Miki Radicci, a 16-year-old famous artist, leads a secluded life in New York City. Not that she wants to dodge the press and celebrity; she wants to avoid people all together since she has the psychic ability to experience other people’s physical and emotional pain when near them. It gets so bad for her to handle that not even Xanax and alcohol can relieve the pain.
When she accidentally experiences the murder of a prominent business student from NYU, Miki attracts the attention of the police and the killer who threatens her and her family. But Miki doesn’t really know enough to identify the killer. She experiences the death but can’t see his face.
Miki decides to learn as much as she can about the killer by delving into the victim’s secret life. She follows an urban underground trail that leads to goth modeling and low level criminals. As she discovers the limits to her psychic talents and her ballsy actions, she realizes that the killer is not who she thinks it is, but rather someone close to her life.
What makes your book different than other books out there?
It is grittier than dirt and has a main character who is an anti-hero. Most people won’t like Miki for her vices, and most people will appreciate her vices and the fact that she comes out honest and real.
What kind of books do you read? Are they similar to the books you write?
I read a lot of mystery and horror and YA contemp and beat literature. Also true crime and other books I need for research.
I wouldnt say I read similar to what I write. I always use what I read as a templete if I get stuck or feel I’m not being original. But mostly I try to be better than what I read, to push what has been done before.
Do you have a ‘day job’? What is it?
Currently I dont have a day job, unless you consider a stay at home dad a job and writing.
What has your biggest struggle been so far?
Staying alive, but it is easier now with my son.
How do you feel about romances being so common in YA (and to a lesser degree MG) books?
I think it’s kind of silly. I don’t mind a little romance in my books, but not to be the focus. I just hope who ever is reading them thinks that’s not how romance is in real life.
By definition of the word, to romance is to base on another’s preconception of the past. Living in the past isnt fun, unless you’re psychotic.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I get my inspiration from a combination of music and real life. For this story I was inspired by a true story of a 5 year old kid who was making millions off his paintings and an idea I had about a psychic empath to the 100th degree.
What trend do you love in MG/YA books? What trend do you hate?
Faeries and faery tales and mythological creatures feel done to death. I’d like to see more personalized monsters.
I’m bothered by this trend of making a character likable within the first page of the book.
Also I think the trend of quirky, nerdy characters are digging a nice grave.
What’s next for you?
Working on revisions for the 2nd Miki Book and a draft of the 3rd. Some time in the fall I should have a novella out, a YA Urban Noir Fantasy called ‘Angel Spits.’
Thanks for stopping by, M. E.!
M.E. Purfield is a writer of YA urban noir fantasy and YA contemporary fiction. He live in Jersey City, NJ.