Friday, January 11, 2013

Jan Surasky's Dying Light revealed

I'm delighted to welcome Jan Surasky to my blog today. Her debut novel, Rage Against the Dying Light (Sandalwood Press, 2011) won the Eric Hoffer Award for Commercial Fiction. Extensively researched work, it reimagines history in a way that makes the Celtic lands of the first-century very pleasingly accessible with captivating, detailed, even haunting settings, richly developed characters, and well-told social mores that define a civilization. So...

1.      Welcome to my blog Jan. Can you tell us the story behind the story. How did Rage Against the Dying Light come to be?
While I was researching an entirely different topic, I came across the entry on Boudicca to which I was immediately drawn. I was impressed with her courage and the beautiful and tragic life she had lived. I knew I wanted to tell her story.

2.      I have a great fondness for Boudicca. What was the most challenging aspect of writing Rage Against the Dying Light?
Imagining Boudicca’s story based on the very few facts available and trying to get it right was the greatest challenge. I wanted to do justice to the society and culture in which she lived. Also I wanted to depict the beautiful English countryside which so inspired her courage.

3.      What is the message you want readers to take away from your book?
I want readers to see that although Boudicca was a queen, she was also under the same constraints as any human. I want to show that courage lies in all of us to be tapped when necessary.

4.      How would you describe your background?
I have worked for a San Francisco daily newspaper as a book reviewer, movie reviewer and entertainment writer. My many articles and short stories have been published in national, regional and local magazines and newspapers.

5.      What about your writing schedule. Do you outline? Do you have any special writing habits?
I write every day. I do not outline but for this book, I had a one word chapter heading for my use only as a guide. I edit my work daily.

6.      What books are on your nightstand? What are you currently reading?
The book on my nightstand is a book of Hemingway’s letters recently released from Cuba and so far unpublished. The book I have enjoyed the most this year is The Elephant’s Journey by Jose Saramango.

7.      Which authors inspire you?
Many authors have inspired me including the authors of the many fairy tales I have read, Louisa May Alcott, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Thomas Hardy and Ernest Hemingway.

8.      What have you learned from this experience?
I have learned that a woman who summoned her courage inspired so many.

9.      What is your advice for aspiring writers?
My advice to aspiring writers is to hang in there, be true to your work and believe in it, and never give up.

10.     Thank you Jan. And one final question. What are you working on now?
My second novel Back to Jerusalem is in the launching stage and I am working on a third novel.


Anonymous said...

Sounds awesome! I need to add this book to my TBR! :)

Sheila Deeth said...

It does sound great doesn't it? Definitely on my list too.