Today I am pleased to welcome, Book Bound mentor and amazing author, Sara Grant onto the blog to tell us some of her secrets about Chasing Danger and her writing.
The two main characters in Chasing Danger transformed considerably from initial idea to published book. Originally I’d imagined Chasing Danger as a young adult novel with a boy and girl protagonist. The first storyline included a bit of light romance. But my agent and editor suggested that Chasing Danger should be for middle grade readers with two girl protagonists. They were right. This change in age range and gender really unlocked the story.
If you read Chasing Danger, you’ll notice that sharks play a prominent – and terrifying –role. I was scarred for life by watching the Jaws advertisement when the movie debuted in 1975. I never could build up the courage to watch the movie. For years after, that horrible image on the movie poster would spring to mind and freak me out whenever I went swimming –whether it was in the city pool, murky lake or crystal blue ocean.
In nearly every book I’ve ever written – except for Magic Trix, my series for younger readers about a girl training to be a fairy godmother – my agent or editor has stepped in to save at least one character. I have a bad habit of killing off too many people in my original storylines.
The first Chasing Danger was inspired by my trip to the Maldives. The secluded island resort in Chasing Danger is roughly based on the island where I stayed. I’ve researched – and by research I mean I’ve taken a holiday at – several more destinations perfect for mayhem and murder – and not too bad for a holiday either. For example, the second book in the Chasing Danger series is set at an ice hotel in the Arctic Circle.
I worked seventeen years in public relations. My last PR job was as the director of communications for the Lumina Foundation, which is dedicated to improving access to higher eduction. I was known as the ‘matrix queen’ for my love of creating planning documents – which usually included a grid of action items and deadlines. I still create plans and timelines for my projects – from Undiscovered Voices to my Book Bound events to the promotion of my next book. It’s no real surprise then that I created a detailed plot – a nearly 10,000-word storyline – before I wrote the first draft of a Chasing Danger.
Okay, first I’m not sure this should be consider a guilty pleasure. I love British TV mysteries. (It’s not like I’m admitting to binge-watching Top Model or Big Brother.) I’ve watched every Miss Marple (the 1984-1992 version with Joan Hickson and the recent re-boot) and Hercule Poirot multiple times. Sherlock, Midsommer Murders, Lewis, Vera, Shetland, Endeavour etc…– yep, watched every series at least once.
7) Useless, Random Fact
And oh-so randomly…I am able to recite the alphabet as quickly backwards as forwards. It’s a trick I learned from an older cousin on holiday when I was probably ten years old.
Sara Grant is the author of the new middle-grade, action-adventure series Chasing Danger:
When fourteen-year-old Chase Armstrong is sent to visit her grandmother at a remote tropical resort, she’s looking forward to sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling. The last thing she expects is danger. But she’s in for some surprises. She discovers another girl hiding out on the island and uncovers a devastating secret about the mum she’s never known. When modern-day pirates attack the island, it’s up to Chase to outrun, out-think and outfight the pirates . . . before it’s too late!