In Blood on the Beach, eight teens are dropped off on a remote west-coast island for a week-long treatment program called INTRO (Into Nature to Renew Ourselves). The story is told by two of them: Alice, whose police-officer mother believes Alice might have a substance-abuse problem, and Caleb, who assaulted his abusive stepfather. They are joined by six other miscreants and three staff: a psychologist, a social worker and an ex-cop. On the first night, one of the girls disappears from her cabin. There is a panicked search of the island, but she is nowhere to be found. The adults seem oddly ineffectual in dealing with the crisis—and then the ex-cop gets sick and dies. The radio has been sabotaged, and there is no way to call for help. When the social worker also becomes ill, the kids decide to take matters into their own hands and track down the killer
What image/scene/character did you start this book with?
Eight messed-up teens on a remote island. Classic mystery set-up.
What kind of research did you do for your book?
Read a lot of mysteries in the past. A lot.
Do you write in chronological order?
In this case, yes.
What’s the hardest part of writing?
Revision. And a deep sense of inadequacy.
What’s your favorite form of procrastination?
FaceTiming my grandson.
What book do you wish you wrote? Why?
Anything by Meg Wolitzer because she’s funny and smart and wise and compassionate.
What is your favorite aspect/part of your new book?
Killing characters off.
What is your writing ritual?
Don’t have one. Unless you count procrastination.
Which actor would you choose to play your protagonist in a movie? Why?
My character, Caleb, could be played by the young Taylor Kitsch (Tim Riggins).
Blood on the Beach is available now!
Sarah N. Harvey writes for both children and young adults. Some of her books have been translated into Korean, French, German and Slovenian. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia, where she works as a children’s book editor. For more information, visit www.sarahnharvey.com.