Hello readers! Just your Horrormadam here bringing you another fabulous author to read and get to know about, Sarah Blair. Her book Darkness Shifting: Tides of Darkness Book One is an engaging and effective inter-weaving of the paranormal, a detective, thriller, and Arthurian legend. I am also a huge fan of King Arthur lore and found the idea very intriguing so wanted to introduce her work to all of you and let you get to know the woman herself! Let’s get to the questions…
First can you tell my readers a little bit about yourself?
I’m an X-Phile for life. My Hogwarts house is Gryffindor. I definitely believe ghosts are real. I’m a wife and mommy. Happy to be a Southern heathen who also loves sweet tea and porch sitting.
Ever since I was little, I’ve enjoyed mysteries and the macabre. One of my earliest memories is snuggling up with my aunt in her big bed to watch Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Clue is my favorite board game. Who knew murder could be so much fun? I’m also obsessed with The X-Files. It’s scary sometimes, but also has a few light-hearted monsters of the week. I don’t believe for a second that all monstrous creatures are bad. Sometimes humans can be quite monstrous themselves. That blurry line is what I find most intriguing.
When did you fall in love with Arthurian legend?
The ideals of chivalry are romantic, but I don’t think I truly fell in love with Arthurian legends until I read Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon. I’d never heard the story from the perspective of the women in the legends before and it really sucked me in. It’s an enormous book, and I read it before kindle and smartphones, so I lugged it all around New York City where I was living at the time. I literally couldn’t put it down. Then, a few years later, I had the opportunity to study in Wales as an exchange student. Of course, I had to visit Glastonbury and Bath. It quickly became my favorite place, and I went back several times over the course of my stay. It’s not an exaggeration to say it truly feels magical there.
What made you want to write?
The fact that Chris Carter insisted on keeping Mulder and Scully’s relationship purely platonic for so long drove me to write X-Files fanfiction, just so I could get them to kiss. Even from the time I was young, I would act out elaborate stories with my Barbie dolls, so I suppose I was telling stories from a very early age, I just didn’t realize I could write them down for other people to read. When I was 11 years old, I read The Giver by Lois Lowry. The second I finished the book and turned the page wanting more and realized there wasn’t any, (I refuse to read any further books in the series that have come out since, because I value that ending so dearly.) I remember very distinctly thinking that was the kind of story I could, and very much wanted to write myself. When I got to university and found out that I could major in Creative Writing, there was no other choice for me.
What authors and or books influenced you?
In addition to Bradley and Lowry, probably the biggest influence on my genre of writing was Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake vampire hunter series. I deeply value Anita’s evolution as a character and how she’s changed over the years. Hamilton never held back, choosing to always include everything her characters experienced, both good and bad. That definitely had an influence on me, since I’d never read a book that captured such a wide range of experiences so well. Usually either the sex or the gore gets glossed over in order to appeal to a certain audience, but Hamilton brought all of it to the page.
What new projects are you working on?
Currently, I’m working on completing the Tides of Darkness Series. There are three more books planned, a prequel that takes place three years before Darkness Shifting, plus two more books that occur directly after the events in Darkness Shifting. There is also a new series I’m mulling over, but I don’t know enough details to share just yet.
In addition to writing, I’m also a producer and co-host of The X-Cast: An X-Files Podcast, so if you’re a fan of The X-Files, you definitely don’t want to miss out on that!
I want to thank Sarah so much for taking the time to answer my questions and for writing such an engrossing book! Here is looking forward to the new one!