Scarlett St. Clair lives in Oklahoma with her husband. She has a Master’s degree in Library Science and Information Studies and spends a lot of time researching reincarnation, unsolved murders and Greek mythology–all of which made it into her debut novel, When Stars Come Out.
Everything in my biography is true, except for my name--Scarlett St. Clair is a pseudonym I write under to protect my mental health, not necessarily my identity. To be quite honest, I have anxiety, and can be triggered by a variety of experiences. One of the ways I am triggered, is through my work as a writer. Using a pseudonym gives me the opportunity to present myself on the web as someone else, a separate identity that is still a part of me but can take the the good and the bad. In this way, I'm able to separate myself from being the writer and the author. Mentally, it gives me the opportunity to continue to write and love what I do.
I feel it is important to be honest about my pseudonym and my struggles with mental health. My anxiety can become very severe, and I tend to stay inside my head and distance myself from people. This is not personal. I have only recently been able to communicate to those I love how important it is for me to have time to myself. Do not be afraid to communicate your needs, and do not be afraid to communicate when you need help.
Last, do not blame yourself for not recognizing when you need help.
I will always find some way to advocate for mental health, and mental health struggles will probably appear in my books often. It is my mission to normalize discussion of mental health. Even if you don't suffer from a mental illness, support others in need. Educate yourself on mental health topics, help identify signs of a relapse, and please, do not attempt to diagnose someone's mental condition.
I have found many ways to cope with my anxiety. Writing is a way to understand myself and the world. It is how I heal. But I also heal with medication, meditation, and self-help books.
At some point, I have stopped doing all of the things mentioned above. I thought I didn't need medication and my anxiety returned, manifesting differently each time. I have stopped meditation and self-help and have found myself lost in a sea of negative thinking. Last, I stopped writing because I had a fear I would never be taken seriously. I had a fear of people and their words. I had a fear I wasn't good enough.
This is why I'm Scarlett St. Clair.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE (2433)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
National Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-800-448-4663
WHEN STARS COME OUT
Anora Silby can see the dead and turn spirits into gold coins, two things she would prefer to keep secret as she tries to lead a normal life at her new school. After all, she didn’t change her identity for nothing.
As it turns out, hiding her weirdness is just one of many challenges. By the end of her first day, she’s claimed the soul of a dead girl on campus and lost the coin. Turns out, the coin gives others the ability to steal souls, and when a classmate ends up dead, there’s no mistaking the murder weapon.
Navigating the loss of her Poppa, her mother’s mistrust, and Roundtable, an anonymous student gossip app threatening to expose her, are hard enough. Now she must find the person who stole her coin before more lives are lost, but that means making herself a target for the Order, an organization that governs the dead on Earth--and they want Anora and her powers for themselves.