Interview with novelist Candi Sary

Today’s
special guest is Candi Sary and we’re talking about her new adult-YA crossover novel, Black Crow White Lie.

During her virtual book tour, Candi will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and
Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be
entered for a chance to win, use the
form below.
To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!


Bio:
Candi
Sary graduated from the University of California, Irvine. Her awards for Black
Crow White Lie
include 1st Place in the Dante Rossetti Awards, winner of the
Reader Views Literary Award for the West-Pacific, and first runner-up in the Eric
Hoffer Award for fiction. The novel has also been made into a short film. Sary
lives in Southern California with her husband and two children.

Welcome, Candi. Please tell us about
your current release.

Young Carson has a rare and magical gift of healing. He lives in
Hollywood motels with his mom, Juliette, who is a psychic and an alcoholic. She
has nothing of value to offer her son so she lavishes him with lies. Carson
befriends Faris, a tattoo shop owner, and Casper, a cashier at a head shop.
These two unlikely mentors help this troubled yet extraordinary boy find his
way to the truth.

What inspired you to write this book?
I was always drawn to stories about miraculous healings, especially being
raised Catholic. No matter what terrible illness or disease I heard about, I
always wanted to believe there was a possible miracle out there for it. Stories
like the blessed waters where the Virgin Mary cured people gave me hope that if
someone in my family ever got sick, we would have a solution. When I read Eat Pray Love as an adult, for some
reason my intrigue with the healer in the book brought out all those old
feelings I’d had as a kid. They stayed heavily on my mind and I knew I needed
to explore them.

As
a novelist, I get to escape into stories that feed my own fantasies. While I
had to open up to gritty elements in Carson’s life as I considered what it
would take for someone like him to become a healer, the overall feel I had
while writing was wondrous and empowering. Wearing Carson’s shoes during all
those years I wrote the novel, I felt the magic inside of me, as if his power
were mine. And so it was the intrigue as well as the fantasy of healing that
inspired the novel.
Here is an excerpt of
the first scene Carson heals his mother’s hangover:
I set the remote back on the dresser and went
to my mom’s chair. Putting my hands over her head I felt the tiny stars that
always came. It felt like thousands of them came pouring out of my hands. I
couldn’t see them with my eyes; I could only see them with my eyes closed. But
I could feel them. They filled my hands with heat, and when I shared them with
my mom, they made her feel better.
I don’t remember the first time I used the
stars, just like I don’t remember the first time I used my voice. When I asked
my mom how I got them, she said I just knew I had them in me—the same way I
knew I had words in me.
What exciting story
are you working on next?

My next novel is somewhat of a ghost story set in a secluded Northern
Californian town. It made the finals of the William Faulkner William Wisdom
Creative Writing Competition novel-in-progress category and so I feel I’m on
the right track. What’s interesting about this novel is that one of the main
characters felt really familiar to me the entire time I was writing. As the
story unfolded, I came to recognize this girl was Juliette’s daughter, and
Carson’s sister. Carson took her to live with his estranged grandmother in this
ghost town because his own mother was not prepared to raise another child.
Without having even thought about this story while writing Black Crow White Lie, it was amazing to find all the elements that
were already set up in the novel to support this second novel. While the
stories are very different, the characters’ relationships tie them together. It’s
been a magical journey so far and I can’t wait to share it with readers!

When did you first consider yourself a
writer?

As
a kid, my favorite way to spend alone time was with my typewriter, creating
books in my room. Even at a very young age, I already felt the longing to escape
into stories through writing. At seven, I proudly called myself a writer.
Ironically,
when I seriously started writing at twenty-five, I was too intimidated to call
myself a real writer. I knew I was not very good at first and needed years of
practice to improve. I wrote six “practice novels” that were not published, and
during those years, I didn’t tell many people that I wrote. Then Black Crow White Lie came out and I
started getting reviews and winning some awards. A filmmaker also approached me
about adapting the story into a short film. People were actually connecting
with what I’d written! That was when I felt the confidence to finally call myself
a writer again.

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?
While raising my kids, I tried to treat writing like a full time job. I
would drop them off at school, go down to the beach and surf for an hour to
clear my head, and then spend the rest of the day writing until I had to pick
the kids up at three. Of course life often got in the way, and I wasn’t overly
strict about my schedule, but I did complete seven novels while raising my
children.

Now that they are away at college, I do spend most of my days writing as well
as working on my new venture, Blue Mary Books. My love of storytelling does not
end with my own writing. I have started a small publishing company to publish
other authors and bring their stories to life.

What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
When I am stuck on something, I go for a long walk with my iPod and look
for clues to my writing dilemma in the lyrics of the songs. It may sound
strange, but I really have come up with answers from music!

As a child, what did you want to be when
you grew up?

All
that time I spent on my typewriter creating books, I clearly wanted to be a
writer. But as I think back, I had another dream job… I used to visit my
teenage sister who was a waitress at Cocoa’s and I thought she had the coolest
job ever. I really wanted to be a waitress! That dream came true while I was in
college and I supported myself by waitressing.

Anything additional
you want to share with the readers?
It
was really exciting to see my novel adapted into a short film. Watching an
actor and actress bring Carson and Juliette to life—after years of those
characters only living inside of my head—was such a thrill. I’d love to share
the video trailer with you.
And
thank you, Lisa, for having me on your wonderful blog!!
Links:
Thank you for being
here today, Candi!

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46 thoughts on “Interview with novelist Candi Sary

    • Unknown says:

      There were a variety of artists who submitted covers, but this one we chose by Kerry Ellis was so special, it just felt absolutely right for the novel.

  1. Unknown says:

    @MaiT I'm both! I like to keep my house clean, but I'm not afraid to let things get messy if I have more important things to do– like write. 🙂

  2. Unknown says:

    Isn't it weird how we know who we are as kids, then feel like fakes (at least at first) when we return to what we love later? I'm so glad you are a real writing writer! Carson's story totally drew me in. I can't wait to see where your next book leads.

  3. Annie Quinn says:

    Candi
    I loved reading your book, Black Crow, White Lies. You are a gifted storyteller with well defined characters. I look forward to meeting Carson's sister, and Juliette's daughter in your newest book. Thank you for sharing more insight into your writing process and history of your writing journey.
    Enjoy the Moments

    • Unknown says:

      Great! Thanks for reading! The Kindle version of the novel is on sale for 1.99 during the blog tour if you want to check it out.

  4. Unknown says:

    Thanks for replying! I've always loved the idea of jacking in my job and turning to writing, but I'm not even sure where to begin. I figured it was very difficult getting published. But I suppose there's always the possibility of self publishing now with e-books.

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