MEET THE AUTHOR: SARAH L. BLAIR
Sarah Lee Blair earned a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. While spending a semester abroad at Swansea University in Wales she traveled to nearby Bath and Glastonbury often, drawing inspiration for her writing from the myths and legends surrounding the area. Sarah now resides just north of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, their two children, and a chihuahua. While writing is her first passion, she also enjoys sewing, tater tots, catching up on her teetering TBR pile, and hanging out on her back porch drinking sweet tea.
Q: You have just published your first novel Darkness Shifting on July 1st! how does it feel?
Sarah L. Blair: It’s absolutely thrilling! I wrote the first page of this book nine years ago, and this has been such a long journey. I’m so excited to finally have my characters and this story out in the world.
Q. What inspired you to write Darkness Shifting?
Sarah L. Blair: Probably the biggest influence over my writing in general has been the television show, The X-Files. I love the characters of Mulder and Scully as well as the idea that there are dark things lurking just out of sight in our everyday lives. I wanted to explore that concept in Darkness Shifting. The show also helped me learn a great deal about pacing, suspense, and storytelling in general.
Q. What paranormal creatures and phenomenon interest you? What kind can readers expect from Sidney’s story?
Sarah L. Blair: I’ve always been fascinated by things of a dark, creepynature ever since I can remember. When I was first learning to read, my favorite book was called The Mystery of the Pirate Ghost by Geoffrey Hayes. It’s about a pirate ghost who goes around town stealing things, but when the townspeople finally catch him they discover a very real explanation.
I definitely believe in the supernatural. There are things some people experience that have no explanation, but I’m fascinated by the phenomena that are seemingly unexplainable but turn out to be grounded in science or some sort of natural occurrence. I wanted to explore the idea that magic and supernatural creatures were once something very common in a world where science didn’t exist yet, and that as people developed more sophisticated ways of viewing the world, magic faded and science took over. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the supernatural world doesn’t exist anymore, simply that we’re not looking for it in modern society.
So, my characters are hunting down very real supernatural creatures like werewolves, but in my book their origins are tied into the scientific world. It was a lot of fun to weave together ancient myths and legends with modern science and technology.
Q. You have been inspired by your experiences in Wales, but if you had to choose another country for a vacation and inspiration, which one would you choose and why?
Sarah L. Blair: While I was traveling in the UK I never got to visit Scotland, which is a big regret. I think I could find a lot of inspiration there. I’d also love to visit New Zealand and Iceland. Usually the types of places I find most inspiring are those without a lot of people, and with lots of rugged landscape. Somewhere I can have a lot of quiet to think and let the story come to me.
Q. What authors and books do you admire?
Sarah L. Blair: Jane Austen is my favorite author. I greatly admire her biting wit, and her social commentary. Laurell K. Hamilton has also been a large influence for her strong female heroine Anita Blake. Anne Rice is another one of my favorites, for the way she draws the reader into the story and truly paints a portrait with her words.
Q. What does the future hold for Sarah. L. Blair after Darkness Shifting?
Sarah L. Blair: Right now I’m working on the next book in the Tides of Darkness series, titled Darkness Rising. I’m having a lot of fun delving deeper into the characters of Darkness Shifting. I also have a book for young adults I’ve been working on that takes place in Roswell, New Mexico in 1935. I’m looking forward to a lot of fun new adventures with my characters!