Today we’re so excited to introduce you to TRYA co-founder Sarah Glenn Marsh and her YA Historical Fantasy Fear the Drowning Deep which is set to release September 2016!
- Why did you choose the setting for your book? Did you draw from any real places to create your world?
Fear takes place on the Isle of Man which, while it’s beautiful and rugged enough to be something out of a fantasy land, is very much a real island situated between England and Ireland. However, the town in the book is a fictional one called Port Coire. I loved having control over the layout of the town and its landmarks, so I made one up; it’s situated between the real towns of Peel and Kirk Michael. I chose the Isle of Man as my seaside setting because it’s exactly the sort of wild, untamed landscape where anything seems possible.
- What was your inspiration for Fear the Drowning Deep?
Reading the news: I was reading an article about a rare shark that had been spotted by fishermen (near Japan, if I recall) and it got me thinking about all the strange creatures in the ocean. It seems to me that people spend more time wondering about space, looking up, than they do wondering about what’s in the waters below us–way deep down, in the places we can’t see or touch…and the idea for Fear was born!
- What was your favorite part about writing Fear the Drowning Deep?
Researching the mythology, definitely. I had a great time learning about and shaping what my main character, Bridey, would be up against in her fight to save her town.
- What was the hardest part about writing Fear the Drowning Deep?
Without getting too spoilery, writing the Big Bad in this book really freaked me out! Also, Bridey’s so scared of the ocean that I often felt terrible about the things I was subjecting her to!
- Who is your favorite rogue character from a book, TV show, or movie?
River Tam from Firefly/Serenity! Also, Jayne Cobb from Firefly/Serenity. And Captain Mal, and…well, I’m sure everyone’s sensing a theme here, so I’ll stop now!
- Your book takes place on Isle of Man in 1913. What sort of research did you do to get this unusual historical setting right?
I ordered books from the Isle of Man itself (many weren’t in print here) to study their history. I also got a book on wildlife, and studied a lot of Manx fairy lore and cultural customs from reprints of books that dated back to the early-mid 1800s. I also watched videos of the Manx TT (Tourist Trophy) Motorcycle Race! While there are no motorcycles in FEAR of course, the TT race takes its competitors all across the island, and it was a way for me to hear some native Manx speakers as well as study the landscape in-depth! Mostly though, I just loved reading everything I could find about the Isle. Have a question about Manx life? Ask me!
- Who is your favorite character from Fear the Drowning Deep and why?
This is so tough to answer, but I’ll do my best! I’m going to choose Morag Maddrell. She’s the old woman who walks with a limp and lives above the town of Port Coire. Her cottage is dark, hidden deep in the woods like some feral creature, and the townspeople shun her because they think she’s a witch. I loved writing her (and can’t wait for you all to meet her) because she’s hilarious, sharp-tongued, stubborn, wise…and while she may not be a witch in the traditional sense, as Bridey learns, she knows a little magic and she’s there when it really counts. I love how their relationship evolves from witch and apprentice to something more like grandmother and granddaughter. And I’ll stop gushing now, but basically I adore her!
- Many of the characters in your novel believe in fairies. Do you believe in anything supernatural or magical?
I love this question! And I do. I believe there’s magic in the world that we overlook or explain away. With ghosts in particular (the first thing that comes to mind when I hear ‘supernatural’), many people I trust–clever, rational people–have had experiences I can’t just discount. I certainly think there are things around us that science can’t yet explain, and that it’s silly to close our minds to the possibility of something just because we don’t understand it!
- Fear the Drowning Deep has such an evocative title! Can you share a little about your process of coming up with the title?
Oh, how I wish I had a great story to share here! But it’s actually pretty simple. I was lying in bed one night, thinking about my new story idea (I’d only written the opening scene at the time), and how my character Bridey was so afraid of the ocean. The phrase “Fear the Drowning Deep” popped into my head, and I immediately woke my husband up and made him Google it! I was so sure it was a poem or a song lyric–but it wasn’t. Apparently, my brain just wanted to give me something cool before I fell asleep, and it’s stuck ever since!
- What’s one thing you want readers to know about Fear the Drowning Deep?
Something readers might not guess from the title alone is that, while this book is full of mythology and monsters, it’s really a love story at its core. I’m a hopeless romantic, and this book has romance despite the dark things happening in Bridey’s town!