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Vicki Pettersson

Goodreads Author

in 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, a…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 Cheron! Thank you for writing. It's good to see your pixels. Actually I'm writing a proposal for my next thriller now and really loving the charact…moreHi Cheron! Thank you for writing. It's good to see your pixels. Actually I'm writing a proposal for my next thriller now and really loving the characters and world. That entails three full chapters and a synopsis and even once it's done he'll have to see it before we can set a date. That's all long tail stuff and something that has to be endured when you do actually take time to hop off the treadmill. You lose all momentum.

In the meantime, however, I did write an entire novel in 16 just to see if I still wanted to, and it got me excited about craft and stories again. I'm going to talk about that on September 9th in my google chat with the Pixel Project (a non-profit that works to help stop violence against women and girls. ).

So if you're able to catch that (6 pm PST) I will reveal all, but even if not you'll find out the next day. I'm super exited about it.

Thanks again for poking me. I've been traveling and hiking and family-omg (what? That's an action word!) and just filling the well in general and now I'm brimming with words, happy to make pages once again. (less)
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More books by Vicki Pettersson…

Burnout, pt 2 — or, finding your way back.

Below is a modified and updated transcript of a keynote I gave back in ’15 at the Surrey International Writers Conference, and given my last post on burnout, I thought I’d post it here because it seemed to help people when I spoke of it then. I’m going to press send before I chicken out. Fair warning: this is a longform piece so you might want to have a seat.

do hope it helps.





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Published on January 18, 2017 07:03
The Scent of Shadows The Taste of Night The Touch of Twilight City of Souls Cheat the Grave The Neon Graveyard
(6 books)
3.82 avg rating — 49,461 ratings

The Taken The Lost The Given
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Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
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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


Which June New Release would you like to read in August?

Books were randomly chosen from Goodreads' "Most Popular Books Published In June 2012" list.

Once Burned (Night Prince, #1) by Jeaniene Frost
Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost
(Night Prince #1)
  17 votes, 51.5%

The Taken (Celestial Blues, #1) by Vicki Pettersson
The Taken by Vicki Pettersson
(Celestial Blues #1)
  6 votes, 18.2%

Chosen Ones (The Lost Souls, #1) by Tiffany Truitt
Chosen Ones by Tiffany Truitt
(The Lost Souls #1)
  3 votes, 9.1%

Chasing Magic (Downside Ghosts, #5) by Stacia Kane
Chasing Magic by Stacia Kane
(Downside #5)
  2 votes, 6.1%

Darkness Devours (Dark Angels, #3) by Keri Arthur
Darkness Devours by Keri Arthur
(Dark Angels #3)
  2 votes, 6.1%

Before I Wake (Soul Screamers, #6) by Rachel Vincent
Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent
(Soul Screamers #6)
  1 vote, 3.0%

Lethal Rider (Lords of Deliverance, #3) by Larissa Ione
Lethal Rider by Larissa Ione
(Lords of Deliverance #3)
  1 vote, 3.0%

Blue-Blooded Vamp (Sabina Kane, #5) by Jaye Wells
Blue-Blooded Vamp by Jaye Wells
(Sabina Kane #5)
  1 vote, 3.0%

Wicked Nights (Angels of the Dark, #1) by Gena Showalter
Wicked Nights by Gena Showalter
(Angels of the Dark #1)
  0 votes, 0.0%

Blackout (Newsflesh Trilogy, #3) by Mira Grant
Blackout by Mira Grant
(Newsflesh #3)
  0 votes, 0.0%


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