Today we're excited to chat with Julieanne Lynch, author of Beneath The Lighthouse.
Read on for more about Julieanne and her book, plus a giveaway!
Meet Julieanne Lynch!
Julieanne Lynch is an author of both YA and Adult novels. Julieanne was born in Northern Ireland, but spent much of her early life in London, United Kingdom, until her family relocated back to their roots.
Julieanne lives in Belfast where she is a full-time author. She studied English Literature and Creative Writing at The Open University and once considered journalism as a career path. Julieanne has several projects under option. Most recently, her novel Beneath the Lighthouse was a finalist among a field of six authors, including Stephen King, for a Dragon Award.
Meet Beneath The Lighthouse!
Sixteen-year-old Jamie McGuiness's sister is dead.
Sinking into a deep depression, he frequents the lighthouse where her body was discovered, unaware of the sinister forces surrounding him.
When an angry spirit latches onto Jamie, he's led down a dark and twisted path, one that uncovers old family secrets, destroying everything Jamie ever believed in.
Caught between the world of the living and the vengeful dead, Jamie fights the pull of the other side. It's up to Jamie to settle old scores or no one will rest in peace - but, first, he has to survive.
~ Interview ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
Beneath the Lighthouse was inspired one rainy Sunday over three years ago during a drive my family and I had taken up the Antrim coast. I remember daydreaming as I looked at the old stone building. I’ve an inquiring mind and it went into overdrive as I fantasized about the many tales that I could write involving the lighthouse. I’ve always had a fascination with the sea, and that Sunday afternoon Jamie and Iliana’s story was born. I didn’t know it then, but their journey would soon take over my life.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
I absolutely love Jamie. No matter how dear my other characters are, I’ve huge love and respect for Jamie. His journey from young dreamless boy to hero is hard, yet a privilege to witness. He must grow up well before his time, and in some way the challenges he faces resonates with me and my own struggles. Perhaps it’s that connection making him more special to me.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
I am particularly proud of a scene towards the latter stages of the book. Iliana takes complete possession of Jamie, and we see Jack’s demise in such an amazing way. No matter how many times I read over that scene, I still sit in awe. It truly was a great scene to write, even though it broke me.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
I spent my teenage years reading. My tastes and attitude towards literature matured. I began penning my short stories, often just going with whatever the ‘storyteller’ within me wanted to say. I never paid attention to plot, themes, or syntax. To me it was simply about weaving a tale.
My love and desire for words grew. I couldn’t ignore what was bursting inside me. I had to give myself a chance. So, being a mature student, I enrolled with The Open University, and studied a BA (Hons) in Literature with Creative. It was during these years that my knowledge for the creative process evolved. I no longer wanted to tell ‘just’ a story, I wanted it to jump from the page.
My time of study introduced to me a vast library of authors, all different, all with a unique way of telling a story. Their writing and work inspired me.
However, my path to publication was far from traditional or simple.
I completed my first novel ‘Within the Shadows’ back in 2009. Back then I was so proud of it. I gave it the once over and suddenly thought, “Better start looking for an agent and publisher.” Little did I know that the process was much bigger than what I had first anticipated.
For starters, my book was far from ready for submission to anyone. While I may have written a wonderful novel, I hadn’t acquired the tools to understand the work that went into polishing a book, editing it myself, and more importantly, having others proof it.
All the above were lessons I learned hard and fast. And as quickly as the rejections came in, I developed a hardened skin. I had to, because in this industry, people can be quite cruel with their critiques and general feedback.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
Beneath the Lighthouse is a dark and complex novel, and I didn’t want a generic cover. I wanted something that would draw the eye straight away. The concept of the lighthouse, the sea and the girl were always something I’d wanted. I wanted it to be dark, atmospheric; almost cinematic. I’d spoken to my publisher who agreed with me that all three concepts were paramount. I was introduced to the cover artist, the amazing Sam Shearon, who listened to what I had envisioned and captured everything I wanted.
Sam Shearon, a British dark artist born in Liverpool, England, specializes in horror and science-fiction. His work often includes elements inspired by vintage tales of monsters and madmen, dark futures, post-apocalyptic genres including cyberpunk and industrial wastelands and classic literature, including H.P.Lovecraft's The Call of Cthulhu, Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, and modern classics, like Clive Barker's Hellraiser and the Books of Blood—all of which he has fully illustrated.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2018?
I am a HUGE Mark Edwards fan! His work is so fresh, chilling and completely spell-binding. His latest offering, In Her Shadow released recently, I can’t tell you enough how excited I am for his next release.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
Currently, I am working on the sequel to Beneath the Lighthouse. I am also working on a few smaller projects of my own. I am always creating something, be it a full-length novel, poetry or mentoring young students who love writing.
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
There were quite a few upsetting scenes. All different but each one of them an eye opener and emotional. As a writer, I like to delve into my own personal experiences, be it depression, grief, anger, hope—all things the things that make us human and vulnerable—and I use them when creating certain scenes. But if I had to pinpoint one particular scene, it would be the moment Jamie has to look at his sister in her coffin, realizing she would never utter his name again. That was tough, because writing it from the perspective of a young boy made it more profound and harrowing.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
I honestly prefer the drafting process. I love just writing, not having to overthink about showing and telling, and just getting the story down. I’m a story-teller, so to me, it’s always about getting that first draft completed. The hard work comes in the revision, and I hate hard work haha, but don’t tell my agent that.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
Yes, my niece, Amélie Kiki, who has Rett Syndrome. Rett syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects girls almost exclusively. It is characterized by normal early growth and development followed by a slowing of development, loss of purposeful use of the hands, distinctive hand movements, slowed brain and head growth, problems with walking, seizures, and intellectual disability. We are in constant hope that a cure will be found, but until such a time, we treasure every milestone and only hope that she remains strong enough to live a long life.
Beneath The Lighthouse
Author: Julieanne Lynch
Publisher: Vesuvian Books
Release Date: June 2018
There will be two winners (One UK winner & One US winner)
and each will receive a copy of Beneath The Lighthouse (Julieanne Lynch)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*