Today I am interviewing author Sara Raasch as part of my December event: Celebrating Fiction! Book Bash 2014. For full details, check out the announcement post. I read Sara Raasch’s debut novel, Snow like Ashes, back in September and LOVED IT. You can read my review here.
About The Author:Sara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. Not much has changed since then — her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures.Her debut YA fantasy, SNOW LIKE ASHES, the first in a trilogy, comes out October 14, 2014 from Balzer + Bray. It does not feature her hand-drawn pictures.
ME: I read that you wrote the first draft of Snow Like Ashes as a teenager. Do you remember where your interest in writing originated?
SR: Sadly, I do not! I was so young when I first started writing that the origins of my passion are lost to time. It’s always been something I loved doing!
ME: Could you tell us a little bit about how your debut went from first draft to published book? What has been the best/ most surprising part of the publishing process?
SR: I started writing the very, very first draft of SLA when I was twelve (I know! So long ago now, hehe), and wrote the entire trilogy before I graduated high school. I put it aside for a few years while I queried other projects, but I came back to it once I asked myself what I wanted my debut novel to be and reevaluated who I was as an author. I completely overhauled the book — started from scratch, used the same overall plot and some of the characters, but most everything changed. I spent all of 2012 working on it, and we took it out on submissions in winter of 2013. It sold that January! A fitting month, I’d say 😀
The best part of this process has been by far getting to meet readers. Having people be so excited for a book that has for so long been in my head is surreal and amazing and five different kinds of glorious!
ME: Meira is one of my favourite characters I’ve read in YA so far this year. How do you think you are different from/ similar to her? What would you do in her situation?
SR: Thank you! Meira is who I wanted to be as a teenager. I was very insecure, fearful, and quiet, so I wrote who I wanted to be as a kind of motivator to myself — this strong, passionate, stubborn girl I could model myself after. I like to think I’m more like Meira now, but in her situation, I’d probably have given up waaaaay early on in the whole saving-their-kingdom process. I’m not coordinated enough to do well in a life of fighting 😛
ME: What inspires you to write? Are there any particular books/ music/ photos that inspire you?
SR: Songs are a huge inspiration. For SLA, one of the best songs for me was Shattered by Trading Yesterday. SUCH a moving song, and listening to it to this day still fills me with so many Book 1 feelings!
ME: Do you have any advice for young or aspiring writers?
SR: Keep moving forward! Persistence is the only difference between a published author and an unpublished author.
ME: Can you give us any hints about Books 2 & 3? I’m beyond excited!
SR: I’ve taken to calling Book 2 “The Book Where Everyone Dies” because so many people, well, die in it. I apologize in advance. As for Book 3, I just sent the chapter summary to my editor, and writing that…WOW. Feelings abound. This book will be the death of me.
Me: Wow, I’m super excited now! Thanks so much to Sara Raasch for participating in this interview. She is such a cool person to talk to, and you should definitely check out her debut book, Snow Like Ashes.
About The Book:
Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend and future king, Mather—she would do anything to help Winter rise to power again.So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore their magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers and fighting enemy soldiers just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics—and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.