Back in August ’09, I was a beta (Fiction Press says “beta” instead of “editor”) for Sarah for a little while. I only read and commented on 3 of her chapters, but I liked what I read and now that she’s finished writing her novel Death Dancer, I thought I’d do a little advertising on my blog.
Sarah is also known as boltfromtheblue101 on Fiction Press where she has published 2 short stories, a drabble and a novella called Love like Venom. Here is the link to her Fiction Press page: http://www.fictionpress.com/u/611899/
Sarah is 18 years young and lives somewhere in the US. Her story Death Dancer is a supernatural story, with elements of romance and drama, set in Miami, Florida circa 2054. “My name is Piper Dawson, and I am a survivor of the nuclear war that destroyed the world as I knew it.” Poor Piper, is only 19. Here’s a longer summary, written by Sarah herself:
Like so many others living in Miami, Piper is swept up in her country’s devastating war. But unlike everyone else, she is taken under a supernatural community’s proverbial wing. But why do they live underground? Why do they hide themselves? What exactly are they? The answer isn’t one Piper expects to find this side of a sci-fi novel.
Now, she has a choice to make. Does she resist and protect the last piece of humanity she has left, or does she integrate completely and accept them as family? The months that follow hold things that lurk in the deepest, darkest recesses of Piper’s nightmares; will the community defend her when there’s absolutely no hope left?
How did you come up with the idea for Death Dancer?
Part of it was a reaction to Stephenie Meyer’s train wreck called Twilight. Also, I had just finished reading The Host by her, so I think that influenced me a bit, too. Mostly, I love the idea of a post-apocalyptic story, so I decided to pick up that idea and run with it.
How long did it take you to write Death Dancer?
When I started writing it, I had also begun writing Love Like Venom as well. I didn’t like working with two stories at the same time, so I put one of them down for the time being, which just so happened to be Death Dancer. Back then it was called Reverie. I put that down for eight months, then I picked it back up again. Including that eight months, it took me two years to write it.
What are you working on now, or are you taking a break?
I have two stories on my hard drive that I’ve been kicking around for a while. I might do something with them. College has been pretty hard on me this semester; I think I’ll take a break until the summer.
How old were you when you discovered you love writing?
I started writing poetry when I was seven or eight years old. I have a notebook full of poems. I kind of graduated to story-telling one day when I was fifteen.
Who are your favorite authors, both published and on Fiction Press?
I don’t have a favorite published author. I read a lot (sometimes too much), and I don’t stick to one specific author. Last time I did that, I got burned. Bleh. Haha. My favorite FP writer is named RyAnn Leigh. She wrote the best story I’ve ever read on FP, The Slave of Heaven.
Which writer really inspires you to write and makes you wish that someday someone could read your story and feel the emotions you felt while reading that writer’s book? (Man that was a long question… Did it make sense?)
Haha, that is a long question. But I get what you’re saying. The only writer that inspires me is one whose books I’ve never actually read. My father is a professional writer, and he’s extremely supportive. He was one of my betas on Death Dancer. I can always come to him and bounce my ideas off him. He’s written original fiction before, but right now he likes to write fanfiction on a “Lois & Clark” web site. That’s his very favorite show. Haha.
To you, how real are your characters?
My characters are basically extensions of my soul. I know them as well as I know myself. In Death Dancer, my main characters, Piper and Jericho, are like living entities in my mind. I realize it sounds highly schizophrenic, but I have them in my head. That’s how I know what they’re going to do next; they tell me. They are very real to me. 🙂
Do you have a blog and are you a blogaholic?
The only thing close I have to that is my Facebook. I’m not really a blogaholic. Also, I try to do regular news updates on my FP, especially when I was still writing Death Dancer. Now, I’ll only update if I don’t post a chapter at a specific time, explaining what went wrong.
So, apart from writing, what do you do? (Basically, do you have a life? Because I don’t. Not really.)
Haha I try to maintain a social life. Writing takes up a lot of my time, but work and school do that, too. Basically all I do is work and go to school. When I have free time, I try to hang out with my friends. Failing that, I always have a book in my purse that I can whip out. 😉 Also, when my roommate and I are home at the same time, we do what we call a “creative atmosphere.” She’s a highly talented artist, so I bring my laptop and she brings her sketch pad into the same room together, and we write and draw, respectively. The only thing is that she can’t draw without music blaring, and I can’t write with it. I need silence, and she needs some sort of ambient noise. We butt heads about this all the time. Haha.
Thank you Sarah for your time and good luck with your future novels. (And I love that you call Twilight a train wreck.)
Thanks for having me! You are a delight and I greatly enjoy talking to you. Thank you for all your help with my story, and thanks for featuring me on your blog. Good luck to you as well.
And now, a little excerpt from her novel:
A cemetery—one that I hadn’t known was here—lay before us, misty and brooding. Dominic, who apparently had no qualms about entering a graveyard, tugged on my hand in encouragement.
“I’m taking you to the others,” he said, but he was starting to feel less like my rescuer and more like my murderer. There was something very creepy about this kid.
I was making my way back to that horrifying gravesite, where I was to descend into the earth and meet “the others.” I felt as though I had just walked into an episode of The Addams Family. Suddenly, I wasn’t so sure I wanted to associate with these “others” if they lived in a hole in the ground.
Dominic led me down the dark, dank stairway with a torch to light our way. The hall was long with lots of twists and turns. Finally, we came to a giant door, against which he flattened his free hand. He turned and grinned at me. “Ready?”
As ready as I’ll never be.
He nodded and pushed open the door—a door, mind you, that no seven-year-old boy could have possibly opened by himself, never mind that he did so with one hand—revealing an immense room. Above was a giant, artificial light source that illuminated the entire area. The walls were rock and dirt, as was the floor. Someone had dug underground and built this place.
A massive crowd of people lay before us in a flurry of movement, shoving their way through the busy throng, or chatting it up with their friends. After surveying the swarm, I guessed there to be no more than three hundred people in all. I had stumbled upon a small community of some sort!
As soon as I moved, every single pair of eyes in the room settled on me and all activity was brought abruptly to a halt.
My mouth formed a perfect “O” as I looked around at every pair of angry, hateful eyes, not a one of them having a normal color. All were the blackest black, with the same depth and darkness that my hole back at the church—the one that I so desperately wished to be back in—had contained.
“The others” did not seem to be as friendly as I’d hoped.
She’ll be publishing a chapter every Saturday evening and you can find her novel right here: http://www.fictionpress.com/s/2792588/1/Death_Dancer. Maybe someday you’ll be able to find her novels in bookstores, who knows?
Pay Kayleigh no mind; she gets carried away sometimes. 😉 I hope you all tune in for how Piper’s story will unfold. See you!