by Sarah Kleck
Publication date: November 1st 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
“Can you be happy when what you desire most means your doom?”
Evelyn Lakewood, an orphan, is crushed after the death of her beloved sister Zara. But the nineteen-year old enrolls in Psychology at Oxford in honor of Zara.
There, Evelyn first becomes friends with vivacious Sally and seemingly charming Felix. But the encounter with Jared Calmburry, whose incredibly blue eyes immediately captivate her, fundamentally changes her life. She is instantly drawn to this mysterious stranger around whom unusual things happen and who simply disappears every time Evelyn tries to confront him about his puzzling behavior. After finding a mysterious book with a unique symbol on its leather cover in the university library, her curiosity is perked. She doesn’t know what to make of it but Jared’s best friend Colin Sullivan encourages her with cryptic hints to continue her search for evidence. When she discovers the same medieval symbol is worn by hostile professor Karen Mayflower and engraved on another faculty member’s seal ring, she realizes that an ancient secret surrounds Jared.
Interview with the Author
1) Can you tell us a bit about your background?
Gladly. My name is Sarah Kleck, I’m 31, German and studied education, psychology and sociology in Bavaria. Until recently I was working in human resources but now I’m the mom of a wonderful pretty little girl and can focus on being a mom and writing. My husband, daughter and I live in the Lake Constance area near the Swiss border.
The Concealed is my first novel and the start of the LAKEWOOD SERIES, the story of the undying love between Evelyn and Jared that withstands all resistance, obstacles and dangers, even death. It’s an all-age fantasy love story for girls and women between ages 14 and 50, who believe in the one and only true love and can become excited about the supernatural, especially old British myths.
2) How did you come up with the idea for your novel?
I started work on THE CONCEALED in 2011 — entirely unexpectedly. I was at a funeral, it was November and it was bitterly cold. The graveyard was on a hill I climbed with many other mourners. While I looked around and watched the events, I suddenly had the first lines in my head. At first, I wasn’t able to do much with it – I had never intended to write a book – but the words burned in my thoughts and didn’t let go of me even days later. So I wrote them down to get them out of my head.
A few words became a page, a page became two, then five, then ten and so on without me knowing where it all would lead to and what would happen to the story.
A few days later, during the half-hour drive home from work, I put on a CD that my husband had given me not too long before. It was classical music with piano pieces by different composers.
On that day I heard Le Onde by Einaudi for the first of many, many times. After the first few notes, the story began to compose itself before my inner eye. All I had to do was write it down. And so I wrote. All that night and many nights after.
3) Who are your favorite authors and how have they influenced your writing?
There are many. J.K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer and Suzanne Collins are near the top. They got me writing – simply because I love their stories. They held me captive days and even weeks later. When you’ve read a book that captivates you that much – at least, that’s the way it is for me – then you submerge yourself in a kind of parallel world. Even when you’re going about your normal life, the story holds you. The more time you spend in this parallel world, the more you have thoughts and ideas of your own that some when – well, that’s how it was with me – flow into their own story without you noticing where you’re going.
4) What does a typical day in your life look like? And how does your writing routine fit into your day?
My life has completely changed since the birth of my daughter in the middle of September. I can’t easily answer what a typical day looks like in my life since I’m still trying to find my rhythm. Basically I write as soon as my baby sleeps. That’s not that simple because writing is a creative process that you have to find and feel your way into – it takes time and quiet. So, when I sit down to work, sometimes half an hour passes before I even write the first word and sometimes my baby is awake again by then.
6) What do you think sets your novel apart from others current on the shelves?
I never thought about that, to be honest. It’s my story — that’s all! I simply wrote it without looking at the market or what’s on the bestseller lists. But I think focusing on old British myths blows a fresh wind into the Fantasy/ Young Adult scenery.
7) Which character in your book is your favorite and how much of yourself is reflected in that character?
I think I like Colin, the best friend of my male protagonist, best of all. He is a lively, humorous and charming type so, in my opinion, you can’t help but like him. A debut novel always has strong autobiographical traits. What else should you write about but what you’ve experienced, what enthuses you and moves you?
There’s a lot of myself in my characters and especially in my protagonist Evelyn, from whose perspective the book is written. The best example is swimming – apart from writing – swimming is my favorite hobby. To be honest, I’m happier in the water than on firm ground. I share that with Evelyn.
8) Which scenes in your book did you have the most fun writing?
There are a lot – I generally had a lot of fun writing The Concealed. I’m particularly proud of the scene in the lecture hall when Evelyn is called upon by Professor Mayflower without having raised her hand and finds herself in hot water because she doesn’t know the answer. I think anyone who’s ever been in that situation can feel for Evelyn.
However, what first came to my mind with your question was a scene that very much touched me while writing. A little story about that: Some years ago – I was in the middle of my big comprehensive examinations – I received news that the little sister of a very good friend had suddenly died at age 18. I was shaken. Of course, I would have dearly liked to have gone to my friend and comforted her and be there for her but that was impossible because I had the comprehensives hanging over my head. To be honest, I wouldn’t have known what to say. I lacked the courage to call her – I’m not good at phoning and never was. So I bought a card, sat down at my desk and tried to find the right words. Words of comfort without transgressing on her mourning. I closed my eyes and attempted to put myself into my friend’s place, to feel what had happened, thought of my own sisters, felt how such a loss would tear my heart apart and wrote: When the pain fades away, love remains in its purest form.
Those are the words I put into Ruth’s mouth to comfort Evelyn about her sister’s death.
9) What do you hope for your readers to take away after reading your book?
I wish that my readers immerse themselves for a while in another world and escape the humdrum of ordinary life for a few hours. I want to make them feel well with my story.
10) What are your hopes for this novel?
That my readers will like it. 😉
11) What do you have in store next for your readers?
Currently, I’m writing the second part of the Lakewood Series, The Revealed, which will be published next fall. I’m also trying my hand at a new genre right now. That book will be published this summer in Germany. I don’t know yet if there will be a translation into English.
About the Author
Sarah Kleck, born in 1984, studied Education, Psychology and Sociology at the University of Augsburg.
Currently, she’s working as a human resources officer and lives with her husband and a newborn in Germany near Lake Constance.
“The Concealed” is her first novel