Do you know that Rocky Point is home to a very talented novelist? How cool is that! Her name is A.K. Smith and I just read her new book, Pseudocide: Sometimes you have to DIE to survive.
I can’t think of many things I like to do more than sitting beach or poolside reading a great book. Reading a great book written by a local author is even better.
I’ve never heard the term Pseudocide before (it means faking your own death in order to start a new life). The main premise of this book has always been intriguing to me; reinventing yourself to start a new life. I love mysteries and I love stories where the protagonist changes their appearance and life to “disappear” either from abusive home situations, or some other kind of intrigue or espionage – think Sleeping with the Enemy, Alias, Nikita, or Orphan Black.
To “disappear” in the age of cell phones capable of photographing and filming everything, CCTV, and people posting every detail of their lives (and tagging) on social media is a challenge. You have to be smart, you have to be able to improvise, and your plan has to be flawless. Enter the main character of Pseudocide, Sunday Foster. Sunday is just shy of 17 when she decides to fake her death. I was hooked from the first page: “Sunday Foster will be dead next week. I know this to be true because I am Sunday Foster. One day soon I will disappear, and all evidence will point to my death. Everyone wants to escape something. I want to escape my life. No, I’m not going to kill myself – PSUEDOCIDE, not suicide.”
This novel takes you through Sunday’s mindset of undertaking something so drastic; her careful planning, and of course, all of the twists and turns, and what goes wrong along the way. It is a page turner I couldn’t put down. It was one of those books you read into the late hours of the night because you become invested in the fate of all the characters. I don’t want to give too much away because the book is a suspense/thriller. If you like a good mystery and you like the idea of running away and starting over, you’ll love this book. The writing is great, I found myself getting into the mind of a teenager and the way she thinks and reasons. Teenagers today are so much savvier than any prior generation. I appreciated the attention to the difficulties teenagers today face, like no other generation before them, and how they have to be much more resilient than they are given credit for. Having a 19-year-old daughter myself and seeing what she and her friends went through during high school, I identified with all the themes in this story.
I am excited to have been given the opportunity to ask A.K. Smith a few questions so we can get to know her better:
Have you always wanted to be a writer? Or did you just have a story idea that had to get itself down on paper?
I’ve always dreamed of being a writer but when I was younger, it wasn’t a good career to support yourself.
If you weren’t always a writer, what was your prior career?
I worked in Higher Education for three wonderful colleges Arizona State University, Western Maryland College, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Then I moved onto corporate America and negotiated hospital and physician contracts. Fifteen years ago, I left corporate America to write at the beach and ended up selling real estate in our beautiful town. I am a licensed broker in Arizona and taught real estate classes for six years. Right now I’m focused on writing, and my publishing company, Books with Soul.com
Where do you get your ideas?
Traveling and dreams. I write the books that I like to read. I like twisty suspense beach reads.
What advice would you give aspiring authors?
My advice would be to write, set 30 minutes aside every day, and write. Also connect with other writers. I’m starting a new blog called seasidewriter.com. I’m giving advice to aspiring writers and anyone who wants to write a book.
Are you thinking of writing a sequel to Pseudocide based on the book’s epilogue?
Yes, I’m thinking about it … I love the character Hudson and I think that there’s room for a sequel…it might be the Pseudocide Series.
I enjoyed Pseudocide so much, after I finished reading it, I bought and read your first book, A Deep Thing, which I also loved! In A Deep Thing, you reference Rocky Point; do you think you’ll ever write a book that takes place in Rocky Point?
Yes, I have a book started that takes place in Rocky Point.
I am definitely looking forward to reading more from A.K Smith!