Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Q&A with Ginny Myers Sain


Photo by Resolusean


Ginny Myers Sain is the author of the new young adult novel Secrets So Deep. She also has written the YA novel Dark and Shallow Lies. She has worked with teens in a theater program for 20 years, and she lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.


Q: What inspired you to write Secrets So Deep, and how did you create your character Avril?


A: I've spent most of my life so far working in the theatre, first as an actress and then as a director and teacher, so I've always wanted to tell a theatre story. There's so much magic and mystery inherent in what happens in the theatre, it just seemed to lend itself perfectly to a supernatural mystery.


And Avril is one of my favorite characters I've ever written. Although she wasn't inspired by any one person in particular, there are pieces of so many amazingly talented, brave, and passionate students I've worked with over the years all blended together in her.


She's the best of a lot of different people, but she also has a skepticism and a wariness that's very much me. 


Q: The Kirkus Review of the book says, in part, "The atmosphere of Whisper Cove is palpable, the fog-laden shore haunting and heavy at night." What do you think of that description, and how important is setting to you in your writing?


A: Setting is really everything to me, so I love that description! The setting is usually the first thing that comes to me when I sit down to tell a story.


I love "in between" worlds...like the swamp in Dark and Shallow Lies or the coastline in Secrets So Deep. Those places are in between the land and the water, and that makes it easy to also blur the lines between what's solid and what's not...what's real and what isn't. 


Q: What do you see as the role of ghosts in the novel?


A: There are so many different kinds of ghosts in Secrets So Deep! At its heart, this is a book about people that are haunted by regrets and loss. It's as much about the ghosts that live at the edges of our memories as it is the ghosts that live at the edges of the ocean. There are definitely supernatural things that happen in the book, but it's not a traditional ghost story. 


Q: Did you know how the story would end before you started writing it, or did you make many changes along the way?


A: I had a good idea of what the main ending would be, but there were smaller aspects of it that I had to decide along the way. And, yes, lots of things changed!


I always start out with a plan, but I think about it like being on a road trip. If you have a route mapped out, but then you discover a better route as you're driving along, you don't stick with your original route just because you had it mapped out. You take the better route!


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I'm currently working on revisions for my third book, One Last Breath. It's another YA thriller/mystery that should be out from Razorbill/Penguin Teen in early 2024. I'm really excited about it!


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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