Well, hello readers! This fall Sunday I’ve got Stacy Juba, who’s graciously answered a few questions about her book Dark Before Dawn. It’s been a while since we’ve conducted one of these answers, but we’re happy to be back in the saddle. And here’s Stacy.
1. There were some questions I had at the end of the book, and so I was wondering is there a sequel in the works for Dark Before Dawn?
I did deliberately leave it open-ended for a sequel. I have an idea for one, but I haven’t started it yet as I’m busy with so many other projects. It would be fun to write, though.
2. Psychic abilities and meditation are points of interest for me personally, I wanted to know about the research you had to conduct for this portion of the story?
I am also working on another book about a psychic – an adult mystery novel. To prepare for both books, I took an online class in writing about psychics, led by a psychic. That was a great opportunity to ask questions. I also use oracle cards myself and have read a lot of books about intuition, so it’s a personal interest of mine. Meditation is another of my interests. I studied Tai Chi for two years, and am trained in Reiki, a form of hands-on energy healing, so all of the information about meditation and chakras came from my own studies. Of course, to add a fantasy element to the book, I used that basic information to ask myself, What if? For example, what if someone used energy not for healing, but with malicious intent? I know how warm and tingly energy feels when I do Reiki, but what would energy feel like to Dawn if she was using it for a dark purpose and how would that affect her?
3. Is there a lesson to be taken from Dark Before Dawn or was this book mainly about entertaining the masses?
I really wanted teenage girls to take away the idea that they should accept themselves for who they are. We’re all individuals, yet in high school, there is pressure to fit in and be like everyone else. Dawn needed to find that healthy balance of fitting in and finding friends, yet being true to herself and maintaining her values. I hope that teen readers will identify with her journey. I think they will also relate to her relationship with her mother. Her mom wants Dawn to act a certain way, yet it doesn’t mesh with who Dawn is as a person. As a result, they have conflict and need to learn to accept and understand one another’s feelings. As an author though, I never want to preach, so I tried to present Dawn’s character arc in the context of an entertaining story. My books are all about escape reading. I want to entertain readers for a few hours and give them a time-out from the hectic pace of their lives.
4. Dark Before Dawn is set in the state of Maine, which in my experience of reading is a popular state for stories with horror and paranormal elements, what made you pick Maine?
My husband’s family lives in Maine and I thought the ocean and the deserted beach town in the off-season would make a fun setting for a creepy book. It does seem to be a popular setting for horror fiction, especially if you’re a fan of Stephen King.
5. Finally, what’s on the horizon for you outside of Dark Before Dawn? Any good books you have coming out soon?
I have two brand new releases: the Young Ladies of Mystery Boxed Set, which features my adult mystery/romantic suspense novels Twenty-Five Years Ago Today and Sink or Swim, and Dark Before Dawn in one download. Readers have the option of buying them separately, or buying them in one download and getting one of the books for free. The characters in Twenty-Five Years Ago Today and Sink or Swim, Kris and Cassidy, are older than Dawn, in their twenties, but they are young women on a journey of self-discovery and trying to find the right life path when danger invades their lives. I thought it was a nice fit with Dark Before Dawn. The other books in the bundle are also appropriate for older teens as they are clean reads.
In addition, I also just released 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror: 52 Authors Look Back, an essay anthology inspired by Twenty-Five Years Ago Today. It features 52 authors looking back 25 years at their own lives, or at the lives of their characters. I served as editor and publisher, and have several of my own essays in the book.
My goal for 2013 is to finish my adult romantic comedy novel and a couple of short story spin-offs of that book, as well as finish the sequel to my YA family hockey novel Face-Off. I am also toying with the idea of writing a short story prequel to Dark Before Dawn in 2013. More information about my books is on my website http://stacyjuba.com/blog/ and to stay informed of the latest books, readers can sign up for my newsletter on my Contact tab