I’m hosting an interview today with S.M. McEachern, the author of “Sunset Rising”, a YA dystopian novel.
1) How long have you been writing?
I still remember a poem I wrote in kindergarten that the teacher posted on the classroom corkboard entitled, “The Big Black Cat.” When she posted that on the board—in front of the entire class—I thought, wow, I’ve really made it. Later, in grade eight, my English teacher talked to me about trying to publish, but I was too scared of rejection to try. From then on, I stuck to writing academics papers. Throughout university, I loved researching and writing.
2) Is Sunset Rising your first novel? If not, please tell us a little about your first book.
Sunset Rising is my first published novel. I have secretly written other novels, but rarely finished them. I published Sunset Rising to prove to myself I could. I’m glad I did.
3) Tell us about Sunset Rising.
Sunset Rising is the story of how society can go wrong when faced with life and death and how simple choices can alter destiny. Sunny, the heroine, is already middle aged at seventeen and is facing a crossroad in life. She knows first hand what it means to lose someone and that grief begins to guide her. She doesn’t want to lose anyone else, so when faced with the choice of protecting those she loves, even though it could mean her own death, she does what she knows in her heart is right. This one simple decision not only changes her life, it ends up having an affect on an entire society.
4) Why did you choose young adult as a genre for your novel?
Young adult stories are so diverse, but usually with a common theme of romance. As a reader, I love a good plot but I also like to read about attraction, love and how two people can find each other—especially when the characters are living under extreme circumstances. Love always makes life worth living and without it I don’t think the human spirit can foster hope.
5) Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
I’m an aspiring author myself, so I would never assume to tell other authors how to do it—quite the contrary. The one thing I absolutely love about digital publishing is the broad range of stories being published right now. Creativity is breaking free of traditional bonds, and that’s something to celebrate.
6) Do you have any works in progress you’d like to tell us about?
I’m working on the second book of the Sunset Rising series, which I hope to release around the end of December/first of January. Stay tuned for a cover reveal and excerpt in November. I’ve already started drafting book 3 of the series and a fourth book, which will be the first offshoot of the series.
In addition to the Sunset Rising series, I’ve completed a draft of a middle grade novel. I hope to release it in the first quarter of 2014.
Author: S.M. McEachern
Genre: YA Dystopian
February 2024: Desperate to find refuge from the nuclear storm, a group of civilians discover a secret government bio-dome. Greeted by a hail of bullets and told to turn back, the frantic refugees stand their ground and are grudgingly permitted entry. But the price of admission is high.
283 years later… Sunny O’Donnell is a seventeen-year-old slave who has never seen the sun. She was born in the Pit, a subterranean extension of the bio-dome. Though life had never been easy, lately it had become a nightmare. Her mom was killed in the annual Cull, and her dad thought it was a good time to give up on life. Reyes Crowe, her long-time boyfriend, was pressuring her to get married, even though it would mean abandoning her father.
She didn’t think things could get any worse until she was forced upstairs to the Dome to be a servant-girl at a bachelor party. That’s where she met Leisel Holt, the president’s daughter, and her fiancé, Jack Kenner.
Now Sunny is wanted for treason. If they catch her, she’ll be executed.
She thought Leisel’s betrayal was the end. But it was just the beginning.
Sunset Rising is Book One of a series.
S.M. McEachern (also known as Susan) has an honors degree in International Development. As an author, Susan combined her political background with her love of action and romance to create her debut novel Sunset Rising. The first book of a trilogy, Susan is currently working on the second book and drafting the third. What does she like best about being an author? Hearing from her readers!