Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Girls Are Never Gone, and I’m pleased to be bringing you an interview with author Sarah Glenn Marsh. You can find the tour schedule with full selection of posts here. This creepy, wonderful read is the perfect way to kick of Autumn rolling in!
The Conjuring meets Sadie when seventeen-year-old podcaster Dare takes an internship in a haunted house and finds herself in a life-or-death struggle against an evil spirit.
Dare Chase doesn’t believe in ghosts.
Privately, she’s a supernatural skeptic. But publicly, she’s keeping her doubts to herself—because she’s the voice of Attachments, her brand-new paranormal investigation podcast, and she needs her ghost-loving listeners to tune in.
That’s what brings her to Arrington Estate. Thirty years ago, teenager Atheleen Bell drowned in Arrington’s lake, and legend says her spirit haunts the estate. Dare’s more interested in the suspicious circumstances surrounding her death—circumstances that she believes point to a living culprit, not the supernatural. Still, she’s vowed to keep an open mind as she investigates, even if she’s pretty sure what she’ll find.
But Arrington is full of surprises. Good ones like Quinn, the cute daughter of the house’s new owner. And baffling ones like the threatening messages left scrawled in paint on Quinn’s walls, the ghastly face that appears behind Dare’s own in the mirror, and the unnatural current that nearly drowns their friend Holly in the lake. As Dare is drawn deeper into the mysteries of Arrington, she’ll have to rethink the boundaries of what is possible. Because if something is lurking in the lake…it might not be willing to let her go.
Hi Sarah! Thanks for joining me to talk about your new book, The Girls Are Never Gone. Part murder mystery, part supernatural story, where did you draw your inspiration from?
Hey there, and thank you so much for having me! GIRLS was inspired primarily by three things: my love of podcasts (especially true crime ones- hi fellow Crime Junkies!); my love of ghost stories (go read KILL CREEK by Scott Thomas if you haven’t already, I can’t stop thinking about that one!); and balancing my own skepticism with having a haunted house in the family (well, sort of!). More on that last part: my great-great-great grandfather built a beautiful home for my great-great grandmother, which my ancestors lived in for some time until a series of tragedies forced them to move away (and continued to follow them, really). I’m named after their youngest daughter, Sarah Emmeline Glenn- my great grandmother- and the house is now a beautiful museum belonging to the city of Cape Girardeau, MO. If you’re in the Midwest, it’s absolutely worth checking out- they have everything from ghost tours to art exhibits and live music there, depending on the time!
For those who might not know, the story centers around a podcast and the investigation that goes with it. Why did you choose this as a format?
First, this isn’t something I’ve seen done a lot- I’d love to read more books with this format! And second, I’m an avid podcast listener. It’s helped me get through some of the toughest times mentally during the pandemic; with a podcast in my ears, I go jogging around our neighborhood and feel like I’m out with friends rather than alone. I love them. And I especially love the spooky ones (Snap Judgement’s ‘Spooked’; Ghost in the Burbs; Jim Harold’s Campfire, The No Sleep Podcast), so hit me up if you need recs!
How have you found writing this book under the current climate? It must have been intense!
Such a great question! Actually, for me, horror is an escape, so writing this book during the pandemic was a much-appreciated exit strategy from reality. I find horror — ghost stories especially — to be comforting, because they show you just how much someone can adapt and survive when faced with the unknown, and these are definitely uncertain times we live in!
What genres do you tend to read yourself? Is YA something you enjoy reading?
My go-to genres have shifted over time, and I still read widely across most of them (with ghost stories being a permanent staple since I was maybe 6 years old!), but right now I’m really gravitating towards thrillers! RAZORBLADE TEARS and THE HUNTING WIVES’ CLUB are two that absolutely blew me away recently. Oh, and while not a thriller, I thoroughly enjoyed THE QUEER PRINCIPLES OF KIT WEBB recently, for anyone looking for a serotonin boost! I also love to read YA because there’s such a beautiful honesty in the writing of teen characters when it’s done well, and some recent favorite YA reads include A DRAGONBIRD IN THE FERN, THE RECKLESS KIND and LEAGUE OF LIARS. Those last two aren’t out yet, so you’ll want to put them on your TBRs! 🙂
When you’re working away, what little things do you have as your comforts or essentials? Do you have a lucky mug or a soundtrack for your writing?
I find music really inspiring, but too distracting when I write! My essentials are: a soundtrack of nature noises, a yoga ball to swap out for my desk chair at times, and the beautiful view out my office window! And yes, sometimes a bit of chocolate for a treat, too. 😉
What advice would you give to people who are working on their first novel who might be reading this?
There are a couple important things I’d want them to keep in mind: first, you’ve got to love it. If you don’t love a character, a scene, a page — it’s going to show. If your story hooks you, on the other hand, chances are readers will be invested, too. Next, read heavily in your genre, and in others! The more you read, the more you’ll identify what works for you as a reader and be able to successfully evoke similar feelings in your own work! Last, critique as often as you can for others, again in your genre but also more broadly! Critiquing taught me more about how to edit and improve my own work than any writing class.
And finally, how would you describe The Girls Are Never Gone in three words? Creepy, sapphic, atmospheric. (Ghost stories that build an eerie atmosphere with their setting are my faves!)
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About the Author
Sarah Glenn Marsh writes young adult novels and children’s picture books. An avid fantasy reader from the day her dad handed her a copy of The Hobbit and promised it would change her life, she’s been making up words and worlds ever since.
When she’s not writing, Sarah frequents the pottery studio, volunteers her time to sighthound rescue, and raises awareness about her autoimmune disease, Type 1 diabetes. She often enjoys pursuits of the nerd variety, from video games to tabletop adventures. She’s never met an animal or a doughnut she didn’t like.
Sarah lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and their tiny zoo of four rescued sighthounds, two birds, and many fish. She is the author of Fear the Drowning Deep, the Reign of the Fallen series, and several books for younger readers.
Thanks for stopping by for this wonderfully creepy post. I had so much fun interviewing Sarah, and this book is ready to keep you up at night for multiple reasons! Be sure to check out the other posts on the tour, and come back again for daily content updates.
Thank you as always to TBR and Beyond Tours, and to Sarah, for all their hard work and time.