The author was kind enough to answer some questions for us about The Weight of Souls.
So please welcome Bryony Pearce and once you've read our interview, enter to win a copy below!
Please give us a brief description of your newest novel, The Weight of Souls.
The Weight of Souls is about a teenage girl who suffers from a terrible family curse: she sees dead people. If a ghost touches her and leaves a black mark on her skin she has to avenge its death by finding the killer, transferring the mark and calling the Darkness to take the killer away.
She is bullied at school, troubled at home and struggles to maintain her one friendship because she is scared to tell anyone about her problems.
Things get worse for Taylor when the school bully is murdered. When Justin passes the Mark onto her skin she has to solve the mystery of his death and take revenge. Problem is, there is a time limit, and Justin has no idea who might have killed him.
How did this publishing experience differ from your 2011 debut, Angel's Fury?
Because I was in the process of changing both agent and publisher after publication of Angel’s Fury, I was back to square one. The process of finding someone to represent me and get that book deal was very much the same (if a little easier this time round). What was different was me. I had learned a lot from publication of Angel’s Fury, through the editing process and the marketing, so the book that was sent to publishers required much lighter editing and I was much more on the ball in terms of what was needed for marketing purposes. Hopefully my new publisher has found the whole experience a lot easier going because I am no longer a clueless debut.
I think we can all agree that encountering a ghost would be terrifying, but is there a certain type of ghost that would frighten you more than others (a child, a clown, a crawler *shudders*)?
A child would be most upsetting, without a doubt, but perhaps not terrifying. I would want to save it, not run from it. A terrifying ghost would be a dead version of what would terrify me in real life: an axe wielding maniac, serial killer that sort of thing. Think ‘Cabin in the Woods’ (shudder).
Give us three words that best describe your protagonist, Taylor Oh.
Taylor is often bullied by her classmates, but isn't the type to just sit there and take it. What advice have you given your own children about bullying?
My children are so young that bullying is something they haven’t encountered yet. I have tried to bring them up to understand that hitting and name calling are both completely unacceptable, neither is allowed in the house and I am proud to say that I have never seen them do either outside the home environment.
Although they have yet to encounter a real life experience of bullying, I have recently discussed with my seven year old what she might do if she saw someone being targeted, and we agreed that she would tell a teacher, but it is all so theoretical right now.
I know that I would be absolutely mortified if my children became bullies, and by the same account I would be incensed to the point of rage if I found out that they were targets.
They both do karate, just in case.
The cover art for The Weight of Souls is amazing! How much input did you have in the overall design process?
I can take very little credit for the cover really! I agreed with my editor that I didn’t want a photo of a model, and that the art should show my Asian protagonist as she is, along with some Egyptian ‘stuff’ in the background. That was the extent of my involvement. I think the artist did an amazing job.
What comes next? Do you plan to write more stories set in this world?
I have plans for a sequel, but that depends on early sales figures (so everyone has to go out and buy, buy, buy). I have another book waiting to go to publishers, called Windrunner’s Daughter (set around 200 years post-apocalypse), I have another book, called Wavefunction (which is contemporary sci-fi) and am writing a teen superhero book, currently titled Blood Skies. I’m always writing, and have a backlog of ideas.
If you would like to know any more about me, or my work, please do visit my website www.bryonypearce.co.uk, follow me on Twitter @BryonyPearce or like my Facebook page BryonyPearceAuthor.
August 6, 2013 | Strange Chemistry
Sixteen year old Taylor Oh is cursed: if she is touched by the ghost of a murder victim then they pass a mark beneath her skin. She has three weeks to find their murderer and pass the mark to them – letting justice take place and sending them into the Darkness. And if she doesn’t make it in time? The Darkness will come for her…
She spends her life trying to avoid ghosts, make it through school where she’s bullied by popular Justin and his cronies, keep her one remaining friend, and persuade her father that this is real and that she’s not going crazy.
But then Justin is murdered and everything gets a whole lot worse. Justin doesn’t know who killed him, so there’s no obvious person for Taylor to go after. The clues she has lead her to the V Club, a vicious secret society at her school where no one is allowed to leave… and where Justin was dared to do the stunt which led to his death.
Can she find out who was responsible for his murder before the Darkness comes for her? Can she put aside her hatred for her former bully to truly help him?
And what happens if she starts to fall for him?
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