Please welcome Sandi Beth Jones to the blog today.
Sandi, I have so many questions for you about your book, Byronic. I love the setting and the mystery. I really love that you've pulled in iconic Lord Byron. Talk to me about Gothic Romance.
What draws you to write Gothic Romance?
When I was younger, I gobbled up books by Edgar Allan Poe, Barbara Michaels, Virginia Hamilton, and Stephen King. I’ve always preferred ghost stories, mysteries, and tales about places with history. Add a complicated romance in the mix, and you have a wonderful recipe for excitement. For instance, I love trying to figure out what is causing the danger and wondering whether or not the couple will get out of the old haunted house alive.
How did you come up with the idea for BYRONIC and the Prometheus Order Series?
Byronic heroes are my absolute favorite. They’re so very complex that I feel for any lady who has lost her heart to one. When I was in high school, I did a research paper on Frankenstein, and became intrigued by Mary Shelley’s contemporaries, including Lord Byron. To me, the poet seemed liked the original emo—misunderstood socially and yet a creative genius. I wondered how his personality would be received today, maybe as a teenager. Then I wanted to explore the Frankenstein connection in a Lowcountry setting. I love the Gullah culture with its superstitions about haints and boo hags! What could be more Gothic than a ghost story in the Gullah Sea Islands?
What was the hardest scene to write in BYRONIC?
It’s really hard to answer that question without giving anything away. I’d have to say there’s one where some of Geoffrey’s past is revealed to Chelsea that made me very uncomfortable for them both.
Can you tell us a little bit about Geoffrey?
Geoff Ramsey is the younger son of a British author and his wealthy realtor wife. He’s had a life of privilege—a happy childhood—until one reckless moment stole everything away from him. Now mistreated by his parents, he disappears for days at a time. He’s aloof, mysterious, and unpredictable. But he’s loyal to his friends and passionate about helping those who can’t help themselves.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Beyond those I mentioned earlier, I love Cassandra Clare, Rick Yancey, Kelly Creagh, and Carrie Ryan.
What are you working on next?
I’m writing the next book in the Prometheus Order series, PROMETHEUS UNBOUND, which will delve more into the strange circumstances that are happening in Geoff’s world of the Lowcountry Sea Islands.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
The best advice I ever had was: “the only writers who fail are the ones who quit writing.” This has been my mantra on this long writing journey! If you truly love writing, just keep on keeping on. There are no shortcuts. Write and let people read it and critique it. Use their feedback and write some more. You’ll never get better if you don’t give yourself the opportunity to write some bad books along the way.
ABOUT THE BOOK
When the creatures in her dark drawings come to life, Chelsea finds that the mysterious Geoff is the only person she can confide in. But she can't help wondering who she’s kissing: her tender confidant or the dangerous Byronic rebel bent on shocking his detached father.
Starting over in the South Carolina Lowcountry is just what sixteen-year-old Chelsea needs. Unfortunately, moving also means living with her mom's snobbish British novelist employer and his moody son Geoffrey. Knowing that her new home likely used to be a slave holding plantation doesn't make her feel any more at home.
Troubled and reckless after his brother's mysterious death, Geoff often mimics his father’s literary favorite, Lord Byron, acting "mad, bad, and dangerous to know." She's determined to keep her distance and buries herself in her art, though the darkness of her drawings troubles her and others who see them. When people in the Gullah and Geechee community point out that she has been drawing Boo Hags and haints -powerful and terrifying creatures of local legend and superstition- she starts to wonder about her own heritage and her connection to the Sea Islands. She begins to question her own grasp on reality when it seems those creatures start making their way out of her drawings and into real life.
It's clear that Geoff has some secrets of his own, but he might be the only person she can confide in. Chelsea must decide who she can trust, when nothing in the Lowcountry is what it seems.
AMAZON / BARNES AND NOBLE
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sandi Beth Jones writes young adult novels, as well as historical romance for adults. A former librarian and bookseller, she’s currently an educator and publishes reviews of young adult books for library journals. When not writing, she loves spending time on the river and traveling to places off the beaten path. You can find out more at sandibjones.com