My Favorite Bit: Liz Kerin Talks About Night’s Edge

Liz Kerin is joining us today to talk about her novel, Night’s Edge. Here’s the publisher’s description:

Liz Kerin’s Night’s Edge is a sun-drenched novel about the darkest secrets we hide and how monstrous we can be to the ones we love most.

Having a mom like Izzy meant Mia had to grow up fast. No extracurriculars, no inviting friends over, and definitely no dating. The most important rule: Tell no one of Izzy’s hunger – the kind only blood can satisfy.But Mia is tired of being her mother’s keeper. She’s in her twenties now and longs for a life of her own. One where she doesn’t have to worry about anyone discovering their terrible secret, or breathing down her neck. When Mia meets rebellious musician Jade she dares to hope she’s found a way to leave her home – and her mom – behind. It just might be Mia’s only chance of getting out alive.

What’s Liz’s favorite bit?

Liz Kerin

There are certain images that spring to mind when people hear the word “vampire:” Centuries-old aristocrats from Eastern Europe. Impossibly beguiling, dripping with blood and priceless jewels. Living with their ancient coven at a secluded French chateau. You know the type.

My novel Night’s Edge is about a girl from Utah whose troubled single mom gets infected with an incurable form of vampirism. A far cry from Dracula’s castle. 

I never thought I’d write an essay about the socioeconomic background of vampires, but my favorite bit about Night’s Edge has to be the world our characters inhabit. Mia’s mother, Izzy, is a lonely, single, middle-class mother trying to keep a roof over her daughter’s head. The vampire she meets doesn’t shimmer and sweep her off her feet. He’s a manipulative con-artist, a drifter who torpedoes her whole life when he infects her with the same horrible disease he’s carrying. 10-year-old Mia has no choice but to help her mother adapt to her new reality. She can’t hold down a job anymore. She can’t feed herself without killing people. As such, Mia steps up to the plate to parent her own parent. So many kids are thrust into this type of role when their parents are struggling—be it because of an illness/addiction, financial pitfalls, poor decision making. . . or a tragic combination of all three. Mia and Izzy are people I know. They’re people you know. Mia might have gone to your school, as a kid—that shy, quiet girl who was too scared to let anyone come over to her house. Izzy might be your coworker who attends AA meetings every week and keeps bouncing from one unstable relationship to the next. Mia and Izzy aren’t bloodthirsty seductresses throwing sex parties at a historic European chateau. They’re a family with a terrible secret trying to survive the harsh realities of a post-pandemic America.

As this terrifying vampiric disease—Saratov’s Syndrome—starts spreading across the country, Mia and Izzy flee Utah for fear that Izzy will be outed as a ‘Sara.’ One of my favorite scenes takes place at a hospital, where Izzy gets punished for reporting her symptoms and must make a violent, split-second decision when she realizes the authorities are about to take her young daughter away. But my true ‘Favorite Bit’ is the chapter that takes place at a bus station in Arizona, where Mia and Izzy cross paths with an unhoused woman named Magda. The three of them team up in an effort to get to Tucson, where Magda has family. Magda’s a recovering addict trying to cobble her life back together and reunite with her kids. She’s exposed to the elements, and she’s in danger. She and Izzy find common ground and forge a unique friendship when Mia gets sick and Magda’s the only one who can help her get the care she needs. Magda embodies the stark, grounded reality our characters inhabit. The way struggling women have to reach out and trust one another if they want to survive. Magda has a scene with Mia in which she says, “Sometimes, in life. . . hell, I’ll say it—in a girl’s life. . . you get tangled up with people who want to control you because they’ve lost control of everything else. People who make you feel safe when you’re not. Your mom ever know someone like that? I had someone like that, too.” Izzy has done terrible things because of her disease. She’s hurt people. Hurt her own daughter. She is guilty and deserves to pay for that. And yet, she is also a victim. She didn’t ask for this. Someone took advantage of her—an intimate partner. We know this emotional dichotomy. We know it all too well. Hurt people hurt people.
I wrote Night’s Edge to give voice to these delicate themes and the people who live with them. Vampires just so happened to be the vessel. I’m elated to finally get to share the book with readers this summer. It’s been a life-changing and cathartic experience for me as a writer.


Night’s Edge book link

First Light (sequel to Night’s Edge, coming 4/23/24) book link



Liz Kerin is an author, playwright, screenwriter, and graduate of the Rita and Burton Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. She is also the author of The Phantom Forest (2019). She lives in Southern California.

Did you know you can support Mary Robinette on Patreon?
Become a patron at Patreon!
Scroll to Top