Author Interview: Sharon Sant


If you like Young Adult Fantasy novels, then i think you’ll love English author,SkySongCoverSharon Sant’s brilliant written, The Sky Song trilogy. The first book in the series, Sky Song introduces us to Jacob and the strange, yet wonderfully captivating trauma he experiences as he undergoes a transformation from fifteen year old teenager to successor to ancient race of people. It has a very paranormal feel to it too, which spellbounds the entire structure of the book. Yet, oddly, it also comes across so authentic, so realistic which actually pulls in you more.

Sky Song was released to some wonderful reviews. “Sant effortlessly weaves together two worlds” says one Goodreads member, “Sky song is a novel that brought me immediately back to the excitement of being ten years old …” said another. Here is the blurb, just for you:

An unknown past. An unwanted destiny. A fight for survival.

A strange-eyed boy with no memory of his true identity or real parents, Jacob could have no idea of the mortal danger he has been in every day of his fifteen years. Now that danger has found him and suddenly he doesn’t know who he can trust and what is real anymore. All he knows is that his new identity is almost as terrifying as the peril unleashing it has brought. Caught in the universal power struggle of an ancient race of beings and a destiny demanded of him that he does not want, he must fight to protect his own life and everyone he holds dear. But when the time comes, will he be strong enough to make the sacrifices that saving them will demand?

Sky Song is the first book of the Sky Song trilogy

 

SharonSant

Sharon Sant was born in Dorset but now lives in Stoke-on-Trent. She graduated from Staffordshire University in 2009 with a degree in English and creative writing. She currently works part time as a freelance editor and continues to write her own stories. An avid reader with eclectic tastes across many genres, when not busy trying in vain to be a domestic goddess, she can often be found lurking in local coffee shops with her head in a book. Sometimes she pretends to be clever but really loves nothing more than watching geeky TV and eating Pringles.

And of course, we all love Pringles! Shall we move on to the interview?

§ For those who are new to The Sky Song trilogy, what can they expect to discover?

I think you can expect to discover a trio of friends that go on a remarkable journey, one that reaches way beyond the world that any of them know.  I hope readers will laugh and cry (maybe even at the same time) and sometimes be scared, and wish that they could go to the same school as Jacob.

§ How did the idea develop? Did it progress whilst you wrote or did you have a rough overall plan before you put pen to paper?

I’m really not very good at plotting beforehand.  I always start with a beginning and a vague end point, but the story grows organically from there.  It’s like a treasure hunt, where each point will give you clues to the next one.  A character will do something which makes me think about what that character would do next.  Often, when I do try to plot more strictly, the book ignores my carefully planned out story and goes and does its own thing without me!

§ In Sky Song, there is fantastic and authentic chemistry between the three friends Jacob, Luca and Ellen. It’s an original dynamic, as we usually see relationships between only two characters. Tell us a little about these three characters and the roles they play.

Jacob is the main man.  He’s complex and quite intense.  If I’d known someone like him at school I might have been a bit in awe of him, but a bit scared too.  Essentially, he’s a good guy, but he has this dark side at the start of the book that he doesn’t really understand.  Once he does, he finds it hard to deal with the knowledge.  Then there’s Luca.  He’s Jacob’s foil, the light to his darkness. He’s the class joker, but he hides his insecurities behind his humour.  Beneath the carefree exterior is a much deeper character.  Ellen is the touchstone, the anchor of the trio.  She’s had a much tougher upbringing than either of the boys and is more level-headed and pragmatic for it.  She’s fiercely loyal and will do anything to protect her friends.  She also has a really strong sense of morals. She keeps the other two in check, and binds the three of them.

§ I love how the unique ‘two sides’ of Jacob’s personality conflict with one another. How the unknown haunts Jacob, whereas the locked Ioh desperately tries to shine through. Did you ever find yourself becoming almost possessed as Jacob’s story started to unravel and you just had to get it all down?

I always become possessed with every character I write!  I always immerse myself in every world I create, which makes me very difficult to live with when I’m in first draft territory.  I get to the point where I’ll inhabit that world in my head, night and day, no matter what I’m doing or where I am.  And I am quite obsessive when I’m writing a first draft, in that I’ll spend every available moment working feverishly to get it all down before it disappears.  If I lose the thread at any point during that process, I’ll often have to abandon the draft and, sometimes, they don’t get picked up again for years, if at all.

