I’m hosting an interview today with author S.M. McEachern, the author of YA dystopian novel “Sunset Rising”. Enjoy the interview!
1) Please tell us about yourself.
I’ve been asked this question a lot since I published my first novel, and it doesn’t get any easier to answer. I wear so many different hats in life that it’s difficult to say if I’m defined by one or I’m the sum of them all. I like to think I’m the sum. My career background is in International Development with a focus on oceans. I’m very interested in politics and how countries interact with each other, which I think comes through in my stories. I’m also a mom to two beautiful daughters and wife to a swoon-worthy Air Force pilot.
2) Tell us about your book.
Sunset Rising is a post-apocalyptic story about how society has evolved within the confines of a Bio-dome. There are two distinct groups that coexist: the people of the Dome, who hold all the power, and the people in the Pit who are enslaved. The heroine, Sunny O’Donnell, is a slave who is struggling to come to grips with the execution of her mother and a sick father. In a weird twist, she meets someone in power and is coerced into doing something she doesn’t want to do. The result of that one single act not only changes Sunny’s life forever, but also leads the slaves into a rebellion. It is a story of political intrigue, betrayal and, of course, romance.
3) What inspired you to write Sunset Rising?
Two things in life collided that prompted me to write Sunset Rising: first, the idea for the novel came to me (years ago) after I did academic research on a Bio-dome in Arizona and, second, my teenage daughter and I have been doing buddy reads of Young Adult novels for the past four years. So an old idea coupled with modern day literature got me thinking until the story was so persistent that I had to put it on paper.
4) How many hours per week do you spend writing?
My husband is currently serving in Afghanistan for a year, and life as a single mom doesn’t allow me as much time to write as I would like! However, I grab every minute I can. I always have a scene playing out in my head that I need to get down on paper.
5) If you could meet three authors, which authors would you choose?
George R.R. Martin, Janet Evanovitch, and Leon Uris (if he was still alive).
6) What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working very hard on finishing my draft of book 2 for the Sunset Rising series. My cover artist will begin to create the cover in October and I have a date with my editor for early December. I’m also working on the framework for book 3.
In another project, I have completed a draft for a middle grade novel, which I will begin to finalize in early 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!