Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Sara Grant: Ordinary to Extraordinary

We're excited to read Sara Grant's new book Chasing Danger soon, so it's great to have her on the blog today talking about it!

Ordinary to Extraordinary
That’s the journey of the main character in Chasing Danger. American Chase and her new British friend Mackenzie are ordinary teens until disaster strikes.

I say ordinary, but really there’s no such thing. Both girls are keeping secrets. Both have extraordinary talents. Both have fears and hopes and dreams just like the rest of us. The beauty of developing characters and telling their stories is demonstrating how we are all extraordinary in our own way.

I’ve only met extraordinary people. I’m from the Midwestern United States. We are known for our friendliness. I’m pretty sure my mom has never met a stranger. Like her, I might strike up a deep and meaningful conversation with the person sitting next to me on a plane or the phlebotomist drawing my blood at the doctor’s office. After a few questions, I’m mesmerised by the stories people tell if you dare – or care – to ask.

This same inquisitive nature serves me well as a writer. I’m not sure which came first: always asking why and why not or my search for story. 

About Chasing Danger

When fourteen-year-old Chase Armstrong is sent to visit her grandmother at a remote tropical resort, she’s looking forward to sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling. The last thing she expects is danger. But she’s in for some surprises. She discovers another girl hiding out on the island and uncovers a devastating secret about the mum she’s never known. When modern-day pirates attack the island, it’s up to Chase to outrun, out-think and outfight the pirates . . . before it’s too late!

Chasing Danger combines so many of my favourite things. I’ve always wanted to write a thriller. I probably shouldn’t admit this but I read or watch about a dozen murder mysteries a week. My passion for the whodunit started with Agatha Christie when I was a teen and never stopped.

I’ve always wanted to believe that I’m the kind of person that would act heroically if disaster struck. When the flight attendant gives the safety demonstration, I imagine how I’ll help my fellow passengers down the exit ramp. When those horrible images came through from Brussels recently, I hoped I’d have stopped and helped the walking wounded. In the days after 9/11 I wondered if I’d have been one of the people who said ‘let’s roll’ and prevented one of the terrorist plots.

Maybe that’s my own fiction. Maybe I’d run as fast as I could to safety or cower in the shadows hoping someone else would be the hero.

Chasing Danger is my chance to create heroes. It’s my chance to let a kid like me – Chase is from a small town not far from where I grew up – save the day. I’m looking forward to watching Batman v Superman, but I’m not really interested in superheroes. I’m never going to have something as cool as the Batmobile or powers as awesome as Clark Kent. I could, however, be a Chase or a Mackenzie. I could dig deep and use the limited skills I have to make the difference in a life or death situation.

Chasing Danger by Sara Grant will be published by Scholastic on 7th April.

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