Another Classicist Author

It’s interesting how many authors of juvenile fiction (it seems) have a Classics background … here’s the latest one to keep an eye on, from the Daily Record:

MEET writer Daniela Sacerdoti – who has swapped Italy for Scotland to keep our teenagers up all night.

The mum-of-two’s new novel – Dreams, a demonic, paranormal thriller – is being tipped as the next teenage blockbuster after the Twilight trilogy.

Some young reviewers are even claiming it is better than Stephenie Meyer’s acclaimed vampire saga as the expectation around its release reaches fever pitch.

The book, the first of a trilogy about demon-hunting schoolgirl Sarah Midnight, is also attracting interest from around the world.

The former primary school teacher yesterday told how she based her bewitching main character on an anonymous schoolgirl standing at a bus stop near her home in Barrhead, Renfrewshire.

Daniela, 38, admits she is dumbstruck about the hype building around the novel. She said: “The book is not out yet but I’ve already had lots of positive feedback from young people reviewing it.

“I’m blown away by the response to the novel in Britain and around the world. It’s an exciting time.

“Paranormal thrillers have become very popular in the last few years, thanks to the Twilight books and movies.

“I came up with the idea for Sarah Midnight long before the trend for the genre began. After seeing the reaction Stephenie Meyer’s novels got, I thought it was time to put pen to paper and bring my character to life.”

Daniela, who was born in the village of Caravino, near Naples, added: “Sarah Midnight is based on a schoolgirl I spotted at a bus stop in Barrhead seven years ago.

“She was around 15 and had gorgeous, long, black hair and a charismatic expression. She had a face that told a story and I decided it was up to me to tell that tale. Sarah was born.

“A few years later I went to visit a friend in Glasgow who lives in an old Victorian villa. Her house became the Midnights’ home.” The book is set in Edinburgh and follows Sarah’s battle to survive in a world of demons after her parents are mysteriously killed.

Although her world is shattered, the 17-year-old has no choice but to embrace her role as a demon hunter. Her nightmares come true and she has to learn fast that death waits for no one.

Daniela, whose great-uncle was renowned Italian writer Carlo Levi, would love her trilogy to be made into movies or TV dramas.

The Twilight Saga movies, starring Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, smashed box office records all over the world.

The Dreams author said: “I would love Sarah Midnight to make it on to TV or the big screen. I think the trilogy would make a brilliant BBC drama.

“If it ever got made into a movie, I would love Jennifer Lawrence from The Hunger Games to play Sarah.”

Daniela, who used to teach at Annette Street Primary in Govanhill, Glasgow, gave up teaching to raise her sons Sorley, seven and Luca, four – and concentrate on writing.

Her debut book Watch Over Me, an adult novel about love and loss, was an instant hit and her second, a children’s book called The Really Weird Removal Company, was shortlisted for the 2011 Kelpie Prize.

Daniela, who is married to mental health worker Ross Walker, 40, said: “I always have a couple of books on the go and another two or three in my head.

“The first draft of the second Sarah Midnight novel is finished and hopefully will be published in January.

“I’m also working on a sequel to my kids’ book and a paranormal thriller for adults.

Daniela, who studied Classics at Turin University and Irish medieval history at University College Dublin, says she finds it easier to write in English than her native Italian.

She said: “English is my second language but it’s the language I always choose to write in.

“As a child I would always write my diary in English so no one else could read them.

“I remember my English teacher getting us to write about what we wanted to be when we grew up. I put ‘righter’, which makes me laugh, when I think back on it.

“All my books are set in Scotland because I am in love with this country I now call home and feel it is the perfect setting for all types of stories, especially thrillers.”

Daniela has inherited her parents’ love of books and their thirst for knowledge and self-improvement.

She said: “My family have always loved the arts and sciences. My dad studied physics at university and became a brilliant businessman.

“Sadly, he died three years before my first book came out. I know he would have been very proud of me.

“My mum still lives in Italy but comes to Scotland once a year for a visit. She doesn’t speak English and can’t wait for me to translate Sarah Midnight into Italian – she is also a lover of literature.”

Daniela admits she sees a bit of herself in the character of Sarah Midnight.

She said: “Every teenager goes through emotional turmoil and that is what I wanted to capture in
the character.

“The demons in the book are both physical and metaphorical as we all have demons to fight in our lives. We all want to be empowered and we all have to battle to know who to trust.”

via: Scots author ‘blown away’ by response to book tipped to be the new Twilight (Daily Record)