Interview With A. K. Smith
I’m pleased to welcome author A. K. Smith to my blog. Smith writes twisty, turny suspense novels, including the newly released Pseudocide. And, great news—she’s already hard at work on her next book! Read on to get the scoop on Pseudocide, Smith’s unusual superpower, the organization that’s close to her heart, and more. Don’t miss the $25 Amazon Giveaway link toward the bottom of the page!
What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
Did you ever have a day that you wish you could push reset? On one of those days, I read an article about a man who faked his death and got caught. His reset didn’t work, which started my interest in Pseudocide, “those who fake their death.” I imagined a character who was younger and needed to push reset and start all over. There are numerous stories in history of men and women faking their death and starting over again. As technology progresses, and humans create more and more digital footprints, it will become difficult to accomplish this. We are tracked by our digital footprints.
Because of technology, and for the integrity of the story, my main character had to be a teenager. Digital footprints of an adult are much harder to erase. The first few drafts were written before the pandemic, and as the pandemic of 2020 exploded, I tried to rewrite the manuscript and set it during pandemic times. It didn’t work. In the year of the pandemic, we are all more connected by technology than ever before, even children with online learning. So, the novel starts right before the pandemic.
As I googled “how to fake your death,” “gun violence” and “radical and domestic terrorism” theories, I was concerned what my digital footprint must look like! I’m still hoping I’m not on a government watchlist. My wish is to take my readers on a journey from Sunday’s point of view. I hope this book makes you feel. There are social issues such as bullying, racism, sexual assault, domestic abuse, and gun violence, which unfortunately are all too real in today’s world. But at the heart of the story, there is a strong young protagonist who doesn’t give up. For anyone who has experienced any of those issues, please know you are not alone. Talk to someone. There are resources in the back of the book to help anyone who needs to talk.
Who is your favorite character in the book?
Sunday, the main character, is my favorite character because she is strong and trying to change her destiny. But I also like Hudson. I would like to spend a day with Hudson. I printed out a picture of him from the internet that captured Hudson. He was sitting in front of me when I wrote his chapters. And, if you read the book, you would understand, I would like to go on “Hudson’s Ten Buck Tour” in Las Vegas.
Which came first, the title or the novel?
The title. I was fascinated with the word Pseudocide. I want readers to have to think about the word and what it means. Most people do not know what the definition is. I thought about calling the book, Playing Dead or You’re not really dead, are you? But I pictured the cover and just couldn’t change it.
What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
I love the ending, but I can’t tell you why or I would be spoiling the conclusion.
Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
That writing the book is just step one. My debut novel, A Deep Thing, was traditionally published by The Wild Rose Press less than five years ago. My new release, Pseudocide, is independently published by my publishing company, Books with Soul® Press. Writing the book is the very first step in a long line of steps to publication. You might have an awesome story, an edited draft, but you have to work hard to market it and put it out there. The good news is that there is a whole community of writers to help you.
What do you like most about the cover of the book?
It’s haunting. My favorite books to read are full of twisty suspense, and if they have a beach, an island, or an ocean in the setting, I’m in. I like the water and the woods, which are both settings in the book.
What’s up next for you?
I’m working on a twisty suspense novel, set on a true to life island in the middle of the sea, with a medical school. I will be visiting that island for background and research.
What would you say is your superpower?
I’m great a figuring out twists in novels and films and can usually predict how a story will end. I hope no one else has my superpower.
Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
I volunteered at an Alice Paul House Crisis Center in graduate school in Indiana, Pa. Unfortunately, I witnessed abuse and sad stories. But I also witnessed resilient teens and women that became survivors with a story to tell, and a strong ladder to climb. Teens, women, and any person that has been a victim of abuse needs to know they are not alone. They are survivors; their story might just help someone else out. I have a list of awesome resources in the back of the novel, just in case some of the social issues mentioned in the book stir up issues.
This tense tale will keep readers on edge until its surprising finale. - Kirkus Reviews -- Pre-order special pricing of $0.99 -- "A gripping suspense novel with unexpected twists." "Teen fans of Gone Girl will enjoy this smart dark and unpredictable novel." "Natasha Preston and Karen M. McManus readers will enjoy." ♥ SHE THOUGHT FAKING HER DEATH WAS THE ANSWER TO A NEW DESTINY. SHE WAS WRONG. PLAYING DEAD ISN'T EASY. Sunday Foster had THE PLAN. Make it through the rest of high school, graduate and THE PLAN will begin. Only, fate chose a different path; one decision, one second changed everything, THE PLAN is ruined. And then a new idea emerges. What if you could escape your life? Change your name, where you live, and escape all the bad stuff that keeps happening. Sunday decides in order to change her destiny she must fake her death and start a new life. Pseudocide not suicide. Sunday has secrets, but she's not the only one. That's when Sunday must decide how far she will go to hide the truth. Plans never work out quite the way you expect. Sometimes you have to DIE to survive.
“This tense tale will keep readers on edge until its surprising finale.” - Kirkus Reviews
Mature teen to adults will find Pseudocide - Sometimes You Have to Die to Survive's story of a walk out of life to be intriguing. The premise (and the definition of the term 'pseudocide') lies in faking one's death to embark on a new life. - D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review.
“Fast-paced with unexpected twists, PSEUDOCIDE intrigues and satisfies yet leaves you thinking about the characters long after the conclusion.” –Jessica Lee Anderson, author of Border Crossing
"An intriguing YA tale, peppered with plot twists and underscored by a simmering tone of desperation." KImberly Baer, author of The Haunted Purse
"Maybe that’s what tragedy does to you: it wakes you up and gives you a second chance at life. Pseudocide's exploration of this process and how Sunday discovers her own strengths and abilities to survive makes for a thoroughly engrossing story that's hard to put down.” - D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review.
For fans of One of is US Lying, Panic, or 13 Reasons Why who want to discover something new...
KDP ebook $3.99: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0956LCHNH
KDP paperback $13.99: https://www.amazon.com/Pseudocide-Sometimes-survive-Journey-Suspense/dp/1949325733
Barnes & Noble paperback $14.99: https://bit.ly/3uWkgoS
Barnes & Noble hardcover $25.99: https://bit.ly/3fW84jD
Indiebound $29.99: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781949325744
Book trailer: https://youtu.be/WVfStEZlcuw
***$25 Amazon Giveaway link: https://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/pseudocide-book-tour-and-giveaway***
One link: https://www.campsite.bio/aksmithauthor
Book Title- Pseudocide: Sometimes you have to DIE to survive. Genre: YA suspense
Publisher: Books with Soul® Press
Link to Amazon listing: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0956LCHNH
Release date - June 24, 2021