Interview with Bryony Pearce, author of The Weight of Souls

Hello everybody! Since I have finished with my uni degree I can now post more often and with no more worries!This time, I am really honoured to present you an interview with the lovely author of The Weight of Souls. To find out more about Bryony Pearce and her book, please read the interview below.

1. Hi Bryony! Thank you for accepting this interview! How about telling the readers a few things about yourself?

Well, I’m a mum – I have two children, a boy and girl aged 4 and 7.  I live in a village on the edge of the Peak District.  We moved there to raise our family after six years in London.  I’m a vegetarian, I love all things Joss Whedon, I love a good comedy and I am very much looking forward to the new series of Supernatural and The Game of Thrones.


2. What is your book “The Weight of Souls” about? Let the readers know some things about it.


The Weight of Souls is about a teenage girl who suffers from a tragic family curse.  She sees the ghosts of murder victims and if a ghost touches her, she is compelled to avenge its death.  Doomed to live in the shadow of a terrifying Darkness, to go insane and to die young, Taylor is struggling at school where she is bullied, fighting to keep her only friend and trying to make her father understand her.
Her life gets more complicated when the school bully is murdered and she has to solve the mystery of his death in order to help him move on.
This book is about bullying and what people will do to fit in, its about crowd mentality and power.  Its about good and evil and redemption.  It is also about Egyptian gods, an army of zombified killers and what happens if you kiss a ghost.

Sixteen year old Taylor Oh is cursed: if she is touched by the ghost of a murder victim then they pass a mark beneath her skin. She has three weeks to find their murderer and pass the mark to them – letting justice take place and sending them into the Darkness. And if she doesn’t make it in time? The Darkness will come for her…She spends her life trying to avoid ghosts, make it through school where she’s bullied by popular Justin and his cronies, keep her one remaining friend, and persuade her father that this is real and that she’s not going crazy.

But then Justin is murdered and everything gets a whole lot worse. Justin doesn’t know who killed him, so there’s no obvious person for Taylor to go after. The clues she has lead her to the V Club, a vicious secret society at her school where no one is allowed to leave… and where Justin was dared to do the stunt which led to his death.

Can she find out who was responsible for his murder before the Darkness comes for her? Can she put aside her hatred for her former bully to truly help him?

And what happens if she starts to fall for him?

3. How did you come up with the plot for this book? Was is something on the spur of the moment?
None of my work is spur of the moment, I spend months, or even years coming up with plots.  Generally a character appears in my head pretty much fully formed and my job, as I see it, is to work out what their story is and get it down on paper.  I have been living with the character of Taylor for some time and elements of her story gradually came together as I was inspired by various different things.
4. The cover of the book looks amazing! What is the story behind it?
I love my book cover.  I did have some concerns, given the current marketplace, that I would be sent a picture of a silhouetted model in a ball gown, but the cover art fantastically represents the content of the book.  It shows Taylor in all her bad-ass glory.  There is a Dark Mark on her skin (which you can see on her wrist), the Egyptian curse in her background appears on the cover background and I imagine that in her hand she is holding a soul.  It looks fantastic and I am so pleased that my publisher commissioned the artist to show Taylor as she is: a half-Asian Londoner.
5. Which is your favourite character from your book?
Taylor, of course.  She is so real to me, so complex and has so much to learn over the course of the book.  I enjoyed writing her story arc and am hoping to return to her world some time soon.
6. Which authors do you consider to have been your inspiration?
I always have been hugely inspired by Anne Macaffrey, Stephen King and David Gemmell.  Macaffrey’s character work has always made me bow down and worship her, I particularly loved the Brawn and Brain Ship series and her early PERN novels.
You can easily find a homage to King in The Weight of Souls too – the clown that appears as Taylor’s first ghost is clearly inspired by Pennyweather from IT – terrifying.
Gemmell’s work on anti-heroes is a masterclass and I like to think that I have taken a little bit of that for Justin, a character who everyone starts off hating, but who turns things around.
7. Where do you usually write your works? Any place that you love the most?
I have two small children, so am generally writing in snatched moments of time amidst total chaos.  I love to work in my clean white study or bountiful green garden, but usually I end up cramped onto the dining room table, that is where I am now, in fact.  It’s easier to keep an eye on things there.
8. What country would you like your books to be popular in?
Can I say every country? I don’t want to exclude anyone! I would love to think of my books being read worldwide.  Obviously success in the US means lots of money though.
9. What do you think about Romania, the country I live in? Would you like to visit it one day?
I see Romania as a beautiful country with a tortured past.  In fact my Aunt and Uncle are missionaries in Romania – they live in Cluj.  They went out there almost fifteen years ago for a short stay and never came home.  I would very much like to visit one day.
10. As an ending, you can say anything that comes to your mind to the readers. Thank you for answering all of these questions!
Thank you for having me.  I do hope you enjoy my work and if you would like to know more about me, do please visit my website, join me on Twitter @BryonyPearce or like my Facebook page BryonyPearceAuthor.


About the Author
Bryony Pearce (formerly McCarthy) lives with her husband and two children in a village on the edge of the Peak District. She completed an English Literature degree at Corpus Christi College Cambridge in 1998 and afterward worked in the business-to-business market research sector. She went freelance in 2004 so she could devote more time to writing. Bryony was a winner of the 2008 Undiscovered Voices competition with her MG novel Windrunner’s Daughter. Her first YA novel, Angel’s Fury, will be published on 4th July 2011 by Egmont.

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