survives a deadly prank and makes headlines as the “Dead Girl Who Lived.”


Dead Girl is set in Western Kentucky. How does that environment/setting impact the novel?

First of all, I love where I grew up, and I couldn’t imagine setting Ember’s origin story anywhere else.

Beyond my bias, it fit my main character’s backstory. Her “father” chose a rural area to raise her and keep her hidden. And let’s face it, small towns may be less splashy, but they are full of local drama—perfect for this book!


We are both Gen Xers. How do you think our generation differs in our approach to storytelling than Boomers and Gen Y?

Gen Xers are uniquely positioned witnessing the birth and rise of technology and mainstream media in society.

We see the beauty in the slow rising action of classic literature, but we also get the need to hook the reader and drop the body in the opening scene. I think if Gen X authors lean into it, they can produce truly compelling stories that appeal to a broad audience beyond their peers.


What are you working on now?

Dead Girl is the first book in a planned series. I am revising book two, and hopefully, it will be published next year.

I am also expanding my horizons and writing a young adult romantic fantasy. I jokingly call it Gladiator meets Bridgerton with magic! I like drama! I like fantasy! And, apparently, I like it with fights and ballgowns!

Additionally, I have a couple other projects on the back burner … a heroic young adult fantasy where a common thief with secret powers saves the kingdom and a young adult paranormal romance with enemies to lovers, dark academia vibes, vampires, and dead bodies. *insert crying face emoji*

I wish I had more hours in the day to play in all of these worlds! I love writing so much!


Words of Wisdom for Aspiring Writers:

Write a lot and read even more! Push yourself to try new things. Explore in different genres. Play and have fun with it!

And when it comes time to edit, read your scenes out loud. I can’t tell you how many times I have found errors, missing words, etc after doing this.

Most importantly, don’t quit. You can take a break. But if you love writing, don’t quit because you didn’t land a literary agent or a publishing deal. Don’t quit because a beta reader didn’t like your story. The publishing industry is fickle and subjective. Your story will find its audience. Be patient and keep at it!

Great advice!

Author Pet Corner!



Love this! I do indeed have a pet co-writer!

Maggie is a five year old Saint Bernard. She usually lies beside me while I write.

There is a window she likes to look out of and ponder her plots. Though she does spend more time sleeping, than writing, she is the best co-writer this author could have!





Kerrie Faye — Author of Dead Girl

Dead Girl

Kerrie Faye is a Gen X wife and mom who found her passion to write later in life.

A graduate of Murray State University, she has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. Raised in Western Kentucky, where her debut novel, DEAD GIRL, takes place, the author currently resides near the Rocky Mountain Flatirons in Colorado where there is far less humidity, but not nearly enough BBQ.

Her debut novel, DEAD GIRL, will be published on February 26, 2024 by The Wild Rose Press.

To learn more about Kerrie, click any of the following links: Website, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter & YouTube

Elena Taylor/Elena Hartwell

Header image by Pixabay

Elena Hartwell

Author and developmental editor.

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