Published by St. Martin's Press
Published on January 19th 2016
Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Young Adult
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In this genre-bending YA thriller, will Sarah Merson's shiny new prep school change her life forever or bring it to a dark and sinister end?
When Sarah Merson receives the opportunity of a lifetime to attend the most elite prep school in the country-Sanctuary Bay Academy-it seems almost too good to be true. But, after years of bouncing from foster home to foster home, escaping to its tranquil setting, nestled deep in Swans Island, couldn't sound more appealing. Swiftly thrown into a world of privilege and secrets, Sarah quickly realizes finding herself noticed by class charmer, Nate, as well as her roommate's dangerously attentive boyfriend, Ethan, are the least of her worries. When her roommate suddenly goes missing, she finds herself in a race against time, not only to find her, but to save herself and discover the dark truth behind Sanctuary Bay's glossy reputation.
In this genre-bending YA thriller, Sanctuary Bay by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz, Sarah's new school may seem like an idyllic temple of learning, but as she unearths years of terrifying history and manipulation, she discovers this "school" is something much more sinister.
–Which do you find the hardest to write, the first or the last line of your novels? Why?
OMG, the first line! By the time we get to the end we’re usually racing against a deadline and also just So. Tired. Of. Writing. But for the first line, there’s all the pressure of wanting it to be perfect, and all the weight of wanting to procrastinate…it’s just very hard to write.
–Which comes first in your writing process, the title, or the content of you story? (Do you always know what your book’s title is going to be?)
We have actually done it every possible way. Books are individuals like that.
–Let’s talk character names. How do you go about selecting names for characters in your book? Do the names you pick have any significance to you, or do you ever feel inspired by a name?
Frequently we name characters after people we know. But not people we know well, necessarily, more like people who we met once or twice fifteen years ago. Or people we went to high school with. Just because the names are names we like, really. The characters aren’t in any way based on these real people. Other times we look on the Social Security baby name website (it is the best thing on the internet) and figure out what names were popular when our characters were born. Or we think about a character’s parents and what crazy or classy name they would have come up with.
–What’s in your “Author Survival Kit”? (Pens, Caffeine, iPods, Prozac?)
Cheese. And chocolate. And our dogs.
–Do you have a favorite place to write? Tell us about it!
MM: I have an indie coffee place I love. Often there will be two guys sitting in armchairs separated by a little table and they’ll be texting each other and snickering. It makes me laugh. Also, caffeine is helpful.
LJB: I am boring and write at home in my appallingly messy office.
–If you could use 3 words to describe your books, what would they be?
Totally freaking awesome.
–If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
LJB: McDonalds French fries
MM: Pizza (Sorry, chocolate. You know I love you, but we’re talking life.)
–What is something you never leave home without?
MM: Gotta go with LJB on that one.
This or That?
Sunrise or Sunset?
LJB: Sunset. Sunrise is really early, you know.
Coffee or Tea?
LJB: I prefer coffee but I drink tea. I’m complicated.
MM: I love the smell of coffee, but I mostly drink tea, or coffee with a bunch of syrupy goodness.
Hot or Cold?
LJB: Me? Hot. My drinks? Cold.
MM: Weather? Hot. Drinks? Cold.
PC or Mac?
By Land, or by sea?
LJB: I love both. There’s not enough sea in my life.
MM: Roadtrips are awesome (even though I have no sense of direction), but I also don’t get enough sea.
Summer or Winter?
LJB: Oh, god, summer all the way.
MM: Yeah, me too. I can think for myself, but she went first, so it seems like I can’t.
E-book or Print Book? (Preferred reading)
LJB: Print book, though ebooks are definitely easier to travel with.
MM: OMG. Again, I have the same answer.
LJB: Perhaps they will figure out that we have the same brain.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz have written many books for teens and middle-grade readers, including the Edgar-nominated mystery series Wright and Wong and the YA novels Crave and Sacrifice. They have also written for the TV shows Roswell, 1-800-Missing, and The Dead Zone. Laura lives in New York and Melinda lives in North Carolina, but really they mostly live on email, where they do most of their work together.
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