Welcome, Sarah J. Carr to Backward Momentum! Can you tell us about yourself?
SJC: My name is Sarah. I’m 32 and I live in Washington State with my wonderful husband and adorable son. By day, I work in radiology billing and I’m a novelist by night. I went to college to become a massage therapist, interior decorator and I’m an ordained minister. In my spare time, I like to do sprint triathlons and splash in mud puddles.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
SJC: Not always. When I was a child, I wanted to be a tightrope walker in a circus. Oddly, I’m afraid of heights. I have no idea what I was thinking.
What can you tell us about Revealing Hamilton?
SJC: Here’s the back cover blurb to give you a taste of the story:
Amelia’s grandfather, Marius Benedict, once headed The Physician’s Coalition, an elite group of doctors who threw the Hippocratic Oath out the window. Years ago, they used a low-risk medical research study as a front to their experiments. Without their consent, innocents were injected with JackRabbit7, a hazardous substance used to alter their DNA. The victims were left with less-than-desirable super-human powers or excruciating death. Years after he disbanded the group, Marius has a new plan and is reforming The Coalition.
Max, a mysterious stranger from the Insurance Agency, offers to help keep Amelia safe. He introduces The Agency as an underground government organization that contains and eliminates those who intend to harm the world. To protect The Agency, the truth of their activities are concealed and replaced with sugar-coated stories in the media.
Over the course of the next week, Amelia has to accept the truth and learn who can be trusted. At midnight on her 23rd birthday, a contract between The Coalition and The Insurance Agency will expire, giving Marius full rein to approach his granddaughter and finish the project he started with her so many years ago.
Which author would you like to meet most?
SJC: It’d have to be Laurell K Hamilton and I actually met her in 2010. I’m not the type of person to be “star struck”, but I’ll come clean. I was fortunate enough to sit in the audience of a talk show and I met her during a commercial break. Instead of saying anything intelligent, a big “I love you” tumbled from my mouth. The studio audience expressed a heartfelt “Awwww”.
Do you have a favorite scene and why?
SJC: I do! Each time I read a particular part of the story my heart races and it grabs me as if I’m reading it for the first time. It happens when Amelia has a major “realization” and puts together some massive puzzle pieces. I’d elaborate, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise for anyone.
If you were to cast your characters in a movie, who would play the major roles?
SJC: Keep in mind, I’d need a time machine to adjust the ages accordingly, but here’s my vision: Amelia would be cast as Amy Lee from Evanescence, Max would be played by Michael Wincott and Nick’s a cross between Milo Ventimiglia and Adam Levine. Marius would be played by Christopher Walken and Donovan would be cast as the late Brandon Lee.
What’s the hardest part of writing?
SJC: Finding enough time to write.
What’s the easiest part of writing?
SJC: The ideas seem to flow non-stop so I’m never at a loss for words.
If you had to pick one song, which would fit your novel best?
SJC: This is a difficult question. The playlist for Revealing Hamilton is 660 songs long. If I had to choose one of the 660, I would say My<Dsmbr (Mickey P. ft. Kelli Ali) from Linkin Park’s Reanimation album.
What’s are the craziest actions you’ve taken for research?
SJC: A couple of weeks ago, I went on a tour of a morgue. If I need a character intoxicated, I’ll step in and drink and then write. Last go ‘round was tequila shots. Yuck! Also, Jeeping on icy trails at Mount Rainier made for some interesting (and realistic) writing.
List three things most people don’t know about you.
SJC: My middle name came from a naked doll my dad carried around as a child, I performed a wedding in rhyme (specifically, Dr. Seuss-style) and I’ve given a dolphin a vaginal exam.
Can you share an excerpt from Revealing Hamilton?
Something felt wrong.
In the living room, an ottoman rested on its side and a magazine lay open on the floor. A colorful article advertising Las Vegas blared from the pages. From the corner of my eye, the screen of Connor’s cell phone caught my attention. I watched it periodically blink, communicating new messages awaited.
I went to the kitchen next and found the latest stack of mail on the island. The top envelope made me cringe when I saw the return address. It was another letter from the State of Washington. This one was addressed to Amelia Brooks.
My identity had been an issue for years. Since age 18, I submitted multiple requests to change my last name from my grandfather’s back to my parents. With each attempt, the paperwork came back denied, stating my name was Amelia Benedict or another obscure surname starting with the letter “B”. Double-checking each field, I clearly filled out the forms to read Amelia Hamilton, but was contradicted every time. I determined it a sick way for my grandfather to haunt me from the grave. The latest correspondence would have to wait.
A broken wine bottle and bandage wrappers were on the counter next to the refrigerator. Droplets of dark fluid created a path from the bottle to the sink, making me shudder. The room began to feel too warm and nausea flooded my stomach. I grabbed a rolling pin from the island, gripping it so tightly my knuckles hurt.
“Calm down, Amelia,” I said. “There’s a logical explanation and no one is going to hurt you.” I forced my mind away from childhood memories of a basement.
Swallowing hard, I tiptoed across the living room to the bedroom. As usual, the door was cracked open. I held the pin over my head, ready to attack in an instant. From where I stood, I couldn’t see more than the corner of the dresser and a beam of soft light. I took a deep breath and pushed the door open. A flashlight rested on the nightstand, pointed toward the ceiling. As I scanned the room, my jaw dropped and my heart paused.
“Connor?” I dropped the makeshift weapon at my feet.Where can readers find you?
SJC: My website is www.sarahjcarr.com. I’m also on FaceBook at www.facebook.com/authorsarahjcarr and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@sarahjcarr1
Would you like to add anything else?
SJC: Thank you for interviewing me! I enjoyed answering your questions.
Thank you so much for visiting with us, Sarah!