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*Guest Post* Sunrise Underground by Kayla Bulster

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Contemporary YA suspense 

Date Published: August 9th, 2016

Publisher: Anaiah Surge

Novel Goodreads Link:


For Tilly White, ballet is her only escape from life, from her grief over her mother’s and brother’s deaths, and from her abusive stepfather, Fletcher. Late one evening as she leaves the studio, someone throws her into a van. But before they can carry out their plan, a mysterious boy rescues her… and steals her necklace?

Desperate to reclaim the last item she has of her family, Tilly chases her rescuer into the sewers where she discovers a secret society of ninjas. Through training with them, she learns to have real faith, which she’ll need when the job gets all too personal. The ninjas investigate a local mob boss to find Tilly’s best friend caught up in the mess. Fletcher might be involved, too! Her only allies are these ninjas she barely knows. Tilly will need to rely on her faith and her colleagues to save her friend.

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5 Things You Didn’t Know about Sunrise Underground


  1. Jade is named after a student of mine

Some of my biggest fans are actually my students. One of my most precocious and kind-hearted students sweetly asked me to (if she were to bring me coffee one day) name a character after her in my next novel. And so I did. They are very different characters, but her name is still there nonetheless!

  1. I got waaaaay too technical with the fight scenes

Due to my martial arts background, I would spend countless hours dreaming up these elaborate fight scenes that were tightly woven into the story. They were so complex, that my poor editor, bless her heart, had to help me unwind and iron out the scenes so that they were readable.

  1. I actually went to San Francisco for research

Call it method writing, if you will… or a fun excuse for a mini-vacation. I actually went up to San Francisco and took a bunch of photos and spent about twelve hours walking around the city with my husband in order to get the feel for the city and make sure it was the setting I wanted for the novel.

  1. Tilly originally played basketball

I frequently poll my students for ideas. There was an overwhelming consensus that Tilly should play basketball (I must have had a lot of basketball players that term, or something!); however, I needed a reason for her to have been able to pick up martial arts so easily. The skill set for ballet was much more conducive to learning martial arts, so she became a dancer instead.

  1. In writing about a biracial character, I realized how desperately naïve I am

I honestly, and ignorantly, thought that my experience working with my multicultural and multiracial students had prepared me enough to be able to write from the perspective of a half-black, half-white teenager. I was wrong. I spent a lot of time with beta readers who helped me to fine-tune Tilly’s character and lens. They helped guide me and teach me what it’s like for biracial young women, so that Tilly’s experience could be authentic.


After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in education, Kayla began working as a high school American Sign Language and English teacher. Her debut novel, Wishful Thinking, was originally released by Mckinney ePublishing in 2011. Kayla used her experience as a martial artist, and stories from her high school students as inspiration for Sunrise Underground. When she is not writing or teaching, she works as an actress where she continues to develop her skills as a storyteller. She lives with her husband and dog in San Diego, California.

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