There is nothing 16-year-old Alice won’t do to protect her sister, Annie. Despite the fact that the two have not spoken in more than four years. Despite the danger she must endure to find answers. Despite everyone telling her to turn back. But Alice perseveres, determined to discover who left her sister for dead. A thrilling escapade full of intrigue, cyphers and self-discovery unfolds, creating a tense yet fulfilling story for any reader with a heart for adventure and justice.
Debut author Mary McCoy resides in Los Angeles, though being married to Mobile’s Brady Potts brings her to the Port City regularly. And for Potts’ father, Mobile Bay’s publisher, a perk of the business includes showcasing family talent, though this unbiased reviewer thinks the quality of McCoy’s work speaks for itself.
Who did you envision picking up and reading “Dead to Me”? I have absolutely no idea. Different people will take different things from the book. Some people really like the sisters’ story and some really like the old Hollywood theme. I read one review from a teenage girl who’d read the book, and she really enjoyed the cryptography stuff. It’s a book in which the main character just happens to be 16, so it can appeal to a wide range of ages.
The reader never knows whom to trust at any given time. Were there any difficulties in creating these characters without revealing their true selves? For me, if I know what’s going to happen, then it’s boring to write. As I was going through, there were a lot of characters that I myself didn’t know if they were going to turn out good or bad. I wasn’t even sure if some characters were going to live or die. I remember the moments when I figured it out, and suddenly everything came into focus.
What makes Annie such a driving force, even though she has very little action in the novel? Because she looms so large in Alice’s mind. She’s bigger than life and fairly idealized in Alice’s mind. A lot of the book is not only Alice finding out who tried to kill Annie and what she’s been doing for the past four years, but Alice coming to terms with the difference between Annie in her imagination and Annie as she really is.
You write about classic Hollywood; how does Mobile compare? I always enjoy Mobile. I have favorite spots around town. Brady and I always have to go to the Dew Drop, Bienville Books, Three Georges and so many others. I love driving around the Garden District, seeing all the historic homes. It’s funny: It started as I’d come visit with my husband and he had these places that he wanted to show me, and now I’ve been coming for so many years that whenever we visit, I’m like, “Can we go here? And here?” I really like learning about the history of Mobile.
text by Chelsea Wallace • photos courtesy of Hyperion Books