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Friday, 8 February 2013

2013 Debut Author Interview: Sarah Guillory

Every Friday here at The Book Goddess blog, I will be featuring one 2013 debut author and interview them about their upcoming book. If you want to take a look at the past interviews, go HERE.

About the author of RECLAIMED!
Sarah GuilloryI am a high school English teacher and young-adult author. My debut novel, RECLAIMED, will be out with Spencer Hill Contemp October 2013.I am a reader. I love words and worlds and characters and, I will admit, that perfectly placed semi-colon. I love it when a sentence is so beautiful that I have to stop and re-read it several times because it is a nugget of truth written in a way I’d never thought before but is somehow the exact shade of right. I love characters who become real and worlds more vivid than my own. I love books, and I am a reader.I live in Louisiana with my adorable husband and equally adorable but ridiculously spoiled bloodhound. I run marathons in order to stay at least partially sane. I love fall and football and rain. And books. Have I mentioned that I am ridiculously addicted to books?

 RECLAIMED by SARAH GUILLORY - releases October 15th 2013 from Spencer Hill Contemporary
ReclaimedJenna Oliver doesn’t have time to get involved with one boy, let alone two.

All Jenna wants is to escape her evaporating small town and her alcoholic mother. She's determined she'll go to college and find a life that is wholly hers—one that isn't tainted by her family's past. But when the McAlister twins move to town and Jenna gets involved with both of them, she learns the life she planned may not be the one she gets.

Ian McAlister doesn't want to start over; he wants to remember.

Ian can’t recall a single thing from the last three months—and he seems to be losing more memories every day. His family knows the truth, but no one will tell him what really happened before he lost his memory. When he meets Jenna, Ian believes that he can be normal again because she makes not remembering something he can handle.

The secret Ian can’t remember is the one Luke McAlister can’t forget.

Luke has always lived in the shadow of his twin brother until Jenna stumbles into his life. She sees past who he’s supposed to be, and her kiss brings back the spark that life stole. Even though Luke feels like his brother deserves her more, Luke can’t resist Jenna—which is the trigger that makes Ian's memory return.

Jenna, Ian, & Luke are about to learn there are only so many secrets you can keep before the truth comes to reclaim you.



1. Describe your book in 5 words.

hope, redemption, secrets, heartache, love

(Can you believe this was the hardest question to answer? It took me forever! J)

2. Your contemporary book RECLAIMED is slated for release later this year. Is there anything more you can tell us about the story or the characters? And what kind, if any, research did you have to do?

I think all stories require some research, even if it’s just to check a few small facts. The jacket copy gives a great description of the story, so all I’m going to add is the tag line, which I think is really great: One small town, two big secrets, three lives that will never be the same.

3. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started? What was your publishing journey like?

I’ve always loved writing. I fell in love with books at a very young age, but decided at the ripe old age of nine that I wasn’t creative enough to be a writer. I kept my words and pages hidden until I finally got old enough to give myself permission to write bad words and love it. I think I was 30 when I really started writing consistently. I wrote one book, then put it aside when the idea for Reclaimed grabbed ahold of me. My editor found me through WriteonCon, and the rest, as they say, is history.

4. How did your main character Jenna Oliver came to life? What was the inspiration behind her and do you have any quirks or hobbies similar to hers?

Jenna developed slowly and in pieces. I had a rough outline of who she was, but it took me the entire first draft to really get a handle on her character. I knew I wanted to create a strong character who was having to deal with a lot. As far as similarities go, she’s a runner, and so am I. I also grew up in a small town, but unlike Jenna, I love small towns and would never live anywhere else.

5. I'm really into books with strong romantic elements, is there anything you can tell us about the romance in your book? About Ian and Luke, the twins?

This book is about the different types of relationships we have in our lives, from familial to friendly to fiery. I hope I portrayed the complexity inherent in all types. Reclaimed does have a very strong romantic element to it, and the relationships aren’t easy ones. I know there are some readers who are turned off by love triangles, but this story is more about three people who come together as their lives are unraveling. They each need something different from their relationship, and they are all connected to each other in different ways. I love both Ian and Luke so much, and I hope the readers will as well. I think that is one of the great things about this book, that while it is about both Ian and Luke’s relationship with Jenna, it’s also about their relationship with each other.

6. What made you decide to write a Young Adult book? And why the contemporary genre?

I’ve always written young-adult. Maybe because I’m still a kid at heart. I also think it’s the age where there is so much possibility. Teens are on the edge of everything, but they are dealing with so much in their lives, extreme joys and extreme heartaches, and I just love the possibility in writing that kind of emotion. And I think I write a lot of contemporary because I am fascinated with complex characters and contemporary really lends itself to that kind of writing. I like to explore choices and consequences in real-life situations.

7. As a reader, what is the most important to you, the characters or the plot? And as a writer, is it different?

The characters are most important to me as both a reader and a writer. I love stories of course, but I love them because I care about the characters and what happens to them. I’ve read a few books with an amazing premise but that lacked character development and motivation and those books fell a little flat with me. I want to feel like I know those characters and could sit down and have a real conversation with them.

8. Aside from RECLAIMED coming out October 15th this year, what else can we expect from you? New books, new projects?

I just started revisions on a WIP that I finished this summer. It is the first of a trilogy, and since I normally write standalones, I’m a little freaked out about what I’ve gotten myself into. The story is still developing, but I love these characters so much that I just have to tell their story.

9. How did you come up with the title RECLAIMED? I love it! Is there any significance or meaning the title has to the story? Is there any other titles that you thought about before going ahead with Reclaimed? :)

I get this question a lot, especially from my students. The idea of reclamation is an important one in this book and is seen in a variety of situations. This was the only title the book ever had. I didn’t come up with it until I was done with the first draft. The file in my computer before that was labeled “Twin Novel”. J

10. And finally, what message would you want readers of RECLAIMED to take away from the story?

I’m going to be coy with this answer. I don’t think there is any one message to take away. I think (and hope) that this book will say many different things in many different ways to many different readers.

Check back next Friday for our next author interview, Leah Rae Miller (author of THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD!)


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