Author Interview with S.M. McEachern
I’m happy to host an interview today with author S.M. McEachern, the author of YA dystopian novel “Sunset Rising”. Thank you for replying to my questions!
1) When did you know you wanted to become an author?
When I was twelve years old, I decided on three things: 1. Make a million dollars and stop malnutrition in Africa, 2. Become a writer, and 3. Travel the world.
I never did make a million dollars, but I did: 1. Study and work in the field of International Development (World Aid) with several different countries. 2. During my university years, writing, research and the ability to foresee outcomes were recognized as my strengths. 3. I am travelling the world and I’m dragging my two daughters with me. I want them to experience different cultures, learn about our planet, and be foreword thinkers.
So I am achieving my goals, just not quite the way I thought I would.
2) Where did you get the inspiration from for Sunset Rising?
Two things in life collided that prompted me to write Sunset Rising: first, the idea for the novel came to me after I did academic research on a biodome in Arizona and, second, my teenage daughter and I have been doing buddy reads of YA 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.
3) How long did it take you to write Sunset Rising from start to finish?
Not quite a year. However, I wrote the book in complete isolation. I even kept it from my husband and daughters. I really just wasn’t sure I wanted to share my story. In the end, I did publish. But as a new author, I didn’t know about publishing or how it worked. I didn’t even have anyone to read the story and share their thoughts! I found beta readers on Goodreads and from there, I found a lot of really supportive friends and fans of the story that encouraged me to write book 2.
4) What is your editing process like?
Editing a book is like trying to finish homework: as soon as you complete one assignment, another one is handed to you. It never ends. Ironically, the editing process usually introduces typos and spelling mistakes into the manuscript. It’s an agonizingly endless process!
5) What was the most challenging part about writing Sunset Rising?
World building. Defining the different political systems and how they interact throughout the series takes a lot of thought and choreographing.
6) What are your writing goals for 2013?
My goals are to finish book two. 2013 has been a bit of a challenge for me since my husband was deployed to Afghanistan for a year. Aside from the obvious stress of the love of my life serving in an area of instability, single parenting has dominated my time. Honestly, it’s been a tough year, but writing has provided a much-needed outlet.
7) Are you working on something right now? If so, can you tell us more about it?
As I’ve mentioned, I’m working on book 2 in the Sunset Rising series. My very talented cover artist, Nathalia Suellen, is set to start creating a masterpiece in October. I’m tentatively planning a cover reveal for November. I have a date with editor in early December, so I need to finish drafting the story and get it out to my trusted proofreader and then on to my beta readers very soon. My goal is to have it published around Christmas time or shortly thereafter.
I also have a complete draft of a middle grade novel done. I’m going to work on finalizing that in early 2014. And I’ve begun the framework for book 3 of the Sunset Rising series.
About Sunset Rising
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!