Sarah, what was your inspiration for writing THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS?
THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS came from my fascination with rural folklore, and the Ozarks has its share of peculiar beliefs. It's a beautiful place, but it's plagued by poverty and drug trafficking. I wanted to know what it would be like as a teen living in the backwoods while experiencing one's first love, first fight with friends, first time finding one's true self in the face of danger.
What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?
For anyone looking for creepy, rural books, I highly recommend BLOOD & SALT by Kim Liggett and DAUGHTERS UNTO DEVILS by Amy Lukavics. Leave the lights on while reading them!
If you're more interested in the twisty mystery aspects, then you would probably enjoy THE DARKEST CORNERS by Kara Thomas. That book got its hooks into me.
What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Writing is art, and publishing is business. Keep this in mind through both praise and rejection, because it's all subjective. It's a business decision, not a personal one. It's hard because, as writers, we pour so much of what's deep and personal into our work. So keep writing. Each story is part of your journey.
What are you working on now?
I have a few projects up my sleeve that I'm not quite ready to talk about yet. Much of my writing explores duality in human nature. Because of the ups and downs of my own teen years, I'm drawn to writing about those who are troubled, the ones questioning their sexuality, psychology, or faith. And, of course, it wouldn't be a Sarah Jude project if there wasn't danger or a murder mystery and a lot of fog near the woods.
ABOUT THE BOOK
The May Queen Murders
by Sarah Jude
HMH Books for Young Readers
Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night.
Those are the rules in Rowan’s Glen, a remote farming community in the Missouri Ozarks where Ivy Templeton’s family has lived for centuries. It’s an old-fashioned way of life, full of superstition and traditions, and sixteen-year-old Ivy loves it. The other kids at school may think the Glen kids are weird, but Ivy doesn’t care—she has her cousin Heather as her best friend. The two girls share everything with each other—or so Ivy thinks. When Heather goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers that both her best friend and her beloved hometown are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah Jude lives by the woods and has an owl that lands on her chimney every night. She grew up believing you had to hold your breath whenever you passed a graveyard or a bridge spanning water. Now she writes about cemeteries, murder, and ghostly apparitions. She resides in Missouri with her husband, three children, and three dogs.
Have you had a chance to read THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS yet? Do you pour what's deep and personal into your work? Are you able to keep in mind that publishing is a business? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!
Jocelyn, Shelly, Martina, Anisaa, Sam, Erin, Susan, Lindsey, Sarah, and Kristin