The Backstory: SAVING THE SUN
I am so happy to welcome back my friend, Emma Pearl to the blog. Today she joins us with her latest, SAVING THE SUN. This is the gorgeous sequel to her debut, Mending the Moon and it lets us in on the adventures of Luna and Poppa once more. Keep reading about how this story came to be and for your chance to win a copy of your own.
AH: Welcome back and thank you for joining us and sharing the inspiration behind SAVING THE SUN!
EP: Thank you for having me, it’s great to be back!
AH: First off, please tell us a little bit about your story.
EP: Luna and Poppa are on their yearly vacation on Summer Island when, after an especially hot day, the sun decides to go for a swim! Luna knows the sun needs help―the sky looks all wrong, and it’s neither day nor night. To bring back daylight, they must think of creative solutions, seeking help from the local sea creatures, birds and animals. With the power of teamwork and imagination, they must find a way to return the sun to its rightful place and set it ablaze once more.
AH: You know what a fan I am of Mending the Moon! This sequel lives up to the original. You once again captured a folktale essence and wove your words into a beautiful story. And not only am I grateful for your gorgeous writing, but this sequel gave us the chance to see more of Sara Ugolotti's art which is absolutely breathtaking!
AH: What’s the story behind the story? What was your inspiration? Where did the idea come from?
EP: I wrote the first draft a long time ago, but the final version is very different. I think climate change is on everyone’s mind at the moment and it’s not really surprising that a heatwave found its way into the story! The original inspiration was a generic love of nature and all the magic to be found in the natural world. I wanted to capture that sense of wonder while at the same time giving Luna an apparently impossible problem to solve, because the problems we face at this point in time feel impossible. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the hugeness of it all, and I love that Luna just gets on with solving it rather than being put off by the scale of the problem. I think there’s a lesson for us all in there (including myself!).
AH: Such a great lesson for everybody! Luna's response and solution-focused mentality would serve many of us well. I also like that while you are addressing such a large problem the awe and appreciation for the natural world that was in the original inspiration didn't get lost.
AH: SAVING THE SUN is a sequel to your debut, MENDING THE MOON. How did this come about? Had you always planned more adventures for Luna?
EP: I actually wrote both stories at the same time (plus two more that will probably never see the light of day!), so I’d always hoped Luna would have more adventures. I still keep having more ideas for Luna and Poppa stories and although I don’t think it’s likely there’ll be any more books, I’m very happy that two of the stories have made it out into the world! I might even post some of the others on my website one day…
AH: I am in shock! I automatically assumed that SAVING THE SUN had been written following MOON. That is so cool that both (or all four I should say) were written at the same time. For the benefit of all of us, I do hope someday we will get the opportunity to sneak a peek at Luna's other adventures.
AH: How did you approach going from this seed of an idea to what is now SAVING THE SUN? Was it something undeniable you had to write immediately or did you need to sit with this idea and let it grow for a while before it found its way to the page?
EP: I wrote the first draft of all four stories in the space of a week, so yes, there was definitely an imperative to write it immediately. The stories tumbled out of me and I was completely immersed in the magical world I’d created. I loved the special relationship between Luna and her grandfather, and her bond with the natural world around her.
AH: That sounds magical, like a mini vacation through your imagination. I can just picture the creative benefits of being able to stay and keep your thought process within the context of that one world.
AH: Did SAVING THE SUN undergo any major changes/revisions from the original version? If so, what led you to make these changes?
EP: Yes, it underwent huge changes from the original story. It needed to live up to Mending the Moon in terms of its magic and its folklore feel. The first draft was set in a city, which has its own kind of magic of course, but it wasn’t quite matching up to the ‘natural’ magic of the moon story. It went back and forth a few times between the city and the island, but I’m very happy where it ended up. It also needed the folklore element to be added and the final version makes a lovely origin story for sunsets, which I adore. I’m also absolutely in love with Sara Ugolotti’s beautiful tropical illustrations!
AH: That is interesting the differences you felt between the manuscripts despite their being written at the same time. Your revisions seem spot on and while I agree that the city has its own beauty and magic, I love the imagery of the island and how it fits well with the natural setting of Mending the Moon.
AH: Do you have any upcoming projects or news you would like to share with us?
EP: I have a few things out on submission and hope to have some good news soon, but nothing at the moment.
AH: Good luck with your submissions and please know that I will be cheering you along from the sideline and keeping my fingers crossed for more books from you. I am a fan for sure!
AH: Where can people connect more with you?
AH: Readers, please connect with Emma on social media and check out her website for more information about SAVING THE SUN and MENDING THE MOON. And while you are at it, please consider supporting SAVING THE SUN in any way you can.
This could include:
- ordering from your favorite indie
- marking as want to read on Goodreads
-leaving a review
- making a library request
Emma, thank you so much for joining us! I adored getting to know the backstory behind Luna's latest adventure!
Emma is generously offering one winner a copy of SAVING THE SUN.
Ways to enter:
1. Retweet my tweet about this blog post. Additional entry for tagging friends!
2. Leave a comment on this post.
3. Post about this interview on FB/Instagram and tell me in the comments that you did.
Each method earns an extra entry!
ABOUT EMMA PEARL
Emma’s debut picture book Mending the Moon, illustrated by Sara Ugolotti, was published by Page Street Kids in 2022. Saving the Sun is her second book. Emma grew up in England, traveled the world, and now lives with her family in New Zealand. She writes fiction for young people of all ages from picture books to young adults. She is represented by Sera Rivers at Speilburg Literary.
ABOUT ANDREW HACKET
Andrew Hacket is a teacher by day, parent by night, and writer in the nooks and crannies of life. When it comes to his books, Andrew aims to create stories that tickle the funny bone and hug the heart of readers both young and old.
Andrew is the author of the early reader, CURLILOCKS AND THE THREE HARES (The Little Press, 2024) and the picture books, OLLIE, THE ACORN, AND THE MIGHTY IDEA (Page Street Kids, 2024) and HOPE AND THE SEA (WorthyKids, 2024). Additionally, his short story, THE TUNNEL, has been chosen for inclusion in the SCBWI anthology, The Haunted States of America.
Andrew lives in Massachusetts with his wife, three young children, and puppy, Gus.
Andrew is represented by Dan Cramer of Page Turner Literary.