Hi everyone! Today is a very special day here on Pop! Goes The Reader as I have the immense pleasure of hosting the exclusive cover reveal for my friend Sarah Glenn Marsh’s forthcoming 2016 young adult debut, Fear The Drowning Deep! Scheduled to be published by Sky Pony Press in September 2016, Fear The Drowning Deep follows the life of Bridey Corkill, a witch’s apprentice desperate to solve the mystery surrounding a series of unexplained deaths and disappearances that appear linked to an ancient evil that lurks within the waters near their home on the Isle of Man. Having been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to discuss the novel at length with Sarah as I began work on today’s cover reveal, Fear incorporates Irish, Gaelic and Scandinavian mythology and promises to appeal to a wide variety of readers, combining a tantalizing mixture of genres and concepts including history, fantasy, mystery, and romance. I would strongly urge readers to read the interview below as Sarah discusses at greater length her inspiration, motivation and intention in bringing this fascinating and creative story to life.
Below please find an exclusive interview with the author, a giveaway for a signed ARC of Fear The Drowning Deep as well as the magificent reveal for one of the most eerie, ethereal, unsettling, and unforgettable covers (and concepts) I’ve encountered in recent memory! Break out those wallets and ready those Goodreads shelves – This is one 2016 YA debut you will not want to miss!
About Sarah Glenn Marsh
Sarah Glenn Marsh writes young adult novels and children’s picture books. An avid fantasy reader from the day her dad handed her a copy of The Hobbit and promised it would change her life, she’s been making up words and worlds ever since. She lives in Virginia with her husband and four rescued greyhounds. When she’s not writing, she’s often painting, or engaged in pursuits of the nerd variety from video games to tabletop adventures and dungeon crawls. Her work is represented by Christa Heschke of McIntosh and Otis, and her debut YA historical fantasy, Fear The Drowning Deep, debuts from Sky Pony in September of 2016.
01. First, please tell us a little more about yourself. If you could
describe yourself in only five words, what would they be?
Slytherin. Amity. Targaryen. Tolkien Elf. (I have one pointy ear, so I must at least be a half-elf. No, really.)
02. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? If not, what did
you dream of becoming?
I’ve been making up stories since I was little, but I didn’t consider writing as a potential career until I was in my early twenties! As a kid, I wanted to be a marine biologist, an equine vet or horse trainer, and a “lady who rescues dogs.” At least I managed that last part — as for the rest, I get queasy around blood and my science grades weren’t stellar!
03. When you’re not writing, what do you like to do in your spare
I paint (watercolors) and do other random art projects. I hang out with my four greyhounds. I spend time with my family, who live fairly close by. But I spend most of my time with my husband, watching standup comedy and playing everything from tabletop games to video/computer games. Sometimes after a stressful day, you just really need to kill a demon on your computer, you know? 😉 I also love to go antiquing; I collect dogs in English porcelain from the mid-1800s, as well as teacups. I’m into genealogy research, too! Also, I eat a lot of chocolate. If that counts as an activity.
(Wow, that list was so random, huh? But that’s me!)
04. What was your favourite book as a child?
When I was really little, the Angus The Scottie Dog books by Marjorie Flack. Plus, anything about puppies or dinosaurs. As I got older, The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, and of course, I grew up with Harry Freakin’ Potter!
05. What book(s) can currently be found on your bedside table?
Scents & Sensibility by Spencer Quinn (I’m addicted to the Chet & Bernie mysteries from Simon & Schuster!); an ARC of Walk On Earth A Stranger by Rae Carson; Servants Of The Storm by Delilah Dawson; Black Heart, Red Ruby by my friend Teresa Yea; the latest issue of Southern Living.
06. Let’s talk about your novel! If you could describe Fear The Drowning
Deep in only five words, what would they be?
Mysterious. Romantic. Lyrical. Sisters. Monsters.
07. Fear The Drowning Deep appears to focus, in part, on Bridey’s hatred
of the ocean and her fear of its vast and dangerous power. What’s one
thing, reasonable or otherwise, that you’re afraid of?
One of my biggest fears is being alone. Imagine being the last person on Earth — Yeah, that’s my worst nightmare! Other fears include: spiders, bugs in general, large birds, and robots — I’ve seen Battlestar Galactica and Terminator. I know what the robots are planning!
08. What do you wish readers knew about Fear The Drowning
Deep that they might not otherwise be able to glean from the synopsis
Aside from being a monster book, Fear is a coming-of-age story and a story about first love. I’m sure that sounds like every YA ever written, but it’s my hope that people of any age group will be able to relate to Bridey’s struggle to overcome her intense fear. And as mentioned, it’s a very romantic book! There is kissing. There is more-than-kissing! And all of it is respectful, and I loved writing it!
