If you’re participating in the Summer Lovin’ 13 Read-a-Thon you probably noticed that today’s participation post is
in which participants get to introduce us to their favorite fictional character! In honor of this fabulous idea I summoned up enough courage to interview author Sarah Fine about my all time favorite kick tush fictional female….*drum roll please*…
stalkingvisiting your site I see you’re a child psychologist.
I am indeed. 🙂 However, at this point, I only do that two days a week, because my writing career has started to require a lot of my time. I’m so lucky, though–I love both my jobs.
What made you decide to start writing?
I started writing very abruptly in 2009, the weekend after my thirty-mumble-mumble-th birthday. I just had the urge to write a novel, to see if I could do it. I’d always been good with words but had never done any creative writing (though I’ve always loved to read). A month later, I’d written a book! Sanctum is the second novel I wrote.
How did you come up with Sanctum? There has to be some type of inspiration right? It’s such an action packed, and heavy story! The kind of love and friendship shown is hard to fathom (I’m not big enough person to go to hell for a friend) and yet you made me believe it instantly.
Thank you! At this point, I can barely remember what made me start thinking about the story, but I know the concept of hell came first, and it was partially inspired by CS Lewis’s description of hell in his book, The Great Divorce. I took that concept and let it germinate and grow until it became the dark city. After that, it was merely a question of coming up with the type of character who would and could go on a rescue mission to that kind of place. I specifically created Lela–her past, her personality–to be that person. I chose pasts for all the characters that would drive their actions and beliefs. Malachi, for example, doesn’t talk a lot about what’s happened to him, but his past shapes everything he does, both in Sanctum and Fractured.
Will you share the imagination powder you used to make the Dark City seem so real? Please??
The dark city is depression made tangible, a state of mind you can smell and touch and feel. Some people have asked me why all the people in the dark city are so greedy, but I don’t think of them that way at all–they’re trying to comfort themselves, but with things that can’t bring true or real solace. So much of the book is about telling the difference between what’s real and what’s false–merely a shallow copy or proxy for the things people really need, like love and purpose. As I created the setting, I tried to stay absolutely true to that idea, so everything the characters experience inside the city is based on it, with no distractions. When one unifying idea is at the heart of a setting, it’s easy to simply let things grow out of it, like the dark tower in the center of the city (AKA the building that will EAT YOUR SOUL<–sorry–in edits, we had a lot of grim jokes about that).
I have no idea what hell is like, but I’m sure you’re at least in the same ballpark with reality! An entire city filled with exactly what you want (drugs, tv, clothes, etc.) but not in a way for it to be enjoyed (bad Buffy re-runs?!). Not to mention the insanely detailed and realistic layout of the world! Ahh, my FEELS!
When people say the dark city feels real and plausible, that’s the best compliment ever. 🙂 A lot of people pushed me to make it even more detailed than it was originally. My agent in particular was fantastic about asking a billion “what if” questions that challenged me to create a really cohesive, logical world. She deserves a lot of credit!
How did you come up with the totally kick tush heroine that is Lela?
Like I mentioned above, I created Lela to be the kind of girl who could sneak into hell and lay everything on the line to rescue her friend. No ordinary high school girl would be likely to do that, but what about one who’d been fighting all her life? What about one who knew how bad things could be because she’d experienced them up close and personal? What if she hadn’t had love in her life, and she lost the first person who she had a strong bond with, the one who’d given her hope? Lela has both the means to physically accomplish these things (because she reacted to her traumatic experiences by getting in excellent physical shape so she could protect herself in the future) and the heart (she had a taste of love and hope and was so grateful that she couldn’t not try to rescue her friend). I love her character more than any other I’ve created (okay, except for Malachi). She’s such an underdog–no powers, no privilege, no special training, no advantages at all except her intelligence and her sheer strength of will.
Will Malachi’s journal ever be published? (Novella maybe??)
I have no idea! All I can say is that I’ll keep posting his entries every week at http://guardsoftheshadowlands.tumblr.com/. I plan to do that through the publication of the final book in the series, and there are going to be hundreds of entries at that point!
I’m sure the action will continue in Fractured, but can you drop a hint of what’s in store for Lela and Malachi, now that they’re out of the Dark City?
Well, they learn that even though they’re not in “hell” anymore, the land of the living can be pretty darn hellish. Fractured is so different from Sanctum in many ways, but in one respect, it is the same–the characters must try to figure out what they really need and decide how much they’re willing to sacrifice to get it. Malachi and Lela are in high school, surrounded by kids living ordinary lives. The two of them have these extraordinary responsibilities while still being tempted by that simple, regular type of future, wondering whether that’s even a possibility, and wondering whether that’s even what they’d choose if they could.
I can’t thank you enough for doing this interview and giving away an ARC of Fractured. I meant it when I saidSanctum was my favorite read of 2012, and I can’t wait for Fractured!
Thank you so much for having me! I can’t wait to share Fractured with everyone.
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW OPEN TO INT PARTICIPANTS! HOWEVER IT ENDS AT 11:59 EST TIME!
Thank You Ms. Fine!!!!!!
There you have it folks! The super cool and nice Sarah Fine! And she has been so kind to also offer up a ARC of the second book in the Guards of the Shadowlands series…
Just fill out the rafflecopter form below and keep your fingers crossed!
So yay to that! But of course keeping with the Summer Lovin’ fun I also have today’s challenge!
In the Page 99 test participants will turn to page 99 of whatever their reading and give us a brief summary. From there everyone will weigh in on if they would continue the read based on that summary alone!
While preparing for the grand opening of The Honeybee Bakery Uncle Ben and Katie are visited by the drunken, violent and greedy nephew of the horrible Mrs. Templeton, Albert. Katie and Uncle Ben are immediately caught off guard by Albert’s murderer accusations and his promise to sue the entire family for every cent they have.