1) To start off, can you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
My name is Carrie Salo and I just released my debut novel The Sounding. Writing has been a lifelong dream of mine – since the second grade. When other girls wanted to be ballerinas or actresses, I wanted to be a writer. I went to school for English and then entered the world of advertising copywriting. But, all along, in the background, I’ve been working on fiction. Thanks to my wonderful publisher, 23 House, I’ve been able to bring writing to the forefront.
2) Can you tell us a little about your new release, The Sounding?
The Sounding is a supernatural thriller about an early Armageddon. But unlike a lot of Armageddon pop culture out there currently – which feature zombies, vampires or even natural disaster – The Sounding is based in real history and real prophecy. It gets its plot from Jewish and Catholic theology. It centers on the final prophecy in the book of Revelation and how events in today’s world might bring that prophecy to early fulfillment.
3) What inspired you to write the novel, The Sounding? How much research was involved in the writing process?
I found the idea for The Sounding in a religious studies class I was taking at college. We were reading the Bible as if it were a piece of literature. We took it a part theme by theme, just as you would in any English class. And two themes kept coming up for me again and again, because they simply don’t go together: prophecy and free will. Many things that happen in the Bible are prophetic – they are fated. And yet, the Bible gives each of us the free will to make our own choices, sometimes, even at the expense of prophecy. Eve in the Garden of Eden, of course, is an easy example, but there are many others. So, when we came to the final prophecy and began discussing it, I couldn’t help but ask: what if we could change it or make it happen early with our own choices? And that’s what The Sounding is all about.
I did do a great deal of additional research as I wrote The Sounding. Though it is a supernatural thriller, I wanted to ground it in as much history and realism as I could – I think that makes it far more chilling. I read dozens of books on Catholicism, Judaism and Israeli History. I read the Bible and its counter – The Apocrypha (those books that were once a part of the Bible but were eventually banned/discounted). I even traveled to the Vatican where I gained access to the underground catacombs that the Church is built right on top of. I tried to immerse myself in as much history as I could in order to bring it to life in my pages.
4) What is your favourite scene in the novel? Who is your favourite character?
My favorite scene in the novel is definitely the end. So, I can’t say too much about it. But, it’s both unexpected, and very satisfying. It’s the place I feel like I did the best writing, and where all the large and small plot threads I laid throughout the novel come together in something that you won’t guess, but will love.
My favorite character is Elise: an unlikely savior in the novel. In some ways, she’s just a normal 20 year-old woman. Athletic, pretty (though not beautiful), strong, a bit too serious and a bit too closed. She’s a redhead who wears pink. She works at a pub to put herself through school. She doesn’t have a roommate. But, she has an incredible secret. She can steal energy. From anyone. She simply needs to touch them – anywhere their skin is exposed – and can take from them all that she needs to make herself unbelievably powerful. Those who know about her gift believe she is sent by God to guard the prophecy and keep their order in tact. But Elise herself isn’t so sure. She has a dark past and her ability tempts her with its power. She’s a bit of an invincible character, which made her incredibly interesting to write for. She has no fear, other than of what she can become. It was such a freeing role to write for.
5) What are 3 things that are 'must haves' for you when you sit down to write? Do you have any writing rituals?
The three things I must have are 1) my laptop 2) a blanket 3) some music. I have a laptop because I like to write from anywhere. I actually don’t like peace and quiet too much. If I’m with my family, I like to write where everyone is gathered. Or, if I am on my own, I like to find a public place or an outdoor place to write. The blanket (unless I am in a public place…) is a must because writing is an activity where mostly, just your fingers are moving. I find I get quite stiffly chilled after a few hours doing just that. And finally, music. Even when I’m surrounded by others, I usually have at least one earbud in. I listen to classical music while I write, and I try to match the music to the type of writing I’m doing. If it’s an action scene – I’ll find something exciting or angry. If it’s a romance scene – I’ll pick something softer; more haunting. Then, when I edit the scene or need to pick-up where I last left off, I can play the same music. I find it really helps me get into the same mood, even when it’s been a while since I last wrote or visited that particular scene. It helps me write from a consistent place and I credit it with keeping away writer’s block!
6) Can you share with us any projects that you are currently working on or plans for the future?
I am just beginning the research for a second novel. It will be another supernatural thriller, but different characters, places and plot premise than The Sounding. I don’t want to give too much away, but if you are looking for a clue as to what I am working on next, check out the last few pages of The Sounding. At the end, a book is mentioned. And that is the name of my next book.
7) I am looking forward to it!!! Who are some of your favourite authors or books?
I have pretty eclectic tastes. Whenever I buy a book, I usually buy 2: one classic and one new. That way, I am always getting the best of today as well as the writers that came before. But, to list a few favorites: The Shining by Stephen King, Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Watcher by Dean Koontz, Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton and The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. Some classics I enjoy are Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery, Dracula by Bram Stoker and so many others…
8) What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Read, of course! I also really like scary movies – anything that keeps you on the edge of your seat. I like to jog at night, swim, sail old sailboats, and I enjoy a good German or Upstate New York Reisling. I love to travel, and I am slowly making my way around the world with recent stops in France, Australia and China.
9) With Christmas fast approaching, what are your favourite memories about the holiday season? Any special plans this year?
I have a really big family, so my favorite Christmas memories all involve big family activities. As the oldest of five children, Christmas Eve was always a night when we were allowed to all sleep together in our family rec room in sleeping bags. Some of my favorite memories are of those nights.
This Christmas, I am spending time with my husband’s family in Florida. So, we’ll be decorating palm trees and enjoying more sun than I am used to for Christmas!
10) Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?
Only that I hope you enjoy The Sounding. While it is a supernatural thriller, I believe it is simply a good story. If you enjoy being taken away from reality for a little while; if you want a book that will pull you in and make you forget you are reading, then I think you will like The Sounding. Only you – the reader can make The Sounding a well-read book. And so I hope to see you between the covers!
And check out Carrie's guest post here on Curling Up By The Fire!!