26 April 2014

Interview - The Sound author, Sarah Alderson!

Title: The Sound
Author: Sarah Alderson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK, 320 pages, (August 1st 2013)
From: bought from Amazon.co.uk
Format: e-book
Add to: Goodreads
Order a copy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK

Synopsis: When aspiring music journalist Ren Kingston takes a job nannying for a wealthy family on the exclusive island of Nantucket, playground for Boston's elite, she's hoping for a low-key summer reading books and blogging about bands. Boys are firmly off the agenda.

What she doesn't count on is falling in with a bunch of party-loving private school kids who are hiding some dark secrets, falling (possibly) in love with the local bad boy, and falling out with a dangerous serial killer...

Author Interview:

Welcome to A Life Bound By Books and Thanks for chatting with me today. I'm excited to have you visiting with us on the blog. I have some questions that I'm eager to ask, so how about we get started?

1.In a few sentences how would you describe The Sound to future readers?

It’s like Gossip Girl crossed with The Killing. It’s about an English girl who is an aspiring music journalist who goes to Nantucket for the summer to work as a nanny. She falls in with a group of private school kids who have lots of dark secrets and despite not wanting to falls for the local bad boy (who also reads books, fixes bikes and plays guitar) who has some secrets of his own. At the same time there’s a serial killer on the loose…(obviously).

2.How much of your own experience as a nanny in Nantucket did you use towards writing The Sound?

Well I did draw on the beauty of the landscapes. I had the best time. I was 17. I was staying in this beautiful house with a wrap around porch and a view of the salt flats and sea. I had a bike (much like Ren) and cycled all over the island and made friends with lots of the kids holidaying there, who were every bit as preppy as Jeremy and crew.

I had a holiday romance and went to a few parties like the ones described in the book. It was a really idyllic beautiful time. But it didn’t include a serial killer.

I always tell aspiring writers to travel – I have drawn on so many instances from my life that at the time I had no idea would one day make it into a book. Live life to the fullest!

3. If you could meet one of your characters in real life; who would it be, why and what would you say to them?

Oh man, that’s such a hard question! I would love love LOVE to meet my characters in real life. In fact the closest I have come so far was casting the actors for The Sound trailer. That was so strange. To see them leap off the page and stand before me speaking my words. And the fact Jesse was almost too beautiful for words was rather nice too.

I have so many characters I am crazy fond of. I hope one day Lila becomes a film as I’m really intrigued to finally meet Lila and Alex. But actually I have a secret crush on Demos (don’t tell) and also on Cyrus from Severed. They are two of my favourite characters. I would tell them that I’m sorry I didn’t give them what they most desired and that I made them suffer.

4. After reading The Sound, what do you hope readers take away with them from Ren's story?

Ren is my most every-girl character. She’s a Brit – my first purely English character – and I loved imbuing British humour into her. I live in Bali and am surrounded by ex-pats who are all American so I really miss British humour. When I make a joke here most people stare at me blank-faced, so I relished Ren’s sarcasm and dry wit. I think she’s a girl seeking truth, there’s an element of that in all my books. All my girl characters are seeking truth and aren’t afraid to stand up and confront liars.

I hope too that readers are inspired by the idea of stepping out of your comfort zone, of travelling and striving after dreams.

5. Could you share with us a favourite line or two from the Sound without giving anything away?

“I narrow my eyes at him. ‘Don’t try to take me on with sarcasm. I am the queen of it. I’ve studied it, perfected it. I come from a land where we own sarcasm and the use of it. There is nothing you can teach me about sarcasm.’

‘OK,’ he says, grinning up at me, ‘Professor Emeritus Sarcastus. You can own the sarcasm. What I meant was you might learn how to change the chain on a bike, for example.”

And: “Well good, I think, maybe he’s thinking that he’s being a total tool and reassessing the whole idea. Maybe he’s going to figure out that going to jail would be a dumb idea. And that kissing me would be a not so dumb idea. Goddamn all men. Goddamn them. They all have shit for brains.

6. Can you tell us anything about what you're currently working on and when it might be available to readers?

My head is spinning from working on too many things at once. The Sound is out in the US in May. Out of Control, my next YA thriller is out in the UK in May too. And then I have my first new adult novel Come Back To Me (published under the name Mila Gray) out in June! I have also just finished the screenplay for Hunting Lila (which has taken about two years!)

7. What was the last book you read that just blew you away?

I’m currently reading Dreams of Gods and Monsters and I can barely think about anything else. I think Laini Taylor is hands down the best author writing YA at the moment. Her wordcraft is just that – it’s craft. I read her books and fall into them. She is enormously talented.

also just read The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and it flew into my top ten books of all time.

8. What has been the draw to you in writing YA titles?

My original inspiration was to write a book that wasn’t Twilight. I wanted to write a book about a girl who had power and I ended up writing Hunting Lila. After that it was just a no-brainer. I really enjoy writing for young adults. I think because I had such an up and down teenage life, moments of bleakness that were lifted by some incredible pinpoints of light – like travelling to Nantucket, falling in love, backpacking around the world. A lot of those adventures have found their way into my books.

But now I’m also writing new adult books because it turns out I’m quite good at writing steam and my agent and publisher pushed me (very kindly) in that direction so I leaped at the chance.

Sarah, Thanks for taking the time to talk, it's been great having you join us on the blog. Feel free to drop by sometime, we'd love to have you!

About the Author:

Having spent most of her life in London, Sarah quit her job in the non profit sector in 2009 and took off on a round the world trip with her husband and princess-obsessed daughter on a mission to find a new place to call home. After several months in India, Singapore, Australia and the US, they settled in Bali where Sarah now spends her days writing by the pool and trying to machete open coconuts without severing a limb.

She finished her first novel, Hunting Lila, just before they left the UK, wrote the sequel on the beach in India and had signed a two book deal with Simon & Schuster by the time they had reached Bali.

A third book, Fated, about a teenage demon slayer, was published in January 2012.

The Sound, a thriller romance set in Nantucket, was published in August 2013. She has a further three thrillers due for release in the next few years.
You can find Sarah on facebook and at www.sarahalderson.com or follow her blog at www.canwelivhere.com

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