YoungMoon§ The front covers for Sky Song and The Young Moon are interesting and eye-catching to say the least. Did you design them yourself? And if you did, what influenced the design?

Thank you!  I designed them myself.  It took a long time to find the initial image for Sky Song.  I wanted something that represented the climactic scene of the book, something atmospheric and spooky.   I also wanted the three covers to tie together, visually, so that it would be easy to see that they belonged together.  The third book has a similar image, but it’s a different colour again. And I stuck with the same font too.

§ Excluding Jacob, what other character did you have the most fun writing?

It has to be Luca.  He gets some great lines, particularly in the second and third books.  A few people have said that he had them giggling.  And he’s such an outrageous flirt, as a woman you’d cringe if he tried to chat you up with some of his lines, but you’d also laugh your socks off and probably go home with him anyway!  But he has a serious side too, which comes out when the others really need it.  As I said earlier, he hides his securities behind his humour.  In that sense, he’s a lot like me.

§ I’ve read that you have a standalone novel Runners coming out later in 2013. This however is to be released by Immanion Press. Is there a specific reason why you are switching from self-publishing to traditional publishing for this release?

I was offered the contract for Runners during summer 2012, so it’s actually been a long time coming out.  I had the first Sky Song book finished at the same time, sitting around on my laptop.  It had never occurred to me to self-publish, but a friend who self-publishes suggested that I give it a go.  I enjoyed the process so much that I decided to put the second two Sky Song books out the same way.  But the traditional publishing deal actually came first and I would probably take another one for a book in the future if the right deal came along.  I enjoy publishing both ways for very different reasons.

§ If you could pick three characters from fiction to be shipwrecked on a desert island with, who would they be?

Harry Potter, without a doubt.  Will Stanton (The Dark is Rising) would be pretty cool too.  Both of those would be handy if we were on a desert island!   The third is a really weird one, but run with me.  I think Biggles would be super tough and keep all that magic in check with his no-nonsense stiff upper lip.  I had a weird obsession with W.E Johns books for a year or so when I was in my teens. I think that might be the first time I’ve mentioned it anywhere; you must be like a Parky-style interviewer to drag that secret out!

§ Do your favourite authors influence your writing genre or do you like to escape from YA Fiction and read something different entirely? Or does the stories you write fall into a genre all by themselves?

I really don’t think I’m influenced by writers as such, but I suppose it must creep into my work.  I’m interested in great stories and amazing writing no matter what genre they come from.  I write a lot of YA and I read a lot, but it’s not an exclusive thing.

§ What book have you read recently that deserves to be turning into a film or TV Series?

When I read Jack Croxall’s Tethers, I really visualised it as the sort of thing that would be perfect for a CBBC series.  I think he should turn it into a script and send it to the BBC!   I would also love to see The Night Circus as a film.  I’m sure that’s only a matter of time, though.

§ Do you have any writing superstitions? Perhaps you have to always wear a pair of slippers to click your brain over into writing mode, or maybe you have to always start with a coffee in your favourite mug?

If I’m in a situation where it is impossible to write, you can guarantee that my brain will be in writing mode!  I don’t have a superstition as such, but I do need a steady supply of tea.

§ When will the final instalment of The Sky Song trilogy be roughly released? Can you perhaps leak any details or a working titles?

The final instalment has been written and beta read. The cover has been designed too.  All that’s left to is to proof read.   I expect release date to be 1st May 2013.   I can’t say too much without giving away the end of The Young Moon for those who haven’t read it, as the third book, Not of Our Sky, picks up right from the end of the second book.  What I can say is that book three hinges on the prophecy in The Young Moon that foretells Jacob’s fall into darkness.

§ Describe The Sky Song trilogy in just five words.

Love, loyalty, adventure, surprise, destiny.

Biggles? Really, Sharon! What an insightful interview, i’m sure you’ll all agree! Sharon Sant is an exciting and fresh new voice to a genre that is getting a lot of attention at the moment. You can keep up to date with her writing news, as well as interesting insights too over at her blog. She tweets as @SharonSant and has her own Author Facebook too.

To buy the first instalment of The Sky Song trilogy, you can find Sky Song over at Amazon UK & Amazon US/AUS

Sky Song at Goodreads:

Sky Song (Sky Song trilogy #1)

 

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