Sarah Glenn Marsh
FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP
1) Hello and welcome. Halloween was last month, did you dress up? If so who or what did you go as?
Hi! Thank you for having me! I actually didn’t dress up for Halloween (just handed out candy to all the neighborhood kids!), but if I had dressed up, I’d have gone as a velociraptor. Because rawr!
I did, however, dress up for a book event a few days before Halloween, and for that, I went as a Manx fairy (I had a flower crown and a cloak that unfolded into hand-painted lunar moth wings!).
2) Speaking of creepy and spooky, your book Fear the Drowning Deep is pretty haunting. What made you choose Isle of Man as a setting?
When choosing my setting, I had only a vague idea for a story in mind—a girl, afraid of the ocean, who has to save her town from something terrible in the water. I figured it would add tension for someone afraid of the water to live on an island. So as I looked at maps, I came across the Isle of Man, which I’d never heard of before. The first time I saw it in pictures, I thought, “This is a place where magic could happen.” What stood out to me is that it’s beautiful and rugged enough to be something out of a fantasy land, and the culture there is steeped in centuries of lore. It’s the sort of wild, untamed place where anything seems possible, and the more I read about it, the more I envisioned my story unfolding there on the rocky cliffs, among sea birds and starfish. The Manx culture and landscape really helped shape the story!
3) What kind of research did you do and how long did you spend researching before beginning this book?
My research process was a bit unusual. For one thing, I found some great books from the 1800s on Manx mythology (mainly dealing with fairies and the Islanders’ customs and lore surrounding them), and read those/took notes! I also ordered some Manx history books directly from the Isle–I don’t recommend this though, unless you want to spend a TON on shipping!
I also went to YouTube to look up videos of the Isle of Man TT. This is a famous motorcycle race (for those who aren’t as enthralled by motorcycles as I am!) and my awesome biker dad had mentioned it to me several times growing up. Anyway, bikers from around the world flock to the Isle of Man for this big race around the island each year; it’s actually been happening since the early 1900s! Anyway, I watched videos of the TT to get a sense for the Manx landscape and the accents of the Manx people reporting on the race!
4) Bridey is such an odd name. How do you go about picking your character names?All the names used in Fear the Drowning Deep are authentic Manx names–meaning, names from the Isle of Man! I chose them using lists of Manx names and Manx census data from the turn of the last century; that was one of the most fun parts of my research!
5) In Fear the Drowning Deep, Bridey is afraid of the sea because of something that happened in her childhood. Is there anything that you’re afraid that you want to overcome?Oh, definitely. At age 20 (not that long ago!), I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that required me to give myself injections (I arguably am more terrified of needles than Bridey is of the ocean!). I hope that Fear the Drowning Deep at some point, somewhere, reaches a reader who needs a little inspiration when it comes to being brave. We all have our own dark ocean/needles/ghost to face, and I hope Bridey’s story shows that fears can indeed be overcome, or at least cast aside in the moments when we need to be our strongest.
6) The last question was pretty loaded so I’ll go with a softy. How many hours do spend writing? I treat writing as a full-time job! That means from 9-5, Monday-Friday, I’ve got my butt in a chair, my laptop out, and Word open for drafting/brainstorming/working on promo–anything book-related!
7) Without spoilers, what was the hardest scene to write in Fear the Drowning Deep?This is a tough question to answer without spoilers! I’d say “the big action scene at the climax”–that’s a spoiler-free way to describe it. Or, in other words, “the moment Bridey has to face her biggest fear, and the aftermath of that.”
8) Okay more fun questions. What was the last book you purchased?
The last book I purchased was A Closed and Common Orbit, the sequel to The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. I liked the first book so much that I ordered the second one, Orbit, from the UK! The second book isn’t out in the US until March of next year, but I couldn’t wait! They’re an adult sci-fi series I highly recommend to everyone.
9) We’re only in November but are you ready for Christmas? Do you decorate the house? I’m always ready for Christmas (er, minus the shopping that still needs to be done!)! My husband and I get our Christmas tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving (my husband’s grandfather was a Christmas tree farmer, so he’s a bit of a snob when it comes to choosing a tree! :)) and start the decorating madness then as well. I like Christmas so much, I have a large closet dedicated to it, and come December, our house looks and smells like a giant Christmas present exploded inside it–glitter, Santas, cinnamon pinecones, miniature musical carousels…you name it, we’ve probably got it! The sights & scents of Christmas remind me of family time and togetherness, which is why I love it so darn much.
10) What’s your favorite snack you have to have?
Chocolate! I’m allergic to nuts, so any nut-free chocolate is my favorite thing in the world. Kit-Kats, Twix, Milky Ways…you name it, I like it!
–Thanks again. This was so much fun!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah Glenn Marsh is an author of 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.
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