22 Jun 2016

Storm Child by Sharon Saint

Title: Storm Child by Sharon Sant
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: 21st April 2016
Publisher: Lightfoot Press

In a Victorian era where the industrial revolution has been replaced by superstition and magic, Britain is a place where wolves roam freely and children with magic are snatched from the streets. This is home for thirteen-year-old witch, Annie and her baby sister, Georgina. When their mother dies, Annie and Georgina find themselves saved from the workhouse by the mysterious Ernesto Black. But Black’s motives are far from pure and soon Annie faces new, even more dangerous threats. What does Ernesto want from Georgina? And can Annie trust the other teenagers living with Ernesto: Polly, who has her eye fixed firmly on inheriting Ernesto’s fortune and will do anything to make sure she gets it, and the charming Isaac, who would do anything to win Polly’s affections – legal or not.
Fearing for Georgina’s safety, Annie is faced with a terrible choice: she can try to guard her sister from the ever-present threat of Ernesto, or she can leave the child out in the wilds of the New Forest in the hope she’ll be found and taken in by a new family, ignorant of her powers. Annie chooses to leave Georgina’s future to chance and steals her away from Ernesto’s house in the dead of night.
But Annie’s troubles are far from over as her actions set in motion a chain of events that will take her and Georgina into danger she could never imagine. This danger drags country girl, Charlotte Harding into the fray and threatens every one of the teenagers, and it leads them right into the heart of the powerful organisation responsible for the assassination of Queen Victoria, an organisation that wants only one thing: Hell on Earth – quite literally…

Author Interview
Can you tell us a little about your latest book?
It’s called Storm Child, and it takes place in a sort of parallel Victorian era where magic exists but children who are found to have it are in grave danger. It follows the fortunes of a group of teenagers – Annie, Polly, Isaac and Charlotte, who find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy that explains just what horrors await any child found with magic, children who have been disappearing without a trace for years.

What inspired you to write it?
It began with a simple idea – what would you do if you found an abandoned baby? And then the first scene came, and it grew from there. I loved action and adventure stories as a girl, and though my last few books have been much darker and more adult than that, I wanted to return to that genre again and do something a bit more fun. Although there is plenty of darkness in Storm Child, I think there is hope and humour too.

How did you come up with the idea for the cover?I wish I could take credit for that but I can’t! It was designed by Christa at Paper & Sage, who do all my covers. I emailed some details and Christa came up with the perfect design.

If it was made into a movie, who would you like to play the main characters?

Lord, this is very hard! I usually have to think for a long time about these things and because they’re a young cast it’s doubly hard to come up with because I don’t know that many young actors. I think maybe Tom Holland, the new Spiderman, could do a good job with Isaac. Yasmin Page would make a great Polly, and I think Mia Goth could play Charlotte. Annie is only thirteen but Evanna Lynch has a very youthful face and I think she could pull it off.

Is it part of a series or is it a stand-alone novel?
There are plans for a trilogy, the second part of which will hopefully be available in the autumn. But the story does resolve so that it can be read on its own.

Where is the novel set and why did you choose to set it there?
It’s set in the Hampshire/ Dorset countryside, around the New Forest area. I was born in Dorset and even though I don’t live there now I have an incredible fondness for the area. I think it lends itself perfectly for stories that require a lot of different settings, like sea and forest, and, in fact, I’ve used it in novels before (Sky Song and Runners were both set there).

What is it about this genre that appeals to you so much?
I love young adult fiction because I think you can stretch boundaries. Younger readers (or older ones with a youthful outlook) are far more open to new ideas and so you can really mix a story up. For adult thrillers, there’s usually an expected formula and a shape the story will take, the same goes for romances. But with young adult books, you can do pretty much anything and it’s ok as long as you can captivate your audience. You can have a romance, and a thriller, paranormal and fantasy all in the same book if you want to and that’s ok. I love that freedom.

What made you want to become an author?
I’ve always wanted to tell stories but it wasn’t until I went to university to study English literature as a mature student that I wrote my first novel. That’s when I really got the bug.

How do you come up with character names?
Often they just come to me, and I’ll know they’re perfect. Sometimes, say if I’m writing a foreign character, I’ll look at lists of baby names for that country. There are other things to consider, like when you’re writing something historical, it’s as well to check that the name was actually in use at that time!

Do you struggle to come up with book titles? Do they come before, during or after you've written your book?
I would say all three. Often they pop into my head the moment the story does. Sometimes I’ll hear a phrase that will spark a title and then the idea for the book comes. Occasionally, I’ll write a book and realise that the title isn’t right at all and then struggle for a while to find a new title.

Name one of your all-time favourite books?
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly. I never get tired of reading it.

Who, or what, inspires you?
People who go against the grain, who achieve things that nobody thinks they can, against all odds – they’re the people who inspire me to do the same, and even more so when they’re good and kind people with it.

Where is your favourite place to write?
I tend to work at my kitchen table, and as I don’t have anywhere else, it seems to be my favourite place by default!

What is your favourite movie that was based on a book?
The Princes Bride. Fabulous film and book.

Name two of your favourite authors.
I don’t really have favourites as I tend to like one or two books from many authors but not necessarily everything they’ve done. If I had to choose it would probably come from the classics, someone like Dickens or Hardy – I read a lot of those when I was younger.

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I have a brown belt in karate.

Who would play you in the movie about your life?
Jenna Coleman, maybe? Someone short!

Tell us an interesting fact about where you live.

It’s the European City of Sport this year.

What are your (writing) plans for the future?
I’m hoping to get the second Storm Child book finished this year. I also write romantic comedies under a pen name and I have quite a lot of work to do there. After that, who knows!

Tell us one thing that's on your bucket list.
I desperately want to go up in a hot air balloon. I just never seem to make it happen, though.

Favourite myth / fairytale?
I’m not sure I really have one. I’m interested in Greek mythology and also Norse myths.

Who/What did you want to be when you were a kid?

I wanted to be an actress. It didn’t quite work out, did it?
The basket the girl carried was almost as large as her and she gasped as she stumbled, nearly dropping it. It had been dragged on a stolen handcart along dark, silent roads until she reached the edge of the heath. The cart was useless on the dense undergrowth here and now she walked with her precious cargo, crooning to it as she laboured under its weight.
Biting back tears, she took one last look around. Her gaze returned to the lights of the tiny house. Was this close enough? Would the basket be found? What would happen if it wasn’t? But the girl had no choice. The alternative was a fate far, far worse.
She opened her mouth and clear, high notes rang out across the darkened terrain. A few moments passed, the girl singing in the darkness, until a shadow appeared on the horizon and crept towards her. The wolf approached and bowed its head.
‘Thank you,’ the girl said. ‘You will protect her until she is claimed. After that, your will is your own again.’
The wolf stared at the girl, as if in a trance. Then it sat next to the basket and turned its eyes to the heath.
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Sharon Sant was born in Dorset but now lives in Staffordshire. Aged eight she wrote a poem about ET, which received the ultimate praise of being pinned onto the classroom wall, and from that moment on she knew she'd never stop writing. 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.
Young adult novels Sky Song, The Young Moon and Not of Our Sky (the Sky Song trilogy), The Memory Game and Runners were all released in 2013 to glowing reviews. Dead Girl Walking followed in 2015 and she has a new trilogy planned for 2016, the first book of which, Storm Child, is due for release in April.
Sharon also writes children's fiction under the name of Summer Hopkiss.
To find out more you can follow her on twitter where she's always happy to chat.
Goodreads Author Page

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