Interview: Sara Raasch, author of ‘Snow Like Ashes’

 

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Sara Raasch

Meet Sara Raasch

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, came out October 14, 2014 from Balzer + Bray, and the sequel, ICE LIKE FIRE, comes out  Fall 2015. Neither feature her hand-drawn pictures.


This fun and quirky author caught our interest with her debut novel, SNOW LIKE ASHES.  Then, she charmed her way into our hearts during our November Epic Reads Book Club Meeting; in which she shared more about herself and her book collection (book-shelfies here), her debut novel, her plans for the future, and even gave us a glimpse of what’s coming for book two, ICE LIKE FIRE, book two in the SNOW LIKE ASHES trilogy.  The Bookmark Book Club members, even to this day, talk about the amazingness that is Sara, and can’t wait until next November, until we meet for ICE LIKE FIRE.  Sara was kind enough to share with us some more, to hold us over until next November.


TBM:  When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

SR: My bio kind of gives it away! I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil.

TBM: How long does it take you to write a book?

SR: Counting world building and planning, about two years. Just drafting it, about a year.

TBM: What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

SR: I write best in the morning, so I’ll get up, get some food (and coffee. Always coffee), check any social media stuff, then spend a few hours writing. Usually by noon I’ve met whatever goal I set for that day, then I break for lunch, come back, and edit what I’ve written.

TBM: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

SR: I’m not sure I have any quirks. The weirdest thing I can think of (which isn’t too weird, honestly) is when I really get into writing a scene, I totally tune out whatever is happening around me. Which has made for lots of missed conversations!

TBM: When did you write your first book and how old were you?

SR: I started writing the first draft of SNOW LIKE ASHES when I was twelve years old. I worked on the whole trilogy all through high school, put it aside for college, and picked it back up again after a few years of rejections on other projects.

TBM: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

SR: Not that I have a lot of non-writing time… 😉
I love pottery. I’m hoping to get into some pottery classes once I’m done with this draft of Book 3!

TBM: What does your family think of your writing?

SR: They’re super supportive! It makes me proud and honored to have them be so excited for my books.

TBM: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

SR: How draining the whole process can be! Especially in writing the final book. SO much emotion is going into it, and even though I expected it to be intense, it’s taking a lot more out of me than I thought it would. Which will hopefully make for a heart wrenching, satisfying conclusion for readers!

TBM: Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

SR: Persistence. Keep writing, keep editing, keep submitting—just generally keep moving forward. Writing is like any talent—to improve, you must hone it. Everything you write, even if it sucks, will serve to help!

TBM: Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

SR: Oh yes! I adore my readers! Talking with them about my book, or just about life in general, is by far my favorite part of this!

TBM: What do you think makes a good story?

SR: Heart. Being able to feel that an author truly loved what they were writing—it makes all the difference!

TBM: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?.

SR: Outline! Oh, so many outlines. With fantasy, so much is happening, and so many people come into play, that outlines are necessary.

TBM: As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

SR: An author. This is totally a dream come true!

TBM: What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

SR: Need.

TBM: Which writers inspire you?

SR: My biggest inspiration is an adult fantasy writer, Sharon Shinn. I recommend her books to everyone—no one world builds like she does!

TBM: Do you identify yourself with Meira? If so, how?

SR: Meira is who I wanted to be as a teen. Confident, stubborn, and very, very devoted!

TBM: Do you write characters based on people you know or have met?

SR: No, but I do use names from people I know. In SNOW LIKE ASHES, two characters are named after people from my real life—Theron’s mother, Queen Melinda, and the Langstone River.

TBM: Which actress would you like to see playing Meira, if SLA gets made into a movie?

SR: Ksenia Solo is perfection, and she would totally nail Meira’s snark and strength.

 TBM: What are you working on at the moment?

SR: The third and final book in the SNOW LIKE ASHES trilogy!

TBM: What draws you to this genre?

SR: The amount of creativity and imagination that can go into fantasy. It offers a chance to build an entire world from the ground up!


For those of you who haven’t read Snow Like Ashes ->

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.


Sara is very active on social medial; her posts are funny, engaging and worth a read.

Follow Sara on these platforms.

WebsiteTwitterFacebookPinterestGoodreadsYouTube


Snow Like Ashes is available at The Bookmark 😉


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, came out October 14, 2014 from Balzer + Bray, and the sequel, ICE LIKE FIRE, comes out Fall 2015. Neither feature her hand-drawn pictures.

5 comments on “Interview: Sara Raasch, author of ‘Snow Like Ashes’”

  1. I REALLY want to read this book, but I’m afraid that the hype will ruin it for me. Nevertheless I have it on my Kindle so I’ll have to read it anyway. Knowing that Sara is such a cool author makes it all the more tempting! Great interview! 🙂

    1. Ariana Davis says:

      It’s so very, very good! Definitely a MUST READ! Sara is very cool, can’t wait to read the rest of the series! 🙂

  2. Sophie Cordero says:

    I think I might just break my book-buying-ban for this book. The synopsis really caught my attention a few months back, but I’ve never gotten around to it. The author seems so nice and dedicated, though. Pretty sure I’ll be obtaining this book soon!

    1. Ariana Davis says:

      You should definitely break your book-buying-ban for SLA. It is so worth it!!! Trust me, you won’t regret it!

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