Friday, June 28, 2013

Interview ~ S.M. McEachern + Giveaway of Sunset Rising [ends July 7th]

I was able to conduct an interview with author S.M. McEachern earlier this week, and organize a giveaway for her book, Sunset Rising.

Before I give you the questions and answers, I will introduce the author and her debut novel!

S.M. McEachern (also known as Susan) comes from the rocky shores of Canada’s East Coast. As a resident of Halifax during her early adult years, she attended Dalhousie University and earned an Honors Degree in International Development Studies with a focus on ocean development. Throughout her academic studies and early career, Susan had the privilege to study and work with Elizabeth Mann Borgese (daughter of nobel prize winner, Thomas Mann). An author in her own right and a political activist for world peace, Mrs. Mann Borgese played a significant influence on Susan’s view of the political world stage.

Now a mother of two and the wife of one (who is serving overseas), Susan currently resides in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa. She loves delicious hot beverages, wine and talking about herself in the third person. For writing inspiration, Susan likes to go on long walks with her iPod (Keane and Moby are among her favorites). “Sunset Rising” is her debut novel and the first of many she plans to write.

Check out her blog:

Her Debut Novel

Goodreads description:

February 2024: World War III has begun. Military vehicles are seen disappearing into a mountainside. Desperate to find refuge from the nuclear storm, a group of civilians discovers a secret government Bio-Dome. Greeted by a hail of bullets and told to turn back, the frantic refugees stand their ground and are eventually permitted entry. But the price of admission is high…

283 years later… Born a slave in the Pit, seventeen-year-old Sunny O’Donnell has reached a breaking point in her life. If trying to keep her father alive while still pleasing her demanding fianc√© isn’t stressful enough, now food and water rations are being reduced and workplace beatings are occurring more frequently. Although life in the Pit had never been easy, lately it was getting intolerable.

Then a chance meeting with Leisel Holt, daughter of the Dome’s insane President, gives Sunny a spark of hope for the future of the Pit. In an effort to fan that spark into a flame, she agrees to pose as the bride at Leisel’s wedding to Jack Kenner in order to save the bride from an assassination plot. But instead of saving Leisel, Sunny unknowingly plays into her political game and ends up marrying Jack Kenner herself. Now on the run as a traitor, Sunny escapes to the Pit with her new husband in tow only to find that her marriage has ignited a rebellion.

“Sunset Rising” is the first book of a series. It is the tale of how a love story can revive the human spirit to rise up and fight the bonds of oppression.

Now that you know about the author and her book, lets move on to the best part . . .

The Q's and A's with S.M.

Q: When did you decide you wanted to write a YA dystopia novel?

Two things in life collided that prompted me to write Sunset Rising: first, the idea for the novel came to me after I did academic research on a biodome in Arizona and, second, my teenage daughter and I have been doing buddy reads of YA novels for the past four years. So an old idea coupled with modern day literature got me thinking until the story was so persistent that I had to put it on paper.

Q: The cover of Sunset Rising is amazing, but you must know the whole "don't judge a book by its cover" saying. For those of us who haven't read your book yet, what can we expect on its inside?

The cover really is a brilliant representation of the story. It captures my main character at that pivotal moment when she realizes her reluctant participation in a wedding has not only caused her own downfall, but also sparked a revolt. I worked with a very talented artist, Nathalia Suellen. She told me she was inspired by my quote, It is the tale of the how the human spirit can be revived to rise up and fight the bonds of oppression. Sunset Rising is the story of people who have been forced into slavery and have now reached a breaking point. An unlikely bond between two people from opposite sides of the fence creates an alliance and, ultimately, starts a war. It is an action packed adventure rife with political intrigue and romance.

Q: What can we expect in the sequel to Sunset Rising?

What if the world wasn't completely annihilated by nuclear war? Imagine if there were survivors and the only advanced technology left on earth was in the hands of a tyrannical dictator. What would you do to stop him? Book two is a continuation of book one. The action and political intrigue escalate and the romance heats up!

Q: Who or what has been your biggest inspiration in your writing career?

Elizabeth Mann Borgese has been one of the greatest inspirations in my life. A nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, she devoted herself to defending the rights of third world countries and securing equal access to resources for all countries through maritime law. I had the privilege to work and study with her in the 1990s.

Q: What are your writing habits like?

I try to write every single day. And if I’m not writing, I’m researching aspects of book two. I also write “satellite stories” – short stories based on the characters and politics of Sunset Rising – which I publish on my blog I encourage anyone who has read the novel to visit my blog and read the satellites. I will be tying the stories in with book two. They also flesh out minor characters who will eventually become more prominent as the series progresses.

Now, for a few non-writing questions.

Q: What is one of your all-time favorite books?

I honestly can’t say I have an all-time favorite book. I’ve read so many different genres and I get something out of every book. Some of the more notable fiction books are: “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” by Louis de Berni√®res, “Game of Thrones” series by George R.R. Martin, “Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, and, just for fun, Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series.

Q: Obviously, you express creativity through writing. Do you have any other creative outlets?

I used to sketch when I was younger. Pencil and charcoal were my favorite. But then life became busy and it fell by the wayside. Maybe one day I’ll take it up again.

Thank you, S.M., for answering my questions!

I have a few responses:

  • I am now wanting to read the book even more than before. I am intrigued by everything the author said about it. 
  • It seems that having an inspiration like Elizabeth Mann Borgese is pretty important in writing a dystopian novel. I imagine that in the process of writing one, an author needs to consider a lot of elements, including what’s going on in third world countries.
  • I’ll definitely check out the satellite stories after I read Sunset Rising.

Does Sunset Rising sound like the type of book you would like to read? Enter to a Kindle ebook of it below!

Giveaway (Closed)

This is my first giveaway on my blog! I also officially have over 50 followers now! So, I see this as a cause for celebration.

A few things you should know:
  • This giveaway is international, and as long as you can accept a Kindle ebook on your Amazon account, you may enter.
  • You must be 13 years or older to enter.
  • Giveaway ends on July 7th, 2013 at 12:00am (Pacific Time).
  • The winner will be contacted by the author in order to receive the prize. I'm not the one that will be sending it. 
  • If you win, you have 48 hours in order to claim your prize. After that, the author is free to request I pick another winner. 
  • I will be checking the entries, so if you enter, please follow the directions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you and good luck!


  1. My favorite dystopian novel so far is 1984 by George Orwell. :)

  2. Thank you for hosting me on your blog, Kaitlin! This is my first blog author interview and giveaway, so it will always be special to me. Looking forward to working with you again on Book 2!

  3. I'm not sure what my favourite dystopian novel is but my favourite book cover is probably one of my Starter For Ten covers - the dark blue one with Brian and Rebecca sitting on a bench. :) xx

  4. Right now it would have to be the Divergent series.

  5. I'm not really sure what my favorite dystopian is since I've read only a few. Delirium, probably but I didn't like Requiem. As for my favorite cover, it would have to be the new Penguin classics covers because they are honestly so beautiful!


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