Do you have a specific writing style?
Fast-paced. I never stray too far from the action. One reviewer said I “don’t believe in stopping points.”
How did you come up with the title for your latest book?
Watch Me Burn is a line near the end of the book. It simultaneously represents pain and abuse and power and defiance.
Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?
The title usually comes to me in the early stages of writing. The theme drives the title, but I like having it early so I can tie the title into the story.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Anyone is capable of beautiful and horrible things, and unexpected people can have amazing power.
Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?
What books/authors have influenced your life?
The Harry Potter series is my biggest influence, although I’ve adapted a much darker, grown-up version of wizards.
What book are you reading now?
Several, but the most notable is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
What books are in your to read pile?
The real question is what book isn’t in my to-read pile.
What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?
Book 3 and 4 of The December People Series!
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Finding the time to write! When it comes to the story itself, I struggle with giving my many characters the voice they deserve, while not making the story too confusing or messy.
Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?
Wouldn’t that be nice? :D I do most of my research online.
Who designed the cover of your latest book?
Michelle Johnson, a cover designer or Curiosity Quills Press.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Building a career as an author takes a lot of time and hard work. You’re likely to work harder than you’ve ever worked for the least pay you’ve ever earned. If you’re okay with that, then you have what it takes to be an author.
Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?
Watch Me Burn
The December People
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Publication: 1/5/15
Number of pages: 250
Word Count: 75,000
Cover Artist: Michelle Johnson
David Vandergraff lost his home, his job, and contact with his oldest son, but remains determined to be a good husband and father despite being a dark winter wizard.
His resolve is tested when a flyer for a missing girl--who happens to be a summer witch--begins to haunt him. David believes a spell needs to use him to save her, so he follows the magic's command and looks into her disappearance. His teenage daughter Emmy resents him for caring so much about a random stranger. But when she uncovers some disturbing evidence close to home, she begins an investigation of her own.
David and Emmy quickly learn that the mystery is not only about a missing girl they barely know, but a deeply personal story that impacts everyone they care about. As their world crumbles, they fear the warning may be true—never mess with summer wizards, because the good guys always win.
David Vandergraff could smell magic in the air, as clearly as he could smell the motor oil and burned coffee. When the news report began, the volume on the television became much louder, and the screen glowed as if demons would claw their way out at any minute. However, none of the other patrons in the waiting room of the mechanic's shop noticed anything different. They continued staring at their phones, looking pale and sick in the fluorescent light and excessive air conditioning. Before David had known he was a wizard, he dismissed such oddities as "just one of those things you can't explain". But now, he knew better.
The image of the missing girl on the screen shined so intensely, he could see her outline burned into the blackness behind his eyelids when he blinked. The girl posed in her volleyball uniform, displaying a radiant white-toothed smile. She looked about fourteen or fifteen. She had blonde hair and golden skin and a strange radiating quality, as if the pixels in the television gave her an extra glow.
David shook his head. Since he had learned he was a wizard, anytime he noticed anything strange, from bad weather to a headache, he feared magic was involved. His daughter Emmy was blonde, around the girl's same age, and played volleyball. So, the missing girl reminded him of Emmy—and of course, that would upset him. Besides, his heart always raced when he saw a missing child. Two of his own children had been missing for a long time. And even though they were now safe at home, he didn't think the fear and grief would ever leave him.
He tried to turn his attention back to scanning job listings on his tablet, but he couldn't focus his eyes on anything except the television report and all the other sounds turned into a whirring buzz.
About the Author:
Sharon Bayliss is the author of The December People Series and The Charge. When she’s not writing, she enjoys living happily-ever-after with her husband and two young sons. She can be found eating Tex-Mex on patios, wearing flip-flops, and playing in the mud (which she calls gardening). She only practices magic in emergencies.
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