Author Interview – Danya Kukafka

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Danya Kukafka’s GIRL IN SNOW is almost a book that defies categories: it is part murder mystery, part psychological exploration, and part literary novel. It centers on the death of a beautiful young girl named Lucinda, and flips between the perspectives of three characters whose lives are connected with hers, often in dark ways.

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The prose in GIRL IN SNOW is probably my favorite part of the book; Danya Kukafka, who is also an assistant editor at Riverhead Books, has a talent for description, which comes out in short and razor-sharp phrases that perfectly capture a scene, mood, or perspective. She’s also received praise from seasoned thriller writers, including Paula Hawkins, author of GIRL ON A TRAIN, who called Danya’s novel “a perfectly paced and tautly plotted thriller.” I’m excited to share my interview with her, along with all the ways you can connect with Danya below:


1. What is some of the best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? 

An older, wiser writer once told me: “write what obsesses you.” I’ve never forgotten it. Being completely obsessed with your work–or the question it strives to ask–is the only way you’ll have the passion and energy to see it through to the end.


2. What is some of the worst advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? 

Because I also work in the publishing industry, people often ask how I think about sales and marketing as I’m writing. The answer is: I don’t. I think it’s so important when you’re writing to focus solely on craft, and on the story you’re trying to tell. If the story is compelling and important, it will be inherently marketable.


3. What is something that surprised you about your career path?

I had to write 3 novels–and lock them in a drawer–before I was able to write Girl in Snow. I didn’t realize how much trial and error it would take, between scrapping those other novels, and revising this one, to get the end of a finished, publishable book.


4. You mentioned in your talk that you initially conceived of GIRL IN SNOW as a young adult novel. Going forward, do you think you’ll write more in the young adult space, adult space, or both?

I’m hoping to stay in this space–writing about teenagers for adult audiences. So far, it has led to some fascinating conversations with readers and other writers.


5. What is next for you?

I’m hard at work on book two! I can tell you it will also feature young people and some similarly dark themes.


Here are the ways you can connect with Danya!

Visit her site.

Find her on Goodreads.

Follow her on Instagram.

Follow her on Twitter.


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