Wednesday, January 6, 2016

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



46 comments:

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Helen Moulden said...

How do you decide on the cover for your books?

Lisa Brown said...

thank you for the chance to win :)

Mai T. said...

Are you a clean or messy person?

Wild N Mild $$$ said...

Would like to read more about Carson.
Jennifer Rote

Candi Sary said...

Thank you, Lisa, for hosting!

Candi Sary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Candi Sary said...

@LisaBrown @JenniferRote Thanks for reading!

Candi Sary said...

@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. :)

Becky Richardson said...

What genre do you enjoy reading?

Rita said...

I liked the interview.

Eva Millien said...

I enjoyed the interview, sounds like a really good book, thanks for sharing!

Candi Sary said...

@Rita @Eva Thanks for coming by to read my interview!

Cindy Berg said...

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.

Candi Sary said...

Thanks, Cindy! I'm glad you're a real writing writer too. :)

Candi Sary said...

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.

Betty Woodrum said...

I enjoyed the excerpt, thank you for sharing!

Candi Sary said...

Thanks, Betty. I appreciate that.

Annie Quinn said...

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

Nikolina said...

Enjoyed reading your interview, thank you!

Candi Sary said...

Thanks, Annie. I am looking forward to your next book as well! ;)

Candi Sary said...

Thanks for stopping by to read it!

patrick siu said...

I have enjoyed learning about the book. Thanks for sharing it.

Helen Moulden said...

Was it difficult becoming a published author?

Candi Sary said...

Thanks for reading!

Candi Sary said...

Very difficult in my earlier years of writing, but it's easier now with all the options in publishing.

Ree Dee said...

Thank you for the interview and sharing the trailer of Black Crow White Lie. I enjoyed them immensely.

Candi Sary said...

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.

Helen Moulden said...

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.

Helen Moulden said...

Different question, but if you could live in any time period, when would it be?

Helen Moulden said...

Do you ever base characters in your books on people you know in real life?

Helen Moulden said...

If you could be any character in a book, who would it be?

Candi Sary said...

I quite like the one we are in now! :)

Candi Sary said...

Sometimes I use characteristics from people I know but the characters are usually original.

Candi Sary said...

I enjoy trying out a wide variety of characters- walking in their shoes for a short time. That's why I read so much!

patrick siu said...

Sounds intriguing and entertaining, will have to read soon. Thanks for the giveaway.

Helen Moulden said...

Thank you for all the answers! :). It's nice getting to know an author more!

Candi Sary said...

Thanks, Patrick. Good luck with the giveaway!

Candi Sary said...

Of course! Thanks for coming by to read the interview.

Helen Moulden said...

What was your first big break as an author?

Helen Moulden said...

If you weren't an author, what would you be?

Helen Moulden said...

What was the first book that you remember reading?

Helen Moulden said...

What's your favourite film?

Helen Moulden said...

Did you come up with the title for your book first, or at the end, once you'd finished writing it?

Helen Moulden said...

Bit random this time, but are you a dog person, or a cat person? (or neither!)

Victoria Alexander said...

Great post - thanks for sharing!