Interview with YA paranormal author Bethany Harar

Today I’m
featuring YA paranormal novelist Bethany
Harar
as she tours her newest novel, Voices
of the Sea.
Ways to
connect with Beth include her website,
blog, and Twitter pages.

As part of her virtual book tour, Bethany will award a copy of Voices of the Sea to a lucky commenter of this blog. So, to be entered for a chance to win, leave a comment below! And if you’d like other chances to win ‘stuff’, feel free to visit the Fresh News Daily blog for other contests.
Bio:
Bethany Masone Harar grew up in a family with
“gypsy feet” who moved from place to place until eventually settling down in
the suburbs of Washington, D.C. As a teacher and writer of young-adult fiction,
Bethany is able to connect with the very audience for whom she writes and does
her best to turn reluctant readers into voracious, book-reading nerds. You can
visit her website at www.bethanymasoneharar.com.
Welcome, Bethany. Please tell us about
your current release.
Voices of the Sea is a young adult novel which brings
mythology and our modern world together. In my book, Sirens exist, but have
remained hidden for centuries to protect themselves against a vicious cult who
wants them dead. Seventeen-year-old Loralei is the future guardian of her clan,
and never took the threat seriously, until now. The cult, known as the Sons of
Orpheus, has found them and Loralei must find a way to protect her people
without revealing their existence. Voices
of the Sea
is a book about survival, love and family. But ultimately, it’s
about one young woman who must put aside her childhood and make difficult
decisions to save the people she loves.
What inspired you to write this book?
I came up
with the idea when I had a dream about a woman who was wading in the ocean. In
my dream, I knew she was communicating with the sea. I happened to be teaching
The Odyssey to my ninth graders at the time, and put the two together. I’d been
searching for an original idea for a new book, and was so excited when
everything fell into place.
Excerpt:
“At the water’s edge, she pictured her mother. All around
Lora, her mother’s spirit danced in the ocean, swirled in the salt air,
surrounded her, and filled her with the power she’d been lacking. It swelled
within her, starting at the tips of her toes and pulsing through her body like
a detonator, threatening to bring her to the breaking point. Lora’s body
quivered, and she pictured a massive swell, higher than the gentle waves of
Pacific Grove.
Moving forward, her toes touched the ocean. She
could feel the electricity flowing from her body into the water, a cosmic pulse
moving magically into the sea. She could see the ripple effect as a giant wave
moved away from the shore into the water, then back again, creating a large current,
taller than even she had imagined. Closing her eyes, Lora willed it to crash at
her feet and then dissipate, and the water listened. The ocean obeyed her. For
the first time, she had power over the sea.”
What exciting story are you working on
next?
My newest
book is a YA, paranormal thriller. I hesitate to say too much, because it is
still in the beginning stages, but it deals with raw teenage struggles and what
happens when adults tell them they need to let go of their problems and
“lighten up”. Let’s just say that their problems are very real, and only get
worse as a result.
When did you first consider yourself a
writer?
This is a
hard question to answer. Sometimes I still doubt my abilities enough to wonder
if I really AM a writer. But I think after I wrote my second novel (which is
not published), I began to believe I was a writer. In any event, as I wrote Voices of the Sea, I started to realize
that it had the potential to be published, and at that point I knew I was a
writer, even if my confidence was still lacking.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?
Unfortunately,
I do not have the luxury of being a full-time writer. I teach eleventh grade
English at my local high school, and also serve as senior class sponsor. Generally,
I get up at 4:45 a.m., get to school by 6:00 a.m., and get work done for an
hour before the students arrive at 7:15. I teach until 3:15, and then leave to
pick up my children from school. My “mommy” job begins at that point, and ends
when they go to bed. Finally, around 8:30, I have time to write. Sometimes all
I finish is a paragraph. Other days, I’ll get a whole chapter completed. Either
way, I write and consider it a win. Weekends allow more writing time, but it is
never guaranteed. I write when I can, and take what I can get.
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
I get cold
when I write. I can’t explain it, but my feet particularly get very cold, so I
end up wearing warm socks and a hooded sweatshirt even in the summer!
As a child, what did you want to be
when you grew up?
When I was
really little, I wanted to be a movie star. Their lives always looked so
glamorous, and I was sure I would be the best. When I was a teenager, I wanted
to own my own bookstore, and buy and sell rare books. I imagined myself
traveling Europe, and working with interesting book collectors. However, I’m
pretty happy with being an author and a teacher.
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
There is so
much pressure in this question! Okay. I like poodles and hate spoons. I
routinely watch Sponge Bob, sometimes by myself, and have watched the Kiera
Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice more times than I can count on two
hands. My students might tell you that I’m a hard grader, but do my best to
make class interesting and humorous. My current favorite TV shows are Game of
Thrones, The Walking Dead, Bones, True Blood, Falling Skies and Under the Dome.
My former favorite TV shows are Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lost, X-Files, The
Sopranos, How I Met Your Mother, Seinfeld and Survivor. I think Italians are
lovely and I do not prefer heights. And I just got back from a seventeen-day
trip to London and Scotland with my mother.
Is that
enough?

That’s all fabulous, thanks, Beth!

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