Sanctuary Bay was released on January 19th. Here's what it's all about:
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When Sarah Merson receives the opportunity of a lifetime to attend the most elite prep school in the country-Sanctuary Bay Academy-it seems almost too good to be true. But, after years of bouncing from foster home to foster home, escaping to its tranquil setting, nestled deep in Swans Island, couldn't sound more appealing. Swiftly thrown into a world of privilege and secrets, Sarah quickly realizes finding herself noticed by class charmer, Nate, as well as her roommate's dangerously attentive boyfriend, Ethan, are the least of her worries. When her roommate suddenly goes missing, she finds herself in a race against time, not only to find her, but to save herself and discover the dark truth behind Sanctuary Bay's glossy reputation.I love when YA books combine elements of mysteries/thrillers with the usual contemporary YA topics such as romance, friendship, etc. Could you talk a little bit about what made you want to combine these genres and how you worked to balance them in Sanctuary Bay?
In this genre-bending YA thriller, Sanctuary Bay by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz, Sarah's new school may seem like an idyllic temple of learning, but as she unearths years of terrifying history and manipulation, she discovers this "school" is something much more sinister.
Make sure to check out the other stops of the blog tour, and keep your eye out for Sanctuary Bay, out now!We love that, too! It’s funny; when we think of writing any YA book, even if it’s a genre like mystery or thriller, we assume that things like romance and friendship would be a part of it. How could they not? In order for our characters to feel as if they’re real people, we need them to act and think and feel like real people would. If you were busy tracking down a killer, you probably wouldn’t be obsessing about your latest crush. But you would still be you, and that means you’d think about your friends and how they could help you, or you’d think about your parents and things that they taught you. Basically, you’d still think about things that mattered to you, even though those things might be a lower priority while you were solving your case.
In Sanctuary Bay, we’ve got a boarding school with some crazy stuff going on. Our heroine, Sarah, has her hands full trying to figure it all out. But she still pays attention to her friends. She worries about their safety and fears for them when they’re in danger. Occasionally she even feels a stab of attraction to the guy she’s having these adventures with. Those things make her human. It would be strange if she didn’t feel them. But she doesn’t let them derail her quest for answers.
Or, really, WE don’t let those things derail her! This is a fast-paced book, and if we had Sarah sit down in the middle of the action to think about her confusing feelings for Ethan…well, that would ruin the pacing of the book. Readers would feel frustrated by the interruption. So the way we balanced the more typical elements of a YA book (romance, friendship, school) with the thriller aspects was to take our time setting up Sarah as a character, her life at the Sanctuary Bay Academy, her friends and potential boyfriends. We tried to draw those relationships and the world of the school as clearly as possible. And then we spent the rest of the book completely messing with all of it!