I also want to add: It’s a book about all sorts of relationships, not just first love. There are sister relationships, parent relationships, family dynamics…complicated friendships, and even relationships within the town that shift and are tested throughout the story.
09. Was there any one character in particular whose voice, background, etc.
you enjoyed exploring the most? Who was the easiest character to write?
Who was the most difficult?
The character whose background and voice I enjoyed exploring most was Morag, the island’s witch. She lives in a crumbling cottage deep in the forest above my main character’s village. She’s feared by the town, but let’s just say there’s so much more to her than meets the eye. And the things that come out of her mouth are sometimes cutting, something hilarious, and always wise. I adore her!
The easiest to write was probably Grayse, Bridey’s youngest sister. She shares my deep love of animals and is always trying to help them (we’re talking charities for porpoises here). She wears her heart on her sleeve and has this great mischievous streak!
I think the most difficult to write was probably Lugh, one of Bridey’s two best friends. He experiences a ton of losses in the book, and he’s in such a dark head space sometimes that I found it painful to have to go there with him! Poor Lugh. I’m such a mean author!
10. Tell us a little more about your writing process. Do you have a
particular routine? Is there a time of day or writing space in which you
best like to work?
I write during the day! I find I’m most productive in the morning, and start to get more distracted by afternoon. I have a great office/library I can write in, but most days, I wind up writing in the living room with all four of my dogs keeping me company! On days when the words won’t come, I try to brainstorm new ideas, outline something, write a blog post, or read.
11. Do you like to listen to music when you write? If so, is there a song
or songs you feel best capture the mood and feeling of Fear The Drowning
I can’t listen to music when I write (I’ll start singing along and forget what I’m supposed to be doing!), but I like to listen beforehand to set the mood for writing! Ellie Goulding’s album Lights and Irish singer Meav’s album Silver Sea helped me through writing and revising Fear!
12. It has often been said that an author should write what they
know. How much, or how little, of Fear The Drowning Deep is comprised of
your own personal experience?
Well, I’ve never been afraid of the ocean like Bridey — quite the opposite, I wish I had fins! But I’ve overcome an intense fear before (Needles — Ugh!), and I drew on some of those memories when shaping Bridey’s feelings about the ocean.
Also, while writing Fear, both my grandmothers were pretty sick (and still are). My nana lived up the street from me pretty much my whole life until I got married, and she helped raise me. So when writing Morag, the island’s witch, I think a lot of my grandmothers’ wit and wisdom made their way onto the page. I think Bridey’s evolving relationship with Morag became a nod to how important I feel grandparents are in a young person’s life if they’re lucky enough to have them around.
The mythology and location for this book (Manx mythology/the Isle of Man) stemmed from a deep interest in all things Irish/Gaelic and Scandinavian, which are both huge parts of my ancestry! The Isle of Man was conquered by the British, the Irish, and the Norse at different points in their history, so it’s this great blend of several cultures that already fascinate me.
I also gave Bridey several sisters (Mally, Liss, and Grayse) because I have a younger sister, and I wanted to explore several sister dynamics in a larger family!
13. Finally, Fear the Drowning Deep is your debut publication. What has
been your favourite part of the debut publishing experience thus far?
All the friendships! I’ve met so many great people, and pretty much everyone has made me feel like a valued part of the writing community. I love the sense of belonging and always look forward to meeting new fellow book addicts! You’re all wonderful. Seriously.
Title Fear The Drowning Deep
Author Sarah Glenn Marsh
Genre Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher Sky Pony Press
To Be Published September 2016
Find It On Goodreads
Witch’s apprentice Bridey Corkill has hated the ocean ever since she watched her granddad dive in and drown with a smile on his face. So when a dead girl rolls in with the tide in the summer of 1913, sixteen-year-old Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her granddad to leap into the sea has made its return to the Isle of Man.
Soon, villagers are vanishing in the night, but no one shares Bridey’s suspicions about the sea. No one but the island’s witch, who isn’t as frightening as she first appears, and the handsome dark-haired lad Bridey rescues from a grim and watery fate. The cause of the deep gashes in Fynn’s stomach and his lost memories are, like the recent disappearances, a mystery well-guarded by the sea. In exchange for saving his life, Fynn teaches Bridey to master her fear of the water — stealing her heart in the process.
Now, Bridey must work with the Isle’s eccentric witch and the boy she isn’t sure she can trust — because if she can’t uncover the truth about the ancient evil in the water, everyone she loves will walk into the sea, never to return.