Monday, December 8, 2014

An Author A (Mon)day: Sara Raasch

I'm pleased to bring you an interview with debut author Sara Raasch! Sara is the incredible mind behind Snow Like Ashes, a debut YA fantasy novel that was pretty damn impressive. There will be more on my thoughts on her novel, but for now, let's welcome Sara to the blog!

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Alexa: First of all, congratulations on the release of your debut novel, Snow Like Ashes! How does it feel to now be a published author?

Sara: Exciting! Stressful! Fantastic! Terrifying! All the things and all the exclamation marks. It's such a crazy ride of fun and petrifying, but worth every moment!

Alexa: In relationship to the fact that Snow Like Ashes is your debut, can you tell us a little bit about the dedication in the novel? I saw that in the review copy and was curious!

Sara: The dedication is "To everyone who read the first (horrible) draft of this novel and did not laugh when twelve-year-old me said "Someday, I'm going to get this published."

I started writing SLA when I was twelve years old and worked on it all through high school. It was the first book that I ever wrote and thought "THIS. This is the one. This will be published someday." And everyone in my life was so supportive - my parents, my friends. So to them, for encouraging me, I dedicated SLA :)

Alexa: I love this so darn much! It's so inspiring and so sweet. So, how does it feel to be going on tour to promote Snow Like Ashes? Are you excited? Are you nervous? Are you bringing any special swag you've created?

Sara: I'm actually writing these responses in the airport, heading home from tour! Refer to my response to question #1, haha. Exciting, stressful, fantastic, terrifying - I'm a huge introvert, so traveling for two weeks straight has been rough, but each event has been SO amazing, and meeting readers... gosh, I have no words. They've all been beyond incredible!

Alexa: It sounds incredible! I'm seriously still sad that I missed you when you were in New York :( Anyway, back to the actual book - where did you get the idea for Snow Like Ashes

Sara: I always feel so lame when I get this question, because I don't remember! Since I was twelve when I started writing it, all I remember that I wanted to write a book where winter was perceived as the "good guys." So the word evolved from that, but I don't remember where I got the characters or plot. #authorfail

Alexa: Well, it worked out still because your story is amazing. So... Any hints as to what'll be happening next in the series? No spoilers, of course.

Sara: Book 2 will be out next fall, and I've taken to calling it "The Book Where Everyone Dies," because so many characters end up, well, dying. Muahahahaha.

Alexa: *gasps* This is terrifying, as I hold a lot of characters very dear. I'm very nervous now! Ahem. So to get my mind off these things, did you always write and aspire to be a published author? Or was it something you realized recently?

Sara: Yep! One of my earliest memories was of having a lemonade stand with my cousins and wanting to sell hand-drawn picture books there too. It's been in my blood for as long as I can remember.

Alexa: Do you have a writing routine or writing quirks?

Sara: I have to write in the morning, and I have to have silence. I listen to music when I'm brainstorming, but for actual writing, nope! I start to write the lyrics into the book on accident if I listen to music then, hehe.

Alexa: I'm the complete opposite when it comes to music, haha. Okay, any particular tips for aspiring writers?

Sara: Keep moving forward. Persistence is the only difference between a published author and an unpublished author.

Alexa: I really like that advice! Okay, fun questions now - what are you currently reading? watching on TV or in theaters? listening to?

Sara: MY TBR pile is embarrassing, so I'll avoid that question, haha. (Interviewer's note: Yeaaaaah, I don't blame you because mine is too!) For TV though, I am OBSESSED with Lost Girl, a Canadian show about a succubus that is INCREDIBLE. I tell everyone to watch it. For music, I listen to whatever the characters want me to listen to - Meira's favorite song right now is Dust & Gold by Arrows to Athens.

Alexa: Last question (sad as that is)... Winter is coming! What are your favorite things about the winter season?

Sara: I love the peacefulness of winter. How when snow falls everything holds so quiet, and sounds deadened and it's all just idyllic. I tried to encapsulate this in the Kingdom of Winter, because it's my favorite thing about the season by far!

Alexa: Ah! That encapsulates a part of winter that I really love too. Enjoy the wintry weather, Sara, and thank you for letting me interview you! Congratulations again on Snow Like Ashes and I cannot wait to read the sequel (though I'm scared about everyone dying....).

If you want more of Sara, you can find her on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads & YouTube.

Snow Like Ashes Sara Raasch book cover
Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Series: Snow Like Ashes #1
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: October 14, 2014

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 her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom 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. 

Why should you read this book? I'm very partial to young adult fantasies when they're done well, and Snow Like Ashes is most definitely one of the good ones! The way that she incorporated the seasons and magic and a tale of adventure and battle was so damn well done. And the romance I wound up shipping? Totally caught me off guard. For more on why Snow Like Ashes was so great, check out my review!

5 comments:

  1. thank you for sharing this post...nice artikel

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  2. Gah I loved this book! And how AWESOME is it that she wrote this at 12?! I love author stories like that. Great interview and can't wait for The Book Where Everyone Dies! :)

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  3. Sara is adorable. I'm SUPER nervous about Book 2 now, especially since she calls it The Book where Everyone Dies?!?!?! I just hope Theron doesn't die. MY DARLING THERON. Anyways, great interview Alexa! :D

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