Vicki Pettersson

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Vicki Pettersson

Goodreads Author

Las Vegas, The United States




Member Since
August 2011


Vicki Pettersson is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of ten novels, most set in her hometown of Las Vegas. Though she'll ever consider that glittering dustbowl home, she now divides her time between Vegas and Dallas,Texas, where she's learning to like good Tex-Mex (easy) and the Dallas Cowboys (easier than you'd think).

Her most recent release is SWERVE, aptly titled as it's both a chase book and a hard departure from her fantasy work. A pure adrenaline, white-knucked thriller, Swerve releases on July 7, 2015 -- perfect for the novel's Fourth of July setting. If you're looking for a romance with little to no violence ... this is not your novel. If, as with her other work, you're looking for a strong female protagonist who comes out sw

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Vicki Pettersson Writing SWERVE actually started as a pure technical challenge. I was finishing up my previous trilogy, starting to think forward to my next project,…moreWriting SWERVE actually started as a pure technical challenge. I was finishing up my previous trilogy, starting to think forward to my next project, and I thought, Hmm. What would be the hardest book in the world to write? I actually said that to my husband. What would even other commercial fiction authors consider technically hard? I mean, I didn’t have a new contract on the horizon, nobody was waiting for me to write something specific, so I felt like I could do whatever I wanted. After nine novels in which I’d had to do complex world building, fully realized mysteries, and hard action I felt like I could use those tools to tackle something completely new.

So I decided that for me the hardest book to write would be:

1) a big, propulsive thriller, because the reader is looking, almost daring, for you to thrill them.

2) But not just any thriller. I wanted a true edge of your seat, cat-and-mouse, one-sitting read. I wanted it to be a very insular, almost claustrophobic book despite the wide-open desert setting, with essentially only two characters in the entire novel, and the scales tipping back and forth between them from one page to the next.

3) I wanted to put the reader in a chokehold (no offense!), a la Dean Koontz, but I wanted to see a female lead. I wanted her action and agency driving the narrative because that’s what I enjoy reading: strong women.

4) It also couldn’t have any supernatural elements because I’d done that before. If Kristine (my protagonist) was going to prevail, she was going to have to do so as an Everywoman. This was harder than I thought, and not because I couldn’t depend on paranormal elements to augment her skills, but because when you write an Everywoman, then every single woman reading it is thinking, “What would I do if that were me?” So your character’s actions better remain true. If the reader is thinking, “Why wouldn’t she just pick up the phone? Why wouldn’t she just call for help?” then you’d better have a very good reason why that can’t happen.

5) Finally, I’d never written a stand-alone novel, so I threw that into the hopper as well.

As for the plot, SWERVE was conceived while I was driving from Las Vegas to California’s beach cities one summer. The I-15 really is one of the bleakest and most boring drives ever. It’s particularly brutal in the middle of June and July, which is when I generally try to escape Vegas’s heat for the cool kiss of the Pacific. So I was passing through these little desert towns, bored out of my gourd, and I thought, “What could possible make this worse?” And the worst thing I could come up with was having to make the drive while being chased by a relentless killer. I also hate desolate rest stops with every cell of my being. They freak me out and I’ll do anything to avoid them—and my bet is that most women feel the same—so I threw that in there, too.

Between that creative kernel, and the technical challenge, I was ready to write a book.(less)
Vicki Pettersson Hi Cindy--first, BIG apologies for the v. belated reply. I haven't checked in on GR in a while. Second, thank you so much! I'm thrilled to hear you…moreHi Cindy--first, BIG apologies for the v. belated reply. I haven't checked in on GR in a while. Second, thank you so much! I'm thrilled to hear you enjoyed SWERVE so much. I have the usual recommendations such as Dean Koontz (INTENSITY is v. close in tone to SWERVE--or vice versa, as his came first!) and Stephen King (his short stories are masterful as well!). For voice, DEAR DAUGHTER and LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE are, like, second generation GONE GIRL. Really great reads. Dennis Lehane's Kenzie/Genaro series starting with A DRINK BEFORE THE WAR is mystery rather than psych thriller, but super gritty and dark. Plus, I love the protag. Does that help at all? If you come across something you really love, please let me know! I'm always looking for good, twisty new reads! Best to you!(less)
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More books by Vicki Pettersson…


No writer likes to admit to it, and discussing it is akin to angering the gods. Yet lately I’ve been seeing more writer friends suffering from overwhelm/ depression/burnout than ever, and I hate it for them. And I recognize it because, well … where the hell do you think I’ve *been* for the past two years? (SWERVE in hardcover, and then paperback the next year, and then the foreign editi...

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Vicki Pettersson is now friends with Corrina Martin
Vicki Pettersson made a comment on video SWERVE
" SWERVE -- out now. "
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Vicki Pettersson rated a book it was amazing
Dare Me by Megan Abbott
Dare Me
by Megan Abbott (Goodreads Author)
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The power and elegance of Abbott’s prose alone would be enough for me to recommend her, but her voice is what’s really devastating. It just flattens anything else that might be rolling around in your mind. DARE ME is her first contemporary novel, and ...more
Vicki Pettersson wants to read
The Good Boy by Theresa Schwegel
The Good Boy
by Theresa Schwegel (Goodreads Author)
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" Even the final drafts feel "unfinished." There is no perfect, there is only a point in which you have to let it go.

But, writing biz aside, thank you
...more "
More of Vicki's books…
“There's nothing wrong with you..not even the darkest corner of that beautiful soul. ~ Hunter”
Vicki Pettersson, City of Souls

“Just because someone tried to make you into a victim didn’t mean that’s what you had to be.”
Vicki Pettersson, The Scent of Shadows

“Looks can’t hide your true identity. It’s the eyes that give you away…the soul behind them. The intent. The Shadows.”
Vicki Pettersson, The Scent of Shadows


Themed BoM --
October – Monsters, Mayhem, Shrieks, and Kills

Voting through 9/25

  5 votes, 23.8%

  4 votes, 19.0%

  3 votes, 14.3%

  3 votes, 14.3%

  2 votes, 9.5%

  1 vote, 4.8%

  1 vote, 4.8%

  1 vote, 4.8%

  1 vote, 4.8%

  0 votes, 0.0%

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