Exclusive Interview: “Night’s Edge” Author Liz Kerin


One of the more interesting aspects of Anne Rice’s Interview With The Vampire was how it treated vampirism like a medical condition.

It’s what writer Liz Kerin does as well in her vampire novel Night’s Edge (hardcover, Kindle, audiobook), the first in a duology that will conclude April 23, 2024 with First Light.

But as Kerin explains in the following email interview about Night’s, just as her bloodsuckers don’t follow all of the established rules about vampires, so too does Night’s not follow the rules about vampire novels.

Liz Kerin Night's Edge First Light

To start, what is Night’s Edge about, and when and where does it take place?

Since she was ten years old, Mia has been providing sustenance to her mother, Izzy, who became infected with an incurable illness that gave her an appetite for human blood. But now Mia’s 23, and her mom is frozen in her early 30s. She’s about to eclipse her mother in age. Both of them start to realize they desperately need more out of life, even though they’re terrified to leave each other’s side. What unfolds is a bloody, modern coming-of-age story that I hope will resonate with…well, anyone who’s ever had parents. It’s a story about codependency, complicated family relationships, coming of age, and yes, also vampires.

Where did you get the idea for Night’s Edge?

While I want to keep certain things private out of respect for my loved ones, this story was inspired by my own childhood after my mother suffered a terrifying near-death experience that upended our lives. There was something almost supernatural about what happened and how it affected my worldview as a 10-year-old. In my 20s, once I got some perspective, I was able to mourn my lost youth and started writing about the experience for the first time. But nothing felt right. I didn’t want to stare directly into the sun (no pun intended) and write a memoir. So, I wrote a vampire book instead — as you do. Obviously, my mother is not, nor has she ever been, a vampire. This is a work of fiction. But the thing I love about this genre is that it provides a buffer between ourselves and the more monstrous moments of our lives. I found it was much easier to engage with these themes once I was writing about a mythological illness and fictional characters.

You basically just answered this, but I’ll ask anyway: Is there a reason why you made Mia’s mom the vampire as opposed to her dad or her older sister or someone else?

Mothers and daughters, for me, provide a lot of potent dramatic fuel. Girls and their moms can be so much alike, but they don’t always realize it (and a lot of times they actively fight against it).

Also, because of my personal experiences, it would be hard for me to imagine this story any other way.

It sounds like Night’s Edge is a horror story, but even more a family drama. Is that how you describe it?

I think that’s an excellent way to describe it, as it’s definitely a genre-bender. Some of the comps I’ve been getting lately are that it’s Jennette McCurdy’s I’m Glad My Mom Died meets S. T. Gibson’s A Dowry Of Blood, both of which were two of my favorite reads of the last few years.

So, how scary is it? I know that’s somewhat in the eyes of the beholder, but is it trying to be scary, is it trying to be freaky, what?

I think what’s scary about this story is seeing the world through the eyes of this girl with an unpredictable parent. Izzy could give into her hunger at any moment…and if she does, there’s blood on Mia’s hands. Scarier still, Mia often wonders if her mother would ever turn her teeth on her. As a reader, we’re never quite sure, and that’s where the tension comes from. We walk that tightrope with Mia as the story unfolds. I would not say it’s trying to be freaky or leaning on shock value, though I would definitely consult the content warnings that are on Goodreads if you’re concerned.

Now, vampires have been portrayed in a lot of different ways in books, movies, and so on. What do you consider the biggest influences on how Izzy’s condition works?

This book definitely takes the stance that the vampiric condition is an illness called Saratov’s Syndrome, which originated in a little town in the USSR in the late 1980s. I was actually very inspired by the HBO series Chernobyl as I conceptualized this illness and all the ways people failed to keep it contained. A “Sara,” as we call them in this story, can either drink from you, choose to turn you, or both. The disease is spread with intention (which makes for a rather sinister pandemic). Saras can’t go out in the sun, but they do have a reflection, and garlic, crosses, and coffins are not a factor. They subsist on human blood, can’t eat real food, and are allergic to caffeine and rust. They’re incredibly strong, and wounds heal quickly. Wooden stakes won’t get you anywhere with a Sara. You’re better off attacking them with a rusted piece of rebar. Simply put: yes, they’re essentially vampires. But there are a lot of quirks and surprises in store. I really love the way vampires are portrayed in grounded films like Let The Right One In and Kathryn Bigelow’s Neo-western Near Dark. So there’s influence from those two stories as well.

Aside from the books and movies you already mentioned, what else do you feel had a big influence on both the story you’re telling in Night’s Edge and how you’re telling it?

As I reader, while I of course adore horror, sci-fi, and fantasy fiction, I also love gut-wrenching memoirs, a couple of my favorites being Carmen Maria Machado’s In The Dream House and The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. So I decided early on that I wanted this book to feel like a horror memoir: very personal and vulnerable in its approach. It was important to me that Mia’s voice came across as someone you might know who’s finally decided they’re ready to reveal a huge secret to you.

And what about your dogs, Clementine, Avery, and Sydney? How did they influence Night’s Edge? Because corgis are notoriously crap when it comes to continuity but are great at writing dialog…

Avery and Sydney get a very special shout out in my acknowledgements. They were there with me every step of this writing process and my absolute best friends on the planet. Couldn’t have done this without them. Clementine, my Corgi, is a new addition, just about to turn one year old. She’s great at sitting under my desk and listening to me type, but gives terrible notes. My dream is to conveniently “run into” Stephen King and his dog Molly at a Corgi meetup someday. I personally believe that Molly, Thing Of Evil, and Clementine, Queen Of Darkness, is the collab the world needs right now.

Avery, Sydney, Clementine


Now, you’ve already said that Night’s Edge is the first book in a duology. First off, what is this series called, what is the second book called, and do you know when it will be out?

I’m pretty sure we’re just calling it the Night’s Edge Duology. The second book is called First Light, and it will be out April 23, 2024.

So, what was it about this story that made you think it needed to be told in two parts as opposed to just one or, conversely, three or four?

I initially wrote Night’s Edge as a stand-alone and didn’t realize there was a way to continue the narrative until my editor suggested a sequel and shined a light on part of the story I’d left unresolved. I was incredibly jazzed and ended up loving the idea for the sequel more than I ever imagined. Penning that first draft was one of the most fulfilling writing experiences I’ve ever had. It just flowed out of me in that bizarre, supernatural way these things sometimes do. That said, I felt two books was the perfect amount. Mia’s story wraps up in a way that I find deeply satisfying.

Upon hearing that Night’s Edge is the first book in a duology, some people will hold off reading it until First Light comes out, and some will go further and read them back-to-back. Do you think this is a good idea, or should people read Night’s now instead?

I don’t think there’s a story-based reason to wait to read it. In fact, I think it’s actually better if you read Night’s Edge now and First Light next spring, because nine months pass between the end of Night’s and the beginning of First. It’s kind of cool how the time jump actually happens in real time.

I also promise there’s enough of a refresher course early on in First that readers won’t forget who the characters are and what happened in Night’s. I’m really excited Nightfire has already announced the sequel so nobody’s left hanging. It’s finished, it’s got a pub date, and I’m excited to continue the story.

Now, this is cool: It was announced recently that not only is Night’s Edge being adapted into a TV show for Freeform, but that two of the producers are Jac Schaeffer, who worked on WandaVision, and Leslye Headland, whose credits include Russian Doll and the upcoming Star Wars show, The Acolyte. Even cooler, you’re co-writing the scrips with Keto Shimizu, who worked on Arrow and The Flash. That’s already a lot of info, but is there anything else you can tell us?

I wish there were more I could tell you right now. Unfortunately, because the WGA is now on strike, and we are all members, the project’s fate is up in the air.

The great news is that the pilot script was completed before we went on strike, and I’m very happy with it. We’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed that the WGA can get the deal they deserve and we can all return to work ASAP.

Some authors fancast their books. I don’t want to know who you fancasted for Izzy and Mia, but I am curious if you told Jac and Leslye?

I did reveal my casting dreams to the team. I definitely have some very special people I’d love to send signed books and heartfelt letters to when the time is right. Hope it happens soon.

So, is there anything else you think people need to know about Night’s Edge?

That even if vampires are 100% not your thing and never will be…you might be surprised by this one. As a person who was never That Vampire Girl, I surprised myself.

Liz Kerin Night's Edge First Light

Finally, if someone enjoys Night’s Edge, what other vampire novels or novellas would you suggest they read while waiting for First Light to come out?

If you’re looking for another out-of-the-box vampire story, I’d recommend Nestlings by Nat Cassidy, which comes out on Halloween this year from Nightfire. It’s getting rave early reviews and everyone loves a good spooky New York City tale. I personally can’t get enough.



2 replies on “Exclusive Interview: “Night’s Edge” Author Liz Kerin”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *