Sunday, November 26, 2023

Book Tour + #Giveaway: blackloop by Sarah Holding @SeaHolding @RABTBookTours


YA Sci-Fi Romance

Date Published: 10-31-2023

Publisher:  Firehorse


A freak electro-magnetic pulse leaves 17-year-old Bo and six other teenagers trapped inside a building in the British seaside resort of Blackpool, desperately trying to work out what just happened, why they can’t get out, and how to survive the weirdest weekend of their lives.

Dealing with each other’s egos and issues is nothing compared to the fallout unleashed by the solar event, because hidden beneath the building they discover it has activated a powerful energy device called blackloop.

As blackloop starts affecting everyone and everything in its vicinity, can Bo, who’s still grieving the loss of her mum, summon the courage to confront her fears, realise she’s falling in love, and make a move on Karim before it’s too late?


Interview with Sarah Holding, author of ‘blackloop’

    How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

    I’ve written 7 novels and one poetry collection so far, and for some reason my favourite is always the one I’m currently working on! I guess it’s because the ideas are flowing and it feels very energising to be getting to know new characters etc.

    If you’re planning a sequel, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?

    I didn’t plan for there to be a sequel to blackloop, but now you mention it, I can imagine readers wanting to know about how Bo’s life turns out her epic encounters with blackloop

    Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

    If there is a body of work emerging then it has to do with the environment, because in a time of climate change, there are many compelling stories to be written.

    How did you come up with the title for your book?

    The title ‘blackloop’ is a partial inversion of the placename where it’s set, ie Blackpool, because it messes with the timeline and also because the dark encircling energy the device produces.

    How long did it take you to write this book?

    I first had the idea for blackloop back in 2015, and wrote about 5000 words at that time in Bo’s voice, my unreliable narrator. I liked her very much but it wasn’t until lockdown that I wrote the rest of the story. So it seems like it’s taken ages to write, but in reality I would say it took about 12 months.

    What does the title mean?

    To me a title has to be intriguing, and make a reader want to pick the book up to find out what’s in store for them. In this case I was inspired by the ideas of Nikola Tesla and concepts like quantum fields. I also gave the book a strapline to help readers understand its content: ‘Stranger Things’ meets ‘The Breakfast Club’.

    What did you learn when writing the book?

    Great question. I think I learned that physicists don’t quite understand the nature of time, space and consciousness and that really motivated me to write blackloop, and speculate about what could happen during and after an EMP.

    What surprised you the most?

    I was really surprised by the wider impact the love story element has in blackloop, because that too is a story about energy, and the two things – Bo and Karim’s relationship and their encounters with blackloop device – run in parallel and help explain each other.

    Have you ever killed off a character your readers loved?

    In the third part of my SeaBEAN trilogy I killed off two characters, one that my readers loved and one they probably disliked, but it made for a strong ending. In blackloop there are some key casualties too, and I hope that readers will agree that without their deaths the story wouldn’t really work.

    What do you do to get inside your character’s heads?

    I think I access my characters’ mindsets by listening to what they have to say, so dialogue is where I discover who they really are. I think it’s important to let them say things in their own way and then the dialogue is really believable. I usually read it out after I’ve written a conversation to check how it sounds. If I come to a writing standstill it’s usually because I’ve stopped paying attention how my characters are feeling at that moment, and once I tap into that, the writing starts to flow again. 


About the Author

 Sarah Holding is a children's and YA author and poet, known primarily as a climate fiction writer. She is the author of six books: SeaBEAN (2013), SeaWAR (2014) and SeaRISE (2014), Chameleon (2020), How to Write a Poem (2021) and blackloop (forthcoming, 2023). She has been featured on Guardian Children’s Books, BBC Radio Scotland and given over 500 talks and creative writing workshops. Her books are now being taught in primary schools across the UK.


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