Friday, April 13, 2018

Interview with Daniel Sugar, author of Salem Burning

Now available on paperback and Kindle is the historical paranormal romance Salem Burning by Daniel Sugar.

When did you become interested in storytelling?

When I was 5 years old I saw a TV show called “Bewitched” and that was it – I was suddenly hooked on stories about witches.

What was your first book/story published?

“Salem Burning” is my first novel. It was published, (on Amazon), in Kindle form on February 20th, 2018 and in paperback form on March 9th, 2018.

What inspired you to write “Salem Burning”?

One day I thought, what if someone told a lie and it just happened to be true? And then I thought, and what if that happened in 1692? Once I started thinking about the Salem witch trials of 1692, I realized that that particular, well-known event in history would be an interesting backdrop for a discussion about the way men treat women. In fact, in one scene in “Salem Burning”, the heroine, Lilly Parris, actually says to the young man who has destroyed her life, “Is this the way you treat women?” That’s really what the book is about – the way men treat women. I wanted to turn the Salem witch trials upside down and so I did - and this time, the women win.

What character in “Salem Burning” is the most/least like you, and in what ways?

Unfortunately, no one in “Salem Burning” is like me. I say unfortunately, because I’d love to be Lilly Parris. She’s so strong and brave and she has such amazing adventures. Her life is really quite cool. Who wouldn’t want Lilly’s life? I know I certainly would!

What is your favorite part in “Salem Burning”?

I really like the scene after the wolf attack when Lilly is alone in the forest. To me, that really shows who she is; a free spirit who really loves life.

What was the hardest part to write?

The only hard part was the first sentence. I thought about it for a very long time (months) because I wasn’t sure about tense or tone. Once I had the first sentence it was smooth sailing.

What would your ideal career be, if you couldn't be an author?

I’d like to work on sitcoms in any capacity – even sweeping floors. I love being around comedy, comedians – funny people. I’ve sold comedy to “The Tonight Show” and I write jokes every day on my Twitter page. You can find me at Daniel Sugar @1692SalemWitch.

Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?

The novel’s been out for a very short time so there aren’t that many reviews yet. I have read them. Everyone’s been incredibly kind. However, I would never allow a comment by anyone to influence my writing. No writer should. You’re not taking dictation. You have to be true to yourself and write the story you want to read. You can’t worry about critics. After all, you can’t please everyone and everyone can’t please you.

What well-known writers do you admire most? 

So many. Truman Capote. “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” is my favorite novel. Every sentence is a Faberge Egg. Truman was a genius. “Pride and Prejudice” is scintillating. Who doesn’t adore Jane Austen? J.K. Rowling has a magnificent mind. I really believe she is the Charles Dickens of the 21st Century. I love Sidney Sheldon, Jackie Collins, Harold Robbins, Jaqueline Susann – people who write page-turners. I think a book should be a magic carpet that takes you away. When I read, that’s what I want a book to do – to take me. My doctor told me that his wife phoned and yelled at him. She said, “Where are you?!” He was supposed to pick her up and he forgot because he was so engrossed in “Salem Burning”. To me, that’s the biggest compliment a writer can receive.

Do you have any other books/stories in the works? 

I’m working on the sequel to “Salem Burning”. It’s called “The Witch And The Guillotine” and it takes place during the French Revolution. I love Lilly so much I just couldn’t let her go.

About the Author

Daniel Sugar has written for a number of celebrities and for several TV shows, including “The Tonight Show, With Jay Leno”. He has always been fascinated by witches, witchcraft, the Salem witch trials, and the French Revolution. “Salem Burning” is his first novel. He is currently working on the sequel, “The Witch And The Guillotine”.

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