Mercedes M. Yardley is a dark fantasist who wears poisonous flowers in her hair. She is the author of Beautiful Sorrows, the Stabby Award-winning Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, Pretty Little Dead Girls, and Detritus in Love. She recently won the prestigious Bram Stoker Award for her novella Little Dead Red and was a Bram-Stoker nominee for her short story “Loving You Darkly.” Mercedes lives and creates in Las Vegas. You can reach her at http://www.abrokenlaptop.com.
She describes Pretty Little Dead Girls: Bryony Adams is destined to be murdered, but fortunately Fate has terrible marksmanship. In order to survive, she must run as far and as fast as she can. After arriving in Seattle, Bryony befriends a tortured musician, a market fish-thrower, and a starry-eyed hero who is secretly a serial killer bent on fulfilling Bryony’s dark destiny.
As a member of the Horror Writers Association, I’ve followed her work and we’re cohorts in Ladies in Horror.
Did something in the real world inspire Pretty Little Dead Girls?
Absolutely. It was truly an eerie thing. I was at a bank in Seattle with my friend when a strange man came up to me, took my hand, and said tearfully, “You’re the type of girl who gets murdered.” Obviously, that stuck with me. The first line of Pretty Little Dead Girls is “Bryony Adams was the type of girl who got murdered.” But I’m grateful for that experience, because this book was such a joy to write.
What is your favorite scene in the book?
There’s a scene where Bryony runs after a morose musician, Eddie, with a bouquet of jonquils and demands to know why he hates her so badly. It takes place in a Seattle shopping area that I used to frequent. While they’re talking, a shooting occurs. Blood, glass, and yellow flowers go flying everywhere. It’s my favorite scene because Eddie has to make a big decision in a short amount of time, and his decision is pivotal to the book. It’s a dark, sweet scene.
What was your writing process like as you wrote Pretty Little Dead Girls?
Oh my goodness, it was wild abandon! I had written my first (and still unpublished) novel and was planning to write the sequel, but I wasn’t feeling it. I didn’t want to do it at all. This crazy, creative novel of murder and whimsy was my rebellion. I sat down at the computer with the first line of the story and absolutely no idea what would happen after that. I ate, slept, and breathed this book. I wrote the entire novel in about three weeks, which hasn’t happened for something of this length since. Pretty Little Dead Girls was freedom.
What was the best thing that happened during your promotion of the book?
Pretty Little Dead Girls was quite tough to sell. We had quite a few interested parties, but ultimately the answer would always be, “We want something easy to market, like a thriller, and don’t know how to sell this thrilling magical surrealism romantic horror novel that you have here.” When I eventually decided to go small press, which can take more chances than large press, I was in a fairly dismal place. Then I started reading some of the reviews and receiving emails written by readers who said this book found a special place in their heart. It was so worthwhile. Having something dear to me become dear to someone else was definitely the best part. It was like we shared a joyful secret.
What do you have planned next?
I actually have some amazing upcoming news about Pretty Little Dead Girls! Orion Zangara and I have partnered up and are working hard to bring this book out in a different medium. I can’t wait! We’ll be launching a funding campaign in October and will have the announcement and some samples before then. It’s a dream project.