Thursday, 30 October 2014

Interview with Sarah Bromley, Author of A Murder of Magpies!

Good morning! It's the day before Halloween! Oooooooo! What better way to prepare for the spookiest holiday of the year than to hear about an awesome book? Today, we are lucky to have Sarah Bromley here to answer a few questions about her new book, A Murder of Magpies!

Winter in Black Orchard, Wisconsin, is long and dark, and sixteen-year-old Vayda Silver prays the snow will keep the truth and secrecy of the last two years buried. Hiding from the past with her father and twin brother, Vayda knows the rules: never return to the town of her mother’s murder, and never work a Mind Game where someone might see.

No one can know the toll emotions take on Vayda, how emotion becomes energy in her hands, or how she can’t control the destruction she causes. But it’s not long before her powers can no longer be contained. The truth is dangerously close to being exposed, placing Vayda and her family at risk.

Until someone quiets the chaos inside her.

Unwanted. That’s all Ward Ravenscroft has ever been. To cope, he numbs the pain of rejection by denying himself emotions of any kind. Yet Vayda stirs something in him. He can’t explain the hold she has on him–inspiring him with both hope and fear. He claims not to scare easily, except he doesn’t know what her powers can do. Yet.

Just as Vadya and Ward draw closer, she finds the past isn’t so easily buried. And when it follows the Silvers to Black Orchard, it has murder in mind.


Hi, Sarah! Welcome to We Do Write. Tell us a bit about yourself. 

I’m a displaced northerner living near St. Louis with my husband, our three children, and my three dogs. There are woods and water by our house. I’m good with a paintbrush and am too short to reach anything above the second shelf without a stepstool.

Tell our readers a bit about A MURDER OF MAGPIES.

It’s a dark, little book about a girl, Vayda, and her twin brother who have far too much psychic power for their age, and the catchall name they have for their powers is Mind Games. There are old family secrets, murder, birds trapped in an attic, and a very cold Wisconsin winter, and through it all, Vayda finds herself deciding how many of her secrets she is willing to share with Ward, the boy next door who sometimes sits on his roof and watches the Aurora Borealis. All secrets come with a price.

Wow! So excited to read this one! How did the idea of the story come to you?

There’s Romani on my mother’s side of the family, and she was pretty superstitious. As am I, so a lot of that played into the development of Vayda’s family. There’s also a strong line of intuition and just “knowing” that follows the women in my family, and I played a little with that as well. Vayda came to me as a scream, a girl waking up screaming, and I had to find out why.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’m a plotster. I pants the first fifty pages or so of a project so that I know its rhythm and voice uninterrupted. Then I sit back and look at all the threads I’ve made and figure out how to braid them together.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

I hate drafting. Hate it. I have it all right here in my head and wish I could just dump out my brain box in one go instead of it, you know, taking time to type out.

What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

A cup of coffee and one of my three dogs either in my lap or warming my feet.

What are you reading right now?

I’ve just recently read BETWEEN THE SPARK AND THE BURN by April Genevieve Tucholke, and I’m due to crack into THE CURE FOR DREAMING by Cat Winters any day now. Both Cat and April are amazing authors, and I love their work. They could write graffiti, and I’d find it stunning.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Hmm, I think I’d go with the power to heal. I think there’s a lot of good that could be done with such a gift.

What's the weirdest thing you've googled?

As someone who writes horror and rather dark books with murder, I’ve had to Google a lot of ways that people can die, either by misadventure or by others’ hands. For a recent project, I was looking up both farming accidents and toxic plants native to Missouri.

Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ... 

…herding three small children or volunteering at the stable for disabled riders.

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

I’m extremely grateful to my husband and kids who’ve tolerated a lot of, “Just let me finish writing this scene …” and my agent who plucked me out of the slush pile and remains solidly in my corner. The YA Scream Queens, SS Sisters, and the BookYArd have helped navigate me along this journey, and I would be lost without them. My real-life sister and mother-in-law are my break from the writer world, and I’m also really grateful to my editor, Courtney Koschel, who championed this book.
Thank you so much for having me!


Sarah Bromley lives near St. Louis with her husband, three children, and two dogs. She likes the quiet hours of morning when she can drink coffee in peace, stare into the woods behind her house, and wonder what monsters live there. When she’s not writing or wrangling small children, she can be found volunteering at a stable for disabled riders.


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