Thank you so much for stopping by, Mara! If you'd like to learn more about Mara or the Past Midnight series, you can visit Mara's website. One Hundred Candles was released by Harlequin on February 15th. Here's the summary from Goodreads:
I think other authors would agree that the question we are asked most frequently is, “Where do you get your ideas?” It’s a simple question with a complicated answer. I would love to be able to answer with, “the whole thing came to me in a dream, from start to finish, and I wrote it all down the next day.” If it was that easy, I’d spend half my day curled up in bed instead of hunched over the keyboard at my desk. I usually begin writing a book with the spark of an idea, a few clear images swimming in my head and a dose of faith in the creative process.
For my third YA novel, One Hundred Candles (the second book in the Past Midnight series), I thought about the games I played during high school sleepovers, particularly at my friend Nicole’s house. We often took part in slumber party staples like “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board” and “Bloody Mary.”
“One Hundred Candles” is a real (although obscure) game. It requires a group of people to sit in a circle and reveal their personal ghost stories. After each story, a candle is lit. When all one hundred stories have been told and all one hundred candles are glowing, one hundred spirits will join the group. That’s when the game really begins. Participants claim that weird things begin to happen, from doors opening to clocks chiming. It will continue (supposedly) until the circle is broken. I discovered the game by accident when I was browsing the internet for the rules to a completely different game. When I read the description of “One Hundred Candles,” I was hooked.
Although this wasn’t a game I ever played at one of my slumber parties, I thought it was a great concept for a book. Charlotte Silver, the main character, is drawn into the game at a New Year’s Eve party. The results are not what she expects. While writing the book, I kept asking myself “what if?” What if you played a game and it unleashed something strange? What if your school suddenly became haunted? Asking “what if” is often a great way to develop new ideas for your work.
Sometimes I stumble into the idea for a book. Sometimes I pull a thread from one of my memories and reshape it into something else. And sometimes I do wake up from a dream with a single image and go from there. But they never seem to come from just one place. So where do I get my ideas?
It's taken a long time for me to feel like a normal teenager. But now that I'm settled in a new school, where people know me as more than Charlotte Silver of the infamous Silver family paranormal investigators, it feels like everything is falling into place. And what better way to be normal than to go on a date with a popular football star like Harris Abbott? After all, it's not as if Noah is anything more than a friend….Sound like something you might be interested in? Mara has graciously offered up a copy of One Hundred Candles to one lucky winner! Simply leave a comment with your email address. You don't have to be a follower (although it's always appreciated!), and this contest is international, although you have to be over the age of 13. Contest runs from April 25 until May 9.
But my new life takes a disturbing turn when Harris brings me to a party and we play a game called One Hundred Candles. It seems like harmless, ghostly fun. Until spirits unleashed by the game start showing up at school. Now my friends and family are in very real danger, and the door that I've opened into another realm may yield deadly consequences.
Enjoy your reading!