Ana Deschanel has made a terrible mistake. The only chance of protecting the other people involved is to flee New Orleans, the only home she has ever known, for the quiet solitude of Summer Island. [Tweet this!]
Summer Island, Maine (population 202) is not the tranquil escape Ana imagined. The locals are distant and cold, especially her neighbor, the reclusive veterinarian Jonathan St. Andrews. Her only lifeline is the kind but odd caretaker Alex Whitman. Showing up at all the right moments, he warns her she is completely unprepared for a Maine winter. As the first winter storm approaches to whispers of an island shutdown- Ana realizes that she may soon be cut off from the rest of the world.
After a surprising encounter with Jonathan’s brother, Finn, Ana finds herself braving the storm to return something to him. Unprepared for the Maine storm, she slips and falls onto the jagged rocks along the shore. The St. Andrews brothers find her in the nick of time, but she remains unconscious. As the storm worsens, the St. Andrews brothers learn there are other, more sinister forces at work closer than they ever imagined.
With no help from the outside world, they must find a way to protect themselves from both the storm, and the growing darkness that looms across the island.
And now, on to the interview with Sarah!
Sarah: The series grew from my love of three things: New Orleans, interesting and strange families, and paranormal. New Orleans is one of the few places in this country (and even on earth), where you can really suspend disbelief and believe these things are happening. [Tweet this!] You could really believe that there are ancient families with special abilities, curses, and other bizarre, inexplicable things.
Do you consider your book character-driven or plot-driven?
Honestly, its a combination of both, but my stories are probably 60/40 in the favor of character-driven. One of the things most reviewers have commented on is that my characters seem real. This is important to me, and I always seek to write dimensional characters.
What makes your book unique?
It crosses several big genres…from thriller, to paranormal, to romance, to suspense. I really didn’t write with any boundaries, or genres in mind. And because of that, I think it really appeals to a wide audience.
What genre does your book fall into – paranormal mystery, paranormal erotica, para-romance, urban fantasy, YA?
The most precise genre would probably be paranormal romantic suspense.
Do you plot ahead of time, or let the plot emerge as you write?
Both. I find that strict outlines constrain my creativity, but at the same time, if I don’t give myself some structure then editing and rewriting becomes a nightmare. So I do rough outlines and character sketches, and then eventually build out both as the story progresses.
How did you develop the names for your characters?
I love names that are different but not too unusual. Anasofiya’s mother is Russian, so it gave me an opportunity to find a very feminine, beautiful name for her while not going overboard. Finnegan, to me, sounded very much like the name of a young sailor, so that is how Finn was born. His brother Jon is more sedate, and more reserved, so I wanted to give him a conservative name to reflect that.
Yes! There are a few. None are long, but they’re fun. I’m not big on sex scenes for the sake of them… if they don’t serve an important plot point, then they don’t go in.
How did you decide on the setting?
It was difficult for me to decide to veer the series away from New Orleans for one book, but I felt that in order to really achieve the feelings of loneliness and isolation that Ana experiences, it needed to be far from home. I lived in Maine for a couple of years, and was fascinated especially with how the smaller communities (namely the islands) functioned. As the story developed, I realized that an isolated island in Maine was exactly what the story needed.
Right now I am working on writing the rough draft for Book 6 of The House of Crimson and Clover series, titled The Starlight Awakening. It’s my July Camp NaNoWriMo project. In August, I will be starting the major rewrites and edits for the third book, The Illusions of Eventide, which I am hoping to have published in January of 2013. Eventide follows Nicolas Deschanel, who moves from a secondary character (in books 1 and 2) to the primary, getting his own book. Nicolas comes in contact with Mercy, a very ancient and powerful being. Through her presence, his own long-dormant powers begin to surface.
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