Contemporary YA suspense
Date Published: August 9th, 2016
Publisher: Anaiah Surge
Novel Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31349472-sunrise-underground
For Tilly White, ballet is her only escape from life, from her grief over her mother’s and brother’s deaths, and from her abusive stepfather, Fletcher. Late one evening as she leaves the studio, someone throws her into a van. But before they can carry out their plan, a mysterious boy rescues her… and steals her necklace?
Desperate to reclaim the last item she has of her family, Tilly chases her rescuer into the sewers where she discovers a secret society of ninjas. Through training with them, she learns to have real faith, which she’ll need when the job gets all too personal. The ninjas investigate a local mob boss to find Tilly’s best friend caught up in the mess. Fletcher might be involved, too! Her only allies are these ninjas she barely knows. Tilly will need to rely on her faith and her colleagues to save her friend.
What inspired your latest work?
My high school students and my background as a martial artist were the inspiration forSunrise Underground. I wanted a story that would resonate with and inspire my students to achieve big things and fight for what’s right. I also like to take ideas that we have all grown up with, but put modern twists on them.
Tell us about this story.
I like stories that feature strong young women who overcome adversity and who fight for justice (and who can kick butt!). I also wanted to create a story that was action-packed and engaging. So ninjas seemed like a perfect fit. Additionally, I like to write about issues that are less often discussed, such as human trafficking, in order to create dialogue about these issues. So having Tilly become a ninja and then fight to stop a human trafficking ring just naturally fell into place.
What living person do you most admire?
I think that someone who I truly admire is Malala Yousafzai. She is such an extraordinary young woman who has accomplished so much in her young life. She has changed lives and doesn’t shy away from adversity. She’s a strong individual who will leave this world a better place.
What is your most prized possession?
My wedding band is my most prized possession. It’s so simple, but it reminds me of my wedding day and of the life my husband and I have built together.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I know this is cheating, but I wouldn’t change anything about myself. God made me, flaws and all, for good works and if I changed myself, my purpose would change. I trust that I was made this way for a reason, so I do my best to accept and love myself for the way I am.
Who is your favorite fictional character of all time?
My favorite fictional character is probably Black Widow. She doesn’t let the mistakes of her past dictate who she is and she fights for good despite the evil she endured.
Who’s the favorite character that you created?
That’s tough! My characters are like children – you can’t choose just one. But if you’re going to twist my arm, then I would have to say Sami the genie from Wishful Thinking. Like Tilly, she fights for good, but she has a dark side, too. She’s afraid to let anyone in for fear of them getting hurt, so she really has to learn to trust her instincts and let go.