Friday, October 17, 2014

Interview: Sara Raasch + Snow Like Ashes


I'm ridiculously excited today to have author Sara Raasch stopping by the blog to answer a few questions about her YA fantasy debut, Snow Like Ashes. I've fangirled over this book in a previous post, so it should come as no surprise when I say this book blew me away (my full review will go up Monday). It had everything I look for in a fantasy novel, or any novel for that matter, and I simply cannot wait to see how Meira's story unfolds in future books. Welcome to Supernatural Snark Sara!

Try as she might, Meira is not overly skilled with a sword and it’s certainly not her weapon of choice. If you were training alongside Meira with Mather and Sir, what weapon do you think you’d have the best luck wielding?

I actually would choose a sword. Part of the reason I made Meira more apt at long-range weapons was because I myself SUCK at such things and I wanted to live vicariously through her. I tried archery in high school and was atrociously awful at it—even when I try to throw something in the trash, I miss unless I deliberately set it in.
 

Mather is exceptionally good at wiping his face clean of expression so Meira can’t get even the barest hint of what he’s thinking. If we were granted a few moments in his head, what are some of the words we’d find swirling around in there when he looks at Meira?

A few moments in Mather’s head? Hmm…



Most of the time, he’s kind of stricken by her. She reacts to situations in ways he would never dream of, so when she does something, he just sort of stands there in this dazed mix of awe and confusion. She constantly surprises him, which is one of the many reasons he’s so attached to her.
 

Political and military alliances in the world of Primoria are often formed through marriage. If you were the daughter of a ruling family and learned you were to be married for the betterment of your kingdom, what character from YA fiction would you most wish for your betrothed to be like?

Ooooo SUCH A TOUGH QUESTION.

Hm. Well, I just finished reading Sabaa Tahir’s AN EMBER IN THE ASHES, and Elias. ELIAS. He is perfect. If my betrothed was at all similar to Elias, well… 



What’s one quirk or habit Meira has that those closest to you reading her story might recognize as one she shares with you?

As my family was reading SLA, they kept saying Meira sounds so like me. Her snark, her voice—which was sort of intentional, sort of a happy accident!
 

The best villains for me are those like Angra who have the ability to inspire both hatred and sympathy; small moments of vulnerability carefully woven into their seemingly all-