Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Interview Salem Burning by Daniel Sugar

What inspired you to become an author?

When I was five I saw a TV show called “Bewitched” and I was hooked. I couldn’t stop thinking about witches, ways to tell stories about witches.

Do you have a specific writing style?

People tell me that I have a very commercial style. A “page-turner” style. I take that as a compliment because my goal is to keep the pages turning.

Do you write in different genres?

I like to write historical fiction, romantic comedies and jokes, specifically, one-liners. I’ve sold comedy to “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno”, and I write jokes every day now on my Twitter page which you can find at Daniel Sugar@1692SalemWitch.

If yes which is your favorite genre to write?

I really loved writing “Salem Burning”. It’s my first novel and it’s a paranormal, historical romance. I wish I could’ve called it “Bad Break Up”. (Then I could’ve written on the cover, You think YOU had a bad break up? Read this – you’ll feel better!”

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

Originally, I was going to call the novel “The Witch’s Wedding” but then I thought of “Salem Burning” and I liked it because it really sums it up – not just the execution but the way the story always feels like it’s at a flash point. It all feels very dark and hot and feverish to me so “Salem Burning” seemed perfect.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

At its core, the novel is really about the way men treat women. In one scene, the heroine, Lilly Parris, says to the young man who has destroyed her life, “Is this the way you treat women?” That’s really what the book is about. I wanted to turn the Salem witch trials upside down and so I did and this time the women win.

What books/authors have influenced your life?

Truman Capote wrote the most beautiful sentences I’ve ever read. When you read “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” you quickly discover that every sentence is a Faberge Egg. So, I guess I wanted to write sentences that were that beautiful. Of course, I can’t – no one can -Truman was a genius and real genius is extremely rare. (Still, we all try.) Probably my greatest influences are The Page Turners: Jackie Collins, Jaqueline Susann, Harold Robbins, Sidney Sheldon, Anne Rice, J.K. Rowling, Dan Brown, Michael Crichton, Robin Cook - people who really know how to keep the story moving. You can learn a lot from those people. Those people are the best writing school.

What book are you reading now?

I’m re-reading a novel by Sidney Sheldon called “The Other Side Of Midnight”. Even though I know the story I still can’t put it down. I miss Sidney.

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

I’m working on the sequel to “Salem Burning”, it takes place during the French Revolution and it’s called, “The Witch And The Guillotine”.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Starting. Finding the tense and the tone. With “Salem Burning” I really agonized over the first sentence for a couple of months. But once I had the first sentence I never looked back.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Truman Capote – No matter how many times I read “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” I just can’t figure out how he did it. It’s like a magic trick. A tantalizing, intractable puzzle.

Who designed the cover of your latest book? They’re great.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t let criticism and rejection get you down. Believe in yourself. It’s really hard but you have to try.

Just for fun questions-

If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?

As a writer, invisibility would be invaluable since a writer has to constantly observe. Also, because I’m Curious George, I wouldn’t mind living forever. I always want to know how things turn out – I want to know how the story ends and death certainly puts a damper on that. My motto is: Give me immortality or give me death!

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?

I want Dumbledore’s Phoenix: Fawkes. Best. Pet. Ever.

If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them?

I’d love to ask Shakespeare how he thought of “Romeo And Juliet”. I really love that play. I’d take him to see the movie – I think it would be a kick for him because they didn’t have movies when he was alive and I’m pretty sure he’d enjoy seeing his work on the big screen. (I’d pay for the popcorn and soda – I figure it’s the least I can do considering everything he’s done for all of us…)

Salem Burning
Daniel Sugar

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Daniel Sugar

Date of Publication: February 20th, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-7752675-0-8

Number of pages: 151
 Word Count: 34,289

Cover Artist:

Tagline: If Only They’d Known…You Can’t Burn A Witch.

Book Description:

Salem Burning, a magical re-telling of the Salem witch trials, is now available exclusively on Amazon.

In 1692, disreputable Kyle Edwards breaks his engagement by accusing his fiancee, Lilly Parris, of witchcraft.

Kyle is a liar - he does not really believe in witchcraft, he is simply trying to get rid of Lilly. But Kyle is in for a shock because, as it turns out, Lilly really is a witch.

“Salem Burning is a fast-paced, brand-new take on the Salem witch trials.




     The late-afternoon sun was slipping away and storm clouds and darkness were rapidly approaching as the happy eight-year-old girl carrying a straw basket filled with freshly-cut roses ran towards Delaney Castle.
     Suddenly out of breath, Sarah Delaney stopped, sat down on the soft green grass and looked at her home. Delaney Castle was truly beautiful. Its stone walls and turrets so white they almost shimmered in the rapidly setting sun. It was hard to believe that a magnificent castle perched on top of a hill was actually her home. Hers!  How lucky she was to live there and how blessed she was to have such wonderful parents. Parents who loved her so much they were making a magnificent birthday party for her that very evening. Overcome with happiness, Sarah could not help herself and as she stood up and ran into the castle she started to sing. “The birth day is the loveliest day. The birth day is filled with charm.”
     Sarah’s beautiful, dark-haired mother, Evelyn Delaney, was clad in a breathtaking saffron gown and she was waiting for her daughter as Sarah ran into the castle. 
     Evelyn smiled, lifted a rose from Sarah’s straw basket and inhaled the flower’s scent. “Come along, Sarah. Everyone wants to see the birthday girl.”
     Sarah kissed her mother on the cheek and said, “I am ready, mother.”
     Sarah took her mother’s hand and together they walked into an enormous dining hall which was filled with relatives and friends who began to clap and cheer the moment Sarah entered the room.
     Sarah scanned the room. The crowd was thick. There were so many people, too many people - but she only wanted one of them. Yet she could not find him. It was so frustrating. Where was he? Where was he?  Suddenly she spotted him – her tall, handsome, blond father, Patrick Delaney, (clad in his finest tartan kilt and a velvet jacket). Sarah rushed into her father’s arms and he laughed and tossed her playfully into the air as Sarah squealed with delight. “Now we eat!” Patrick yelled. “Now we sing and dance as we let it be known to all that eight years ago, on the first of June, fifteen hundred and forty-two, my daughter, this young beauty named Sarah Delaney, was born in Scotland!”
     The assembled guests cheered and, as if by magic, servants suddenly appeared in the vast dining hall, some carrying trays of food, some holding musical instruments which they began to play.
     Delighted, the guests began to eat and sing and dance to the lively music which was almost drowned out by the sound of approaching thunder.
      Sarah took her parents’ hands and the three of them sang along with their guests; raising their voices as the sounds of distant thunder grew closer and louder.
     Suddenly, thunder exploded overhead, cold, impenetrable sheets of rain dropped from the black sky and long branches of lightning illuminated the castle as soldiers rushed into the dining hall with swords drawn.
     Sarah Delaney screamed as a soldier cut off her father’s head.
     Evelyn Delaney grabbed her terrified daughter and ran to the large portrait of Patrick Delaney that hung on one of the dining hall’s stone walls.
      Soldiers ignored all cries for mercy and massacred the party guests, savagely, brutally, sparing no one.
     Trembling, Evelyn pushed the portrait and the stone wall moved, revealing a secret passageway.
     Evelyn quickly kissed her daughter. “Hurry now, Sarah. Save yourself.”
     Suddenly, a soldier drove his sword into Evelyn’s chest and Sarah, still clutching the basket of roses rushed down the dark stone passageway.
     “Run, Sarah!”
     The soldier pulled the sword from Evelyn’s chest and then plunged it into her throat.
     The moment Evelyn Delaney fell to the ground, dead, the soldier turned his attention to Sarah and rushed into the stone passageway.
     As Sarah ran, she turned and looked behind her. The soldier was too fast. She was running with all her might but the soldier was getting closer.
     A bright white flash of lightning illuminated the end of the passageway; illuminated freedom.
     Sarah, exhausted, managed to squeeze through the passageway’s narrow opening just as the soldier lunged and tried to grab her.
     The soldier was able to grab Sarah’s left shoe and tear if off her foot but Sarah was suddenly free.
     The soldier was unable to fit through the passageway’s narrow opening and he screamed and swore and waved the child’s raw leather shoe as Sarah Delaney ran and ran and disappeared into the wet Scottish night.

About the Author:

Daniel Sugar has written for a number of celebrities and for several TV shows, including “The Tonight Show, With Jay Leno”. He has always been fascinated by witches, witchcraft, the Salem witch trials, and the French Revolution. “Salem Burning” is his first novel. He is currently working on the sequel, “The Witch And The Guillotine”.

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