Interview with Aric Davis, author of A Good and Useful Hurt

Today, we’re joined on the blog by author Aric Davis. Mr. Davis was nice enough to answer some of my questions, so I hope you’ll check him out and consider reading his newest book, A Good and Useful Hurt.

What do you think readers will gain from reading A Good and Useful Hurt?

A: At the very least I hope that they come away with the idea that messing with a tattooed girl might not be the best idea! Seriously though, if my greatest wishes for the book were realized, a reader would come away with a deeper understanding of the world of body modification, as well as a desire to google search the names of the two young ladies the book is dedicated to, learn their stories, and decide on a charitable organization dedicated to victims of violent crimes. Andrew Vachss Zero Foundation would be as good a place as any.

Your first book, Nickel Plated, was marketed as a young adult novel.
Have you encountered any differences in reception now that your current
novel is pitched toward adults?

A: Yes, definitely. The adult novel world seems an easier nut to crack into, at least thus far. I think there is a very kowtowed book industry feeding the YA market what it is used to, and seems afraid to advance anything that will buck the status quo. I’m glad that Amazon Encore understood my vision, and went ahead with a book that was unlikely to succeed in the current marketplace. Luckily for me, and my little imaginary progeny, the opinions on Nickel and his adventures have been almost all positive.

A Good and Useful Hurt deals with some really intense tragedies, and
the title captures that sometimes pain can have a positive affect. In what
ways do you think personal difficulties and distress can affect a person’s

A: Pain in this novel is meant to mean a pair of things, the emotional pain that a wounded person can see lessened by physical discomfort, and the pain that a certain character in my book is basically damned by. The good is a memorial tattoo that makes the bearer see emotional repair, the hurt is what makes that possible. Can physical pain admonish mental anguish? For some people, it can certainly act as an effective salve.

I really enjoyed how many strong women there are in this book. Did any
women in your life influence you to write powerful female characters?

A: Definitely. My mom and my wife are both very strong women, and I certainly hope my daughter grows up to be one as well. Having such influences so close makes that kind of personality almost force its way onto the page. I’m not sure I intentionally went for strong female traits in the women in this novel, but I don’t think Deb would have worked as an effective character without being so brash.

Which writers do you look up to, or do you particularly enjoy reading?

A: I will never tire of reading the wonderful works of Stephen King, Andrew Vachss, Gillian Flynn, George R.R. Martin, and countless others.

Any plans for future books?

A: My last manuscript was completed in October, and at least right now is titled “Blood Caked Bones.” It is quite different than anything I’ve ever written before, and I have very high hopes for it. Essentially, its an alternate history of The United States describing a second civil war at the turn of the 20th century, and though the research quotient on it was tough–I now know more about magnets than I ever expected to–it was an absolute joy to write.

A Good and Useful Hurt is out tomorrow, in paperback, on Kindle, and in audiobook.

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One Response to Interview with Aric Davis, author of A Good and Useful Hurt

  1. Giselle says:

    This is my first time hearing about this book it sounds pretty interesting! I laughed at the “messing with a tattooed girl might not be the best idea” comment teehee. Strong female characters are rare nowadays so I’m glad this one has some! >.<

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