Mysterious lights have flickered above Crownsville for as long as Mia can remember. And as far as she's concerned, that's about the only interesting thing to happen in her small town.
That is, until Sol arrives. Mia's not one to fall for just any guy, but she can't get Sol--or the brilliant tattoo on his back--out of her mind.
Then Mia's brother goes missing, and Mia's convinced that Sol knows more than he's sharing. But getting closer to Sol means reevaluating everything Mia once believed to be true. Because Sol's not who Mia thought he was--and neither is she.
Sara Walsh is British, but happily lives in Annapolis, Maryland. She graduated college with a degree in psychology, but soon decided that telling stories was much more fun. When not writing, Sara is usually reading, drowning in tea, or frolicking around town with the world's cutest St. Bernard. The Dark Light is her first novel.
Now on to the interview....
How long did it take you to write your first draft of the The Dark Light?
The first draft took me about five months, but I had been thinking about the story for several months before, so I kind of knew where I was going with it. Of course, you never can tell how a story is going to behave once you start writing, so it’s always an adventure when you first start out.
Where did you write it? (Would you be willing to share pictures of the place or places where you write? I totally understand if you aren't comfortable with that, though).
No, you can see my pit! Notice the mess? I’m such a slob. My office is still completely cobbled together. I moved to the States from Britain about four years ago, and everything you see is what we originally picked up from family and at garage sales to set ourselves up. I guess we writers get pretty comfortable with our writing spaces and don’t like to change things around too much! It’s my little corner of the world.
What did your rewriting/revising process look like?
I tend to tackle revisions from the top down. Big picture stuff comes first--plot, character, pacing. Does everything link together? Are my characters driving the story as they should? Is there a nice balance between action and quieter moments? Are there scenes that can be amalgamated? I’m always looking for ways where one scene can serve multiple purposes. Then it’s on to the detailed work. Language. Flow. Rhythm. Is there a better way to say this? Is every word playing its part? I’ll usually make well over ten passes of a manuscript before it goes out to readers.
Do you rewrite/revise in the same place as you write or somewhere different?
Same place. I find it really hard to write in a public places like a coffee shop or library, because I’m so easily distracted. I’ll start browsing the bookshelves or people watching instead!
How different is your first draft from the finished book?
Structurally, the finished version of The Dark Light is very similar to how it looked after the first draft. We didn’t make any major structural changes in edits, though I did break up a couple of chapters and incorporated those scenes into different parts of the manuscript. I did write a couple of additional scenes at the end of the book, mainly to tie up a couple of loose threads and to give some sense about how Mia’s life had now changed.
From initial concept to final book, what was the most difficult part of the process?
For me, the most difficult part of writing any novel is the point where you’re way into the story and all the elements that you’ve previously planted begin to converge. It can feel as if you’re holding six or seven stories in your head. You don’t want to lose focus on any one part, but you also need to keep everything balanced, and that can mean switching from very action orientated scenes to more emotional scenes, while keeping everything on pace. It’s difficult, but worth the effort once the story comes together.
Do you have a special stack or shelf that has all your favorite books in one place? If you do, what's in that stack? If not, what books would you include if you had one?
I really don’t. I’m so disorganized! There are piles of books all over the house. In the bedroom. The office. The spare room. It drives my husband crazy. If I had one shelf, it would contain all the Harry Potters (love!), the Chronicles of Narnia (a huge influence on me as a child), a ton of Stephen King (I love The Stand, The Shining, Salems’ Lot…), The Complete Works of Hans Christian Anderson (adore), and a copy of Gone with the Wind (Go Scarlett!).
That last answer sounds familiar to a lot of us, I think. Now time for the giveaway... Because Sara is awesome, it is open internationally and will run through the remainder of Sara's tour, September 5, 2012.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Huge thanks to Sara Walsh for stopping by and providing a copy of The Dark Light. Don't forget to visit The Book Goddess on Monday where Sara with be talking all things British. Or, you can check out the entire tour schedule. There are chances to win The Dark Light at every tour stop.