Author Interviews

Interview with Sarah Glenn Marsh

I have loved Sarah Glenn Marsh’s books ever since Reign of the Fallen. If you love the idea of necromancy and queer fantasy, then you have to read that series. But if you love the idea of a YA Horror meets queer contemporary and unreliability, then you have to check out The Girls Are Never Gone. After the most recent release, I knew I had to see if I could interview Marsh. And here it is!!

Summary

Dare Chase doesn’t believe in ghosts.

Privately, she’s a supernatural skeptic. But publicly, she’s keeping her doubts to herself—because she’s the voice of Attachments, her brand-new paranormal investigation podcast, and she needs her ghost-loving listeners to tune in.

That’s what brings her to Arrington Estate. Thirty years ago, teenager Atheleen Bell drowned in Arrington’s lake, and legend says her spirit haunts the estate. Dare’s more interested in the suspicious circumstances surrounding her death—circumstances that she believes point to a living culprit, not the supernatural. Still, she’s vowed to keep an open mind as she investigates, even if she’s pretty sure what she’ll find.

But Arrington is full of surprises. Good ones like Quinn, the cute daughter of the house’s new owner. And baffling ones like the threatening messages left scrawled in paint on Quinn’s walls, the ghastly face that appears behind Dare’s own in the mirror, and the unnatural current that nearly drowns their friend Holly in the lake. As Dare is drawn deeper into the mysteries of Arrington, she’ll have to rethink the boundaries of what is possible. Because if something is lurking in the lake…it might not be willing to let her go.

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Find The Girls Are Never Gone on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.

Author Interview

What are some of your favorite horror YAs or films?

I love a good creeping, slow-burn story that messes with you long after you’ve finished—this is my favorite genre, and some standout horror reads for me (a mix of adult and YA) are: The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, Kill Creek by Scott Thomas, The Hollow Places and The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher, This is Not a Ghost Story by Andrea Portes, Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis, Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand, and The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James (and everything Simone writes, honestly!). I’m super excited for Tiffany Jackson’s White Smoke, which is on my nightstand as I type this!

Was writing The Girls Are Never Gone difficult for you considering your past projects with your picture books and your fantasy series?

It was actually- for the most part- a joy rather than a challenge because I listen to/read/consume so much spooky content! It was surreal to finally get to contribute a haunted house story of my own to the genre. There were certainly challenges, of course, like paying special attention to the setting so that the house would feel more like a character, and maintaining tension despite the presence of all the technology we have available today! (However, the latter led to some fun moments for the story, like the spirits draining the battery on Dare’s insulin pump, so challenges can be a good thing!).

The diabetes rep is something I haven’t seen in any other book, how did you decide to integrate that into the character? Do you know of any other diabetes rep in YA or other fiction?

I was diagnosed with type one diabetes when I was twenty, and remember so well the massive mental health crisis it precipitated—it would have been so meaningful and healing to me to find any stories about people with type one just living their lives, and would have helped me envision a positive future for myself with this disease. Knowing that rep is pretty much impossible to find, I’ve been eager to bring it into a YA book for a long time. I gave Dare, the MC, the same equipment to manage her diabetes that I use (a CGM and insulin pump) as well as doing research on blood sugar alert dogs so that I could represent the most authentic experience possible, and largely one that is true to my own management and lived experiences with the disease.

I do know of two other YA books that feature type one diabetes rep: the first is Agnes at the End of the World by Kelly McWilliams, and I can vouch for this rep also (I was a sensitivity reader on this one, and Kelly really listened and did her research!).

The Lucky Few by Kathryn Ormsbee also features a character with diabetes, and is on my TBR!

Do you listen to any podcasts? Any favorites to recommend?

I’m a big fan of podcasts—they keep me company in the car, on runs, you name it! Spooky ones are the best, so if you’re trying to get into the season, here are some of my eeriest faves: Jim Harold’s Campfire (if you check out his archives, yours truly is in an episode!), Spooked, Radio Rental, The NoSleep Podcast, Scared to Death, and the wonderful Ghosts in the Burbs by Liz Sower!

How much of the story events in The Girls Are Never Gone did you know from the beginning of the drafting process?

With this book, I took a bit of a different approach than my usual to drafting, and actually wrote a super detailed outline that broke down events chapter by chapter; this was really helpful for keeping track of how the haunting escalated! So I knew a lot going in, but of course, that didn’t keep the characters from surprising me along the way.

Do you believe in ghosts?

Ooh, a tough one! I’ll play 😉 Well, one of the other reasons that writing GIRLS felt so personal to me, aside from sharing the type one diabetes rep, is that I approach the possibility of ghosts in much the same way as Dare: that is to say, I’m skeptical, but I want to believe. I feel like there has to be more to the world than what we understand, and ghosts could certainly be a part of that, but I don’t have any personal experiences that have convinced me (yet)!

Find The Girls Are Never Gone on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.

About the Author

photo credit to Stephanie Dennehy Photography

Sarah Glenn Marsh writes 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.

When she’s not writing, Sarah frequents the pottery studio, volunteers her time to sighthound rescue, and raises awareness about her autoimmune disease, Type 1 diabetes. She often enjoys pursuits of the nerd variety, from video games to tabletop adventures. She’s never met an animal or a doughnut she didn’t like.

Sarah lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and their tiny zoo of four rescued sighthounds, two birds, and many fish. She is the author of Fear the Drowning Deep, the Reign of the Fallen series, and several books for younger readers.

Discussion

Do you believe in ghosts?


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