Author Chat with Melinda Salisbury (Hold Back The Tide), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Today we're excited to chat with Melinda Salisbury author of
Hold Back The Tide.
Read on for more about Melinda and her book, plus a giveaway!
Meet Melinda Salisbury!
Melinda Salisbury was born in the 1980s in a landlocked city, before escaping to live by the sea. As a child, she genuinely thought Roald Dahl's Matilda was her biography. When she's not trying to unlock the hidden avenues of her mind, she's reading, writing, or traveling. She lives in the UK and can be found on Twitter as @MESalisbury, though be warned she tweets often.
Meet Hold Back The Tide!
From internationally bestselling, acclaimed author Melinda Salisbury comes a darkly seductive story of murder, betrayal, love, and family secrets in a small town in the Scottish Highlands.
Here are the rules of living with a murderer.
One: Do not draw attention to yourself.
Of course, when you live with a murderer, this is impossible. Even the subtlest of spectres is bound to be noticed. Which leads to the next rule.
Two: If you can't be invisible, be useful.
Everyone in this quiet lakeside community knows that Alva's father killed her mother, all those years ago. There wasn't enough proof to arrest him, though, and with no other family, Alva's been forced to live with her mother's murderer, doing her best to survive until she can earn enough money to run away.
One of her chores is to monitor water levels in the loch-a task her father takes very seriously. Their family has been the guardian of the loch for generations. It's a cold, lonely task, and a few times, Alva can swear she feels someone watching her.
But the more Alva investigates, the more she realizes that the truth can be more monstrous than lies, and that you can never escape your past . . .
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
A combination of my love for Scotland, and the climate disaster. At its heart, it’s a novel about the devastating effect of industrialization, and what we’ve been told is ‘progress’, on the natural world, albeit on a very localized scale. I wanted to write about how even the tiniest changes to a balanced ecosystem can wreak unimaginable havoc, and how it’s almost always the greed of already-rich people that’s behind it. Hundreds of thousands of young people across the world are protesting week in, week out, to ask adults to fix the mess they’ve made and we’re still not listening. Hold Back the Tide is a homage to them; to teenagers having to step up and try to save us when we can’t, or won’t.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
Alva is my favourite, of course. She’s had a very lonely, frightening life but she faces it with such humor and grit. She’s taught herself to be tough and brave and useful and she’s so fierce about staying alive and fighting for what’s right. I heard her voice from the very beginning, she stepped into my head with the opening line of the book ready. Ren is a close second, because he’s similar to Alva in that he’s an outsider, too, but he yearns to belong, where Alva doesn’t. He’ll try to be part of things, he’s brave in that way. He’s such a softy, and so good for her.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel came first! I’ve stopped titling my novels sincerely now unless I feel very strongly about it, because publishers almost always change them, so it’s not something I allow myself to get invested in anymore. I focus on the story instead, as that’s the bit I have most control over.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
To trust myself. To trust that I am capable of telling the story I want to tell. And to not keep repeating myself. I worry if I have to keep telling the same story over and over, it means I still haven’t got it right yet. So my job is to make sure that I get it right the first time, because that’s what the story, and the reader, deserves.
YABC: What’s on your TBR pile?
I read seasonally, I have different things I need from stories at different times of the year. Autumn is when I want strange and difficult books with unreliable narrators and twisted fairytale or folk settings, and a focus on nature and magic and the unexplainable. I like messy books that leave the ending open to interpretation – I don’t like things tied up in a bow or over-explained, I want to be haunted by a story. So I have Suzanne Clark’s PIRANESI, Daisy Johnson’s SISTERS, Merlin Sheldrake’s ENTANGLED LIFE, Maria Dahvana Headley’s BEOWULF, Sarah Moss’s SUMMERLAND, Jeff Vandermeer’s DEAD ASTRONAUTS, Deirdre Sullivan’s SAVAGE HER REPLY and Doireann Ni Ghriofa’s A GHOST IN THE THROAT lined up for the pre-Christmas months.
YABC: What’s a book you’ve recently read and loved?
HAMNET, by Maggie O’Farrell. It absolutely gutted me; it’s so elegant and nuanced and clever, because you know what’s going to happen and you even know how and when, but then you read it and realise you don’t know anything at all. Sure, you can recite the facts but that doesn’t mean you know. And there’s a whole chapter about the journey of a flea and it sound strange but it’s the most incredible, compelling thing. My heart was racing at the end of that chapter, I had to put the book down and have a break.
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
There are a few in HOLD BACK THE TIDE and it’s hard to talk about them without spoiling. There is a confrontation with her father, which is obviously coming from the opening pages, and it was tough to write, to get the balance of emotion and impact and information right, as well as honour their history and characters. The end was tough, but endings always are. It’s a very emotional book!
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Revising. Drafting is my least favourite part, because it’s the point when the story is furthest away from how it looks in my head. In my mind the story polished and exciting and lovely, but the first draft never is; it’s always ugly and missing parts and broken in places, and there’s always a point when I *know* it’s useless to keep going. The trick is suffocating my pride long enough to get it actually written so I can make it polished and exciting and lovely.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
Arranging things to look aesthetically pleasing, which is useless but also means I always have something nice to look at! I can grow plants well – they grow very fast and thick for me; I am always repotting or harvesting or pruning, I worry they’re sucking out my life force. Also, being able to walk right past wild animals/birds without them running or flying away. I have tricks I do and no, I won’t tell you.
Hold Back The Tide
By: Melinda Salisbury
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: January 5th, 2020
Three winners will each receive a copy of Hold Back The Tide (Melinda Salisbury) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
The cover is so cool and I love the contrast between the red and purple/blue colors. I'm super excited to read this one! That synopsis drew me in and made me interested to find out who's watching Alva.
I've been watching Outlander so I'm totally obsessed with the Scottish Highlands right now. This seems like the perfect spooky read.