Sarah Beard is the author of YA novels Porcelain Keys and Beyond the Rising Tide. She earned a degree in communications from the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MFA in writing from VCFA. When she's not writing, she referees wrestling matches between her three boys and listens to audiobooks while folding self-replicating piles of laundry. She is a breast cancer survivor, a baker of sweets, a seeker of good love stories, a composer of melancholy music, and a traveler who wishes her travel budget was much bigger. She lives with her husband and children in the shadow of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains.
Check out the author interview HERE.
1. When I imagine Kai, I see a young Alex Pettyfer. Especially his eyes.
2. The town where the story is set (Avila Beach) is a real place where my family has vacationed every December for the past few years. There’s a family in Avila Beach that we house swap with, so while we’re playing at the beach they come to Utah and ski.
3. I’ve written music on my guitar to go with all of Kai’s lyrics in the book. And no one will ever hear it but me. J
4. Almost every time I worked on chapter 27, I was brought to tears.
5. More than once, I almost scrapped this story. In earlier drafts, there were so many plot holes that I thought there was no way I could make the story work. But something inside told me to press forward, that it was a story worth finishing. I’m so glad I did, because everything worked out and it turned out to be a beautiful story.
6. In one draft there was a menacing character from the Briar who would show up every now and then and try to steal the ring from Kai. I originally wrote him in to add tension, but I ended up taking him out because he changed the tone of the book into something I didn’t want.
7. I wrote three alternate endings because I wanted to explore different possibilities. But I ended up choosing the ending I felt the characters had earned.
8. The working title was “Borrowed Heaven,” but I thought it sounded too cheesy so my husband and I brainstormed until we came up with Beyond the Rising Tide.
9. The setting of the afterlife was inspired by Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake. I had a vague idea of how I wanted the afterlife to be set up, but was having a hard time with the details. So I drove out there one day in the middle of winter (there’s a road that goes out to the island). I was the only one out there, and as I walked along the barren shores, all the details came to me. It was a magical day.
10. The name “Kai” is short for Zackai, which is Hebrew for “Pure.” I chose this name in the brainstorming phase when I imagined Kai as a perfect angel-type character. But as I got further into the story and his character developed more, his flaws and idiosyncrasies and demons surfaced and he became a more real and imperfect person. But I still loved the name, so it stuck.
Favorite book: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
Favorite soda: Cream Soda
Favorite dessert: Brownies topped with mint chocolate chip ice cream
Favorite flower: Spring blossoms of any sort because they represent hope
Favorite season: Summer, because I hate being cold
Favorite movie: It changes. But right now it’s What If with Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan. The dialogue in this movie is simply spectacular.
Favorite country you want to visit: I’d love to visit Iceland, especially after seeing The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
Favorite comic book character: Jean Grey
Favorite place to visit: Avila Beach
Favorite holiday: Christmas because of what it represents, and I love to watch my kids open presents.
10 Interesting Facts About Chocolate
One of the main characters in my book works at a chocolate shop, so naturally I had to do a lot of research about chocolate as I was writing the book (don’t feel too sorry for me). Here are some interesting things I learned about chocolate along the way:
Sarah Beard has written a beautiful and intriguing story that readers are not going to want to miss. The expression of emotions from Sarah’s characters are brought life in this expressive and captivating story. The love story is a bit complicated in that, Kai died the day he saved Avery. Now he works from the other side working on missions to save people has been assigned to. But Kai is intrigued with Avery and her struggles after her near death experience in the waves and wants to help her. Avery has always been a fighter, and although she struggles, she also fights. This story brings to life raw emotions of pain, guilt, sorrow, and feeling lost and the power to overcome the struggles. The story and characters will capture the heart of readers. I would recommend this story for readers that enjoy contemporary young adult books, as well as novels written from various viewpoints.
Genre: contemporary, young adult
Publisher: Sweetwater Books
Publication date: June 14, 2016
Number of pages: 304
Category: Junior High+
Content Rating: PG, brief violence
Book Rating: 5 stars
A review copy of this book was provided by SLB Tours.
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