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Monday, 27 August 2012

Blog Tour: The Dark Light by Sara Walsh (Guest Post)

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 Mysterious lights have flickered above Crownsville for as long as Mia can remember. And as far as she's concerned, that's about the only interesting thing to happen in her small town.

That is, until Sol arrives. Mia's not one to fall for just any guy, but she can't get Sol--or the brilliant tattoo on his back--out of her mind.

Then Mia's brother goes missing, and Mia's convinced that Sol knows more than he's sharing. But getting closer to Sol means reevaluating everything Mia once believed to be true. Because Sol's not who Mia thought he was--and neither is she.

GUEST POST by author Sara Walsh

Hi, Jana! Thanks so much for letting the tour stop by!

Though The Dark Light is set in the States, what some people might not know is that I’m actually a British writer. I do live in the States, my husband is American, and of course, I have lots of family and friends here, but it was still an incredibly fun challenge to write a story in a different country to the one that I grew up in. So, as The Dark Light is set in two worlds, and I have lived in two counties, I thought it might be fun to talk about some of the quirkydifferences I had to watch out for when writing The Dark Light.

Americans and Brits. We speak the same language, right? Well, not quite. There are actually many variations between American and British English, and I have a huge team of readers who help me make translations as I write and who look out for any slips. Just getting Mia up and dressed for the day can be a huge challenge. 

For example:
As a Brit, Mia’s nail polish would often be called nail varnish, her purse is a handbag, and her wallet is a purse! Sneakers are trainers, and a tank top--like the one Mia’s wearing on The Dark Light’s cover--is a vest!What Americans call a vest is actually a waistcoat in Britain. So what do Brits call a tank top? Well, that’s what Americans would call a sweater vest, and that’s definitely not what Mia is wearing on the cover.
And then there’s Rusty, Mia’s battered old car.In Britain, Rusty’s hood would be the bonnet, and his trunk would be the boot. His blinkers are indicators and his windshield, a windscreen.If Mia were British, she’d leave Rusty in a car park and never a parking lot. And Reggie West’s Motor Repair and Salvage--where Rusty spends most of his life--would simply be the garage and not the ‘shop’ as it is in the townwhere she lives.


School can also be tricky as the education systems in the two countries are very different. All of Mia’s experiences at Crownsville High are closely modeled on the experiences of the American teens in my life--their curriculum, the structure of the day, and the activities they’re involved with. Mia is a junior, or in the 11th grade, which would actually put her in Year 12 in Britain or the lower sixth, if she went to a school with a sixth form. In Britain, Miawould have already completed her GCSEs (qualifications equivalent to the American high school diploma) and would now most likely be studying for A Levels, one- and two-year qualifications that bridge the gap between high school and university (college), a place Mia is desperate to go.

It all seems like a lot, but what doesn’t change between the two countries is the emotional experience of being a teen. The challenges Mia faces at home and at school are the same on both side of the Atlantic. Friendship, studying, her relationship with her family, and definitely that moment when a guy catches your eye, are not so different, and those are the aspects of a character’s life that I like to focus on. And, of course, when there’s plenty of fantasy involved in a story, it’s easier to shift away from those day to day differences and let the imagination run wild!

Thank you so much to author Sara Walsh for stopping here today! And I love the guest post! As I live in England, it was fun to see the differences between American and British English. Trust me not to know some of them LOL. And don't forget to check out and buy Sara's debut THE DARK LIGHT which comes out August 28th (tomorrow!). I'm waiting quite impatiently for my copy to arrive from The Book Depository. Hurry up! :P


Next stop on the tour is with Lisa at A Life Bound By Books

Sara Walsh is British, but happily lives in Annapolis, Maryland. She graduated college with a degree in psychology, but soon decided that telling stories was much more fun.When not writing, Sara is usually reading, drowning in tea, or frolicking around town with the world's cutest St. Bernard. The Dark Light is her first novel.


  1. I love this so much. I spent a year at school in England and this post just made me smile. I remember getting yelled at for saying trash can, instead of rubbish bin. And the first time I said oregano, my friend Thomas laughed for a full 15 minutes. I never say oregano and so I still have to think about how to say it to this day.


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