By: SD Grimm
Publication Date: September 4th, 2017
When Allie’s best friend dares their group to play a game in a cemetery—something she calls “witching”—Allie never expects what it might mean for her. When she plays, she doesn’t just find bodies, she summons their souls. But one soul wants more than Allie is willing to give.
And the boy next door could be the key to saving her.
Cody Burkhart. Straight from Montana, cowboy hat wearing, and smoking hot, he’s just the thing to help Allie become “normal” again after the death of her mother. And as her newly appointed Guardian, he’s also just the thing to help Allie ward off the vengeful spirit who’s after her soul. Except Cody has his own demons to slay that keep him closed off. But as the full moon approaches, so does their only chance to break the curse, and Cody will have to make the biggest sacrifice of all.
Hello! Thank you for having me on your blog today! I’m excited to be here and talk to you about my new novel, Summoner.
What is your writing process? Are you a plotter or a panster? Which do you prefer: drafting or revising?
My writing process involves a notebook, Microsoft Word, Scrivener, and MS Notebook. I know. It’s a lot. And sometimes I lose the notebook. But I love to write different things—idea brainstorms, outlines, character note—in different places. I think it involves different creative areas of my brain.
I am a plotter with pantser tendencies. I love to plot out the major points and then expand the outline from there. But sometimes things happen in my stories that I did not see coming. And it’s SO exciting! I’ll be writing a scene and suddenly \BAM/ plot twist. Then I’m looking at my outline like, yeah, lemme get back to you . . . somehow.
I love writing. I get excited about revision notes. I hate the actual revising. I LOVE the editing stages of making every sentence shine, though.
What is your number one writing tip?
Don’t give up. Keep writing.
Describe you book in 5 words or less
Cowboy must save cursed girl.
A book goes through a lot of different versions and rounds of editing before it’s complete. What are some “fun facts” or behind the scenes info you can share about the characters from your book or the world you created for it that may or may not have made it to the final draft of the book?
Oooh. Fun question.
~One of the characters was almost cut out entirely. His old role was taken up by the dog.
~Originally there was a Thanksgiving scene with Mr. Johnstone and his wife, who is an amazing cook. Allie and her dad had an awful fight and their reconciliation scene made me cry when I wrote it. But my editor never even saw that scene. I cut it out before it got to her.
~The book is told from one viewpoint. Originally, there were two.
~There was a death scene that all of my beta readers wanted to murder me for. So … I had to change a few things.
Do you have a special story, a discovery you made while doing research, or an innocuous thought that grew into something bigger that is behind your inspiration for the book?
Yes! I went witching for bodies in a cemetery and thought it would be fun to write a story where the characters did that … only for them something goes horribly wrong.
Who was your favorite character to write and who gave you the most trouble?
My favorite to write was Cody. I. love. him. so. much. Nell gave me the most trouble. At first she wanted to be a mean girl. I wrote her like one until she decided that she really wasn’t a mean girl. Then things went more smoothly.
If you could ask a character of your choice from SUMMONER one question what would it be?
I feel like I already know all of the answers to anything I’d ask them!
What scene from the book are you most proud of (because of how you handled the atmosphere, characters, dialogue, etc)?
The scene where Cody and Allie go for a picnic. The moments they have during that scene make me have to pause reading just to let all the feelings sink in.
Is there a scene that you had difficulty with and just had to “power through” to finish the book? Or a scene that made you very emotional?
I’ve had to power through scenes before, but not in this book. Emotions though, yes. There are a number of emotional scenes. I think that’s why while writing the a few scenes and being deep in a certain character’s viewpoint, I did end up crying. Because that character was crying and I felt it, too.
What are the top five things we should know as a reader before starting SUMMONER (about the main character, their love interest, the antagonist, their world/home town, their situation, etc)
- Witching for water is the same thing as water dowsing, i.e. it’s when you look for water that’s underground by walking over it with a dowsing rod. You can also do this to locate bodies.
- Allie’s mom died of cancer a few months before the start of this book, and Allie tried to distance herself from her friends because everything in life painfully reminded her of life with her mom.
- Vengeful ghosts are the worst.
- Labrador retrievers come in three colors, black, yellow, and chocolate. All three colors are featured in this novel because Labs are awesome.
- Cody has a disability, but it doesn’t define him.
What is next for you? What are you currently working on?
A lot! My second book in the Children of the Blood Moon trilogy comes out in January! And my next novel with Entangled Teen comes out in February. In addition to that, I’m editing a young adult cyberpunk and writing a new young adult magical realism/superhero fantasy. I can’t wait for you guys to read them!
D. Grimm’s first love in writing is young adult fantasy and science fiction. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency and author of SCARLET MOON. She currently has four books under contract, including the remainder of her YA fantasy series Children of the Blood Moon. When she’s not writing or editing, Sarah enjoys reading (of course!), practicing kickboxing and Brazilian jiu jitsu, training dogs, and binge-watching shows with great characters. Her office is anywhere she can curl up with her laptop and at least one large-sized dog. You can learn more about her upcoming novels at www.sdgrimm.com.
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