Emily Ross received a 2014 Massachusetts Cultural Council finalist award in fiction for her novel Half in Love with Death. Her fiction and nonfiction have been published in Boston Magazine, Menda City Review, and The Smoking Poet. She is an editor and contributor at Dead Darlings, a website dedicated to discussing the craft of novel writing. She attended Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Massachusetts Boston, and is a 2012 graduate of Grub Street’s Novel Incubator program.
From her Q & A with Christina Casano at Girls in Capes:
Girls in Capes: I wanted to ask you about how you came across this story. It’s based on a real person, right?Visit the official Emily Ross website.
Emily Ross: It is, actually. It’s kind of an interesting story. I had written two novels that were sort of similar to this one, but they were just failures – I couldn’t figure out how to plot them. So I was talking to my sister, kind of complaining, and she said, “You should take a true crime and use that for your plot, then you would have a plot.” And she said, “Not only that, but I know one you should use.”
And she told me that when she was twelve years old she had been obsessed with this sensational murder that was in the news about this guy, this serial killer that they called The Pied Piper of Tuscon. She said she had read the article over and over and it absolutely terrified her and I was fascinated because for one, I had never heard of this and my sister and I were fairly close, and I had no idea she had this obsession.
So that set off, okay I’m going to find out more about this. It’s about this man named Charles Schmid. He was 23 and in 1964 – and this is pretty creepy – but he killed a fifteen-year-old girl named Aileen Rowe and buried her in the desert, and he actually did it with two friends, and it was just a totally cold crime to see what it felt like to kill someone. And then a year later he killed his seventeen-year-old girlfriend, Gretchen Fritz, and her younger sister Wendy, who was thirteen.
The thing that really fascinated me was that...[read on]
The Page 69 Test: Half In Love With Death.
Writers Read: Emily Ross.
My Book, The Movie: Half In Love With Death.