Well, this could fit into Halloween, right? I mean, she sees dead people and manages spirits…
The story is When Stars Come Out by Scarlett St. Clair published today in the Urban Fantasy, Young Adult Genre.
Anora Silby can see the dead and turn spirits into gold coins, two things she would prefer to keep secret as she tries to lead a normal life at her new school. After all, she didn’t change her identity for nothing.
As it turns out, hiding her weirdness is just one of many challenges. By the end of her first day, she’s claimed the soul of a dead girl on campus and lost the coin. Turns out, the coin gives others the ability to steal souls, and when a classmate ends up dead, there’s no mistaking the murder weapon.
Navigating the loss of her Poppa, her mother’s unpredictable behavior, and Roundtable, an anonymous student gossip app threatening to expose her, are hard enough. Now she must find the person who stole her coin before more lives are lost, but that means making herself a target for the Order, an organization that governs the dead on Earth–and they want Anora and her powers for themselves.
Ms. Silby smiles. It’s Anora’s smile, but there’s something less sincere about it. “Have you had lunch, Shy?”
“No, Ms. Silby.”
“Call me Jayne. And you should join us for lunch.”
“I’d love to.”
When Jayne goes back inside, Anora turns to glare at me.
“Why do you have salt behind your back?” I ask.I’m trying to be playful, but she’s not having it.
“To keep the dead away from my house,” she says. It’s a challenge to keep a straight face. I’m surprised she’s being so direct.
I grin. “Salt’s not going to keep anything out…except maybe snails.”
“If you have any advice, I’d love to hear it.”
I pull my hand from my pocket where I’ve been rolling a stone between my fingers for the last several minutes and hold it out to her.
“Obsidian. It’ll keep evil at a distance for a lot longer than salt.”
She tightens her fingers around the rock and says. “Hmm. Must not work. You’re still here.”
I put my hand to my heart. “You wound me.” She glares and I frown. How have I become a bad guy overnight?
I bet I can guess.
I shove my hands in my pockets again, feeling really freaking awkward. “You gonna show me around?”
Anora glances toward her house. “This is my house,” she says. “That you creepily found on your own.”
Yeah. Not scoring any points on that one. At least I have a good excuse. “Hey, small town, remember? Everyone at school knows where you live.”
“Yeah, but they don’t drop by uninvited.”
Man, I’m really screwing this up.
She sighs. “Fine. Come on.”
A Chat with the Author.
Scarlett St. Clair lives in Oklahoma with her husband. She has a Master’s degree in Library Science and Information Studies and spends a lot of time researching reincarnation, unsolved murders and Greek mythology-all of which made it into her debut novel, When Stars Come Out.
Hi Scarlett, and welcome!
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Scarlett and because I’m a full-time Librarian, I don’t do much in my spare time other than write. Literally, my only other hobbies are prepping marketing material for my books, planning meals and working out. I decided I wanted to be a writer when I was thirteen after reading The Lord of the Ringsby J.R.R. Tolkien—a book that changed my life. I want to change people’s lives with my words, too.
What is When Stars Come Out about?
It’s about a girl who can turn souls into coins to help them pass into the afterlife. She runs into some problems when she loses one and discovers they can be used to resurrect people.
How did you come up with the idea for When Stars Come Out?
It’s just a combination of things that interest me. The book is really rooted in Greek Mythology. We have familiar names like Eurydice, Charon, and the obols (coins) making an appearance. The main supernatural characters are Ravens, and it’s said that Ravens used to be white until Apollo scorched them for bringing him bad news. I also have a couple characters who are reincarnated gods, though that’s not said it’s just something that lives in my head. I’ll probably build on that in other books.
What sort of research did you do to write this book?
Really weird research. I have a pretty steep knowledge in Greek and Roman Mythology because many of my college classes centered on these texts. The parts of this book I didn’t know a lot about was the occult. Some of my google searches were super sketch. Also, I had to google autopsies. I won’t tell you why.
What is your writing process like?
I write a very basic draft and consider it complete around 40-50,000 words. Then I just keep rereading and rewriting on that draft, building on my characters and world until I feel like I’m finished. I used to try and change my writing process all the time until I really started to look at how I write and what works for me. My advice is to try less to copy others and focus more on yourself–how you write, what feels good, what’s productive for you. There’s no right way to write.
What advice would you give new authors or someone who wants to be an author?
My advice is don’t lose the passion for your work. If you’re writing something or on the path of something that doesn’t make you feel empowered, maybe it’s time to reconsider where you’re headed. For me, I always want to feel good when I write because writing is my escape. It’s what makes me happy. Any time it stresses me out or makes me feel lesser, I know I’m doing something wrong.
What are you reading?
Strange the Dreamer. Its sequel Muse of Nightmares is out! I also just finished The Darkest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I’m really excited for Leigh Bardugo’s King of Scars.
What are you currently working on and what can we expect from you in the future?
I’m currently working on WSCO #2 and a spin-off book about a couple characters you will meet in the WSCO books. Updates on future books will be on my website and social media. I also write pieces of Hades and Persephone retellings on my blog at authorscarlettstclair.tumblr.com.
- eBook copy of When Stars Come Out + $25 Amazon gift card