Guest Post: Kit Frick, Author of “I Killed Zoe Spanos”

Hello everybody! I gave a super fun post today from the amazing Kit Frick, author of I Killed Zoe Spanos, a gripping thriller follows that two teens whose lives become inextricably linked when one confesses to murder and the other becomes determined to uncover the real truth no matter the cost. I had the amazing opportunity to ask her a few questions about her newest release, so keep reading to learn more about the book!

About the Book:

This gripping thriller follows two teens whose lives become inextricably linked when one confesses to murder and the other becomes determined to uncover the real truth no matter the cost.

What happened to Zoe won’t stay buried…

When Anna Cicconi arrives to the small Hamptons village of Herron Mills for a summer nanny gig, she has high hopes for a fresh start. What she finds instead is a community on edge after the disappearance of Zoe Spanos, a local girl who has been missing since New Year’s Eve. Anna bears an eerie resemblance to Zoe, and her mere presence in town stirs up still-raw feelings about the unsolved case. As Anna delves deeper into the mystery, stepping further and further into Zoe’s life, she becomes increasingly convinced that she and Zoe are connected–and that she knows what happened to her.

Two months later, Zoe’s body is found in a nearby lake, and Anna is charged with manslaughter. But Anna’s confession is riddled with holes, and Martina Green, teen host of the Missing Zoe podcast, isn’t satisfied. Did Anna really kill Zoe? And if not, can Martina’s podcast uncover the truth?

About the Author:

Kit Frick is a novelist, poet, and MacDowell Colony fellow from Pittsburgh, PA. She studied creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and received her MFA from Syracuse University. When she isn’t putting complicated characters in impossible situations, Kit edits poetry and literary fiction for a small press and edits for private clients. She is the author of the young adult novels See All the StarsAll Eyes on Us, and I Killed Zoe Spanos from Simon & Schuster / Margaret K. McElderry Books and the poetry collection A Small Rising Up in the Lungs from New American Press. Her fiction is represented by Erin Harris at Folio Literary Management / Folio Jr.

Guest Post:

  1. I actively seek out books with podcasts, so when I heard that I Killed Zoe Spanos
    had a podcast element, I was immediately interested! What gave you the idea to
    include a podcast, and why did you decide to incorporate that aspect of the story?
There’s a long history of crime fiction (mysteries and thrillers) featuring journalists and
newspaper reporters. Historically, these characters play a central role in the genre, along
with police detectives, amateur detectives, and lawyers. In 2020, we’re in the golden age of the true crime podcast! When a girl goes missing—in real life as in fiction—it’s just as likely that we’ll see a podcast emerge to cover the case as it is that we’ll see newspaper and TV coverage. Actually, it’s much more likely, as the barrier to entry for producing a podcast is
quite low—the gatekeepers have been effectively eliminated, and most anyone can try their
hand at podcasting. The question of whose stories get told and why and to what end is also
a key consideration here—and one I hope I Killed Zoe Spanos gets readers thinking about!
When I was developing the novel’s concept, I knew from the start that the story would
prominently feature a podcast investigation by a teen journalist. Martina Green steps in to
investigate the case when she realizes that local law enforcement is scaling back their
search for missing teen Zoe Spanos. You’ll have to read to find out what happens!

2. I love the fact that I Killed Zoe Spanos is set in the Hamptons! Why did you decide
to set the book there, and how does the atmosphere of the setting contribute to
the mysteriousness/spookiness of the book?

I chose the Hamptons setting largely because of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, which I’ll get
into more below. Rebecca is set in a tony seaside suburb of London, England, so when
thinking about the perfect setting for I Killed Zoe Spanos, placing the mystery in an affluent
seaside village in the Hamptons, just east of New York City, was a natural fit.
I’m glad the setting contributed to the book’s mysterious quality for you as a reader—that
was certainly my aim! I love a vivid, atmospheric setting, and creating the fictional
Hamptons town of Herron Mills Village—which is based closely on East End villages like East
Hampton and Amagansett—was key for me as a writer to getting to the heart of this story.
The setting is truly a character in its own right.

3. I Killed Zoe Spanos takes a twist of the classic, Rebecca, which really intrigues me.
What inspired you to take a twist of the haunting classic?

Rebecca has long been one of my favorite novels; I grew up with the du Maurier classic. I
Killed Zoe Spanos is not a strict retelling of the classic seaside thriller, but I drew inspiration
from Rebecca when creating both the concept and the characters. You don’t need to have
read the classic to enjoy Zoe, but there are a whole bunch of Easter eggs sprinkled
throughout for Rebecca fans! I wanted to explore what would happen when a modern,
feminist update of the Rebecca de Winter character—my Zoe Spanos—goes missing in the
true crime podcast era. The story evolved from there.

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