Saturday, October 18, 2014

0 Sara Raasch, author of SNOW LIKE ASHES, on non-evil winters and beginning the novel when she was a pre-teen!

What is your favorite thing about SNOW LIKE ASHES?

Meira, my main character. No matter how much the book has changed over the years, she's stayed the same -- spunky and feisty and stubborn and loyal and everything I want to be. She created me as much as I created her -- through discovering her and her world, through having her to rely on during the rough patches of growing up. I'm so excited to introduce her to the readers!

What was your inspiration for writing this book?

I don't remember the exact idea, but a large part of it was wanting to write a book where winter is perceived as the "good guy." So often it's used to symbolize evil, but I love winter, and I wanted to embody the crystalline peace and positive sides of it.

How long did you work on the book?

I wrote the first draft of SLA when I was a preteen, and worked on the whole trilogy up until college. I shelved it for a few years to work on other things, but picked it back up in 2012 -- and Meira was waiting for me, just as snarky and endearing as I left her! After completely rewriting the book, my agent took it out on sub winter of 2012/2013, and it sold that January. A fitting time for a book about the Kingdom of Winter to sell, I feel ;)

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

Oh gosh. SO many. SNOW LIKE ASHES was my first "real" book, and I put my heart and soul into writing it and getting it published. When I couldn't even snag an agent with it, I shelved it, and worked on three other books. One of those got an agent, but it didn't sell, and after two and a half years on submission, I switched agents with a new book. Which also didn't sell. After only a few months on submission with that one, I got into SNOW LIKE ASHES, and everything just kind of clicked. This book has always been IT for me, and selling it...it was pretty perfect.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I work at home (thanks to my wonderful hubby). The first part of my day is spent at my desk, and I try to write/edit as early as I can. By lunch, I switch over to marketing stuff -- making whatever materials I need, setting up trips, etc. It's taken me a lllooonnngggg time to get into a routine that works for me, but this one finally helps me stay motivated and productive!

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

My favorite piece of advice is: Keep Moving Forward. Yes, from the movie Meet the Robinsons. This industry can be so harsh -- even post-book-sale -- and it's all too easy to let the negatives get you down. But there comes a point when you just have to tell yourself that it'll be worth it, pick yourself up, and move on. You gotta live deliberately!

What are you working on now?

I'm currently editing the sequel to SNOW LIKE ASHES and drafting the third book in the trilogy. It's exhausting but so thrilling -- I am beyond excited for readers to meet some of the characters who get involved in Meira's life. Things get interesting, that's for sure!

ABOUT THE BOOK


Snow Like Ashes
by Sara Raasch
Hardcover
Balzer + Bray
Released 10/14/2014

A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

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.

Purchase Snow Like Ashes at Amazon
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View Snow Like Ashes on Goodreads

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, is coming out Fall 2014 from Balzer + Bray. It does not feature her hand-drawn pictures.

She can be found on Twitter at @seesarawrite and blogging over at theValentines.

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