Friday, February 24, 2017

0 Kim Savage, author of BEAUTIFUL BROKEN GIRLS, on why books breaking your heart is desirable

We're so happy to have a chance to connect with Kim Savage and talk about her latest book BEAUTIFUL BROKEN GIRLS.

Kim, what was your inspiration for writing BEAUTIFUL BROKEN GIRLS?

I am obsessed with Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides. I always wanted to know what really happened to the Lisbon girls. I guess creating my own story of overprotected sisters and a Greek chorus of neighborhood boys who are enthralled and terrified by them was my way of exploring my own fascination, and also my grief when they died. Of course that’s where the similarities end.

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

Love, am most proud of, and most devastated by: it’s all the same scene. In this one chapter, called “Ash,” both sisters’ fates are sealed. A secondary character has died and her wake is being held. Francesca forces a confrontation with disastrous consequences. Moments later, Mira has an unexpected and devastating encounter. In one swoop, everything changes, and the girls are suddenly on the same page.

Francesca says, ominously: “He doesn’t want me while I’m living. But he’ll have me when I’m dead.” That one line works for both Francesca and Mira on so many levels. I wanted it for the title.

What do you hope readers will take away from BEAUTIFUL BROKEN GIRLS? 

That it’s okay—even desirable—for a book to break your heart. Experiencing heartbreak begets empathy, and this is a moment where understanding has never been more important. If books can touch us, even break us, they’ll have an important role in getting this country through the coming years.

What are you working on now?

I just signed a deal for my third psychological thriller with Farrar, Straus, Giroux/Macmillan, called In Her Skin, for Winter 2018. It’s the story of con artist Jolene Chastain, who insinuates herself into the family of a missing girl by impersonating her, until it becomes clear she’s not the only one with a secret. I’ve been having so much fun inside of Jo’s head: she’s the scrappiest anti-hero you’ll ever find yourself rooting for, I promise.


Beautiful Broken Girls
by Kim Savage
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Released 2/21/2017

Mira and Francesca Cillo—beautiful, overprotected, odd—seemed untouchable. But Ben touched seven parts of Mira: her palm, hair, chest, cheek, lips, throat, and heart. After the sisters drown themselves in the quarry lake, a post-mortem letter from Mira sends Ben on a quest to find notes in the seven places where they touched. Note by note, Ben discovers the mystical secret at the heart of Mira and Francesca's world, and that some things are better left untouched.

Purchase Beautiful Broken Girls at Amazon
Purchase Beautiful Broken Girls at IndieBound
View Beautiful Broken Girls on Goodreads


Kim Savage was born and raised in Massachusetts, on the South Shore, which sounds beachy, even luxe. Think Winnebagos and chicken coops. Her three brothers, 16, 10, and 8 years older, were teens by the time she became a person. Happiest around adults, who often forgot she was there, she spent days eavesdropping on gossipy moms in lawn chairs and nights listening under the table during tipsy Scrabble parties.
Her dad read to her nightly. Eventually and early, she read to herself, everywhere. On top of an enormous freezer chest stuffed with meat. On drives until she grew nauseous. In bed until her eyes gave out. She read anything she could get her hands on. V.C. Andrews and Dickens. Black Beauty and the Bible. The Economist. Madeline L’Engle and Margaret Atwood. National Geographic.
She got a bachelor’s degree in English from Stonehill College and a Master’s in Journalism from Northeastern University. For a while, she worked as a business journalist. Instead of waiting for the Federal Reserve to release the Beige Book, she pitched story ideas along the lines of “Stigmatized Properties: When Murder Kills Property Values”. You see where things were headed.
Today, she lives with her family northwest of Boston in a town a lot like Shiverton, near the real Fells reservation of AFTER THE WOODS. Born with dysgeographica—she's directionally challenged—the fear of getting lost in that lovely, dark forest lives close to my skin.

Have you had a chance to read BEAUTIFUL BROKEN GIRLS yet? What fascinations have you had that you chose to explore through writing? Which books have "broken" you? What did you take away from them? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy reading,

Emily, Jocelyn, Anisaa, Sam, Martina, Erin, Susan, Shelly, Kelly, Laura, and Lori Ann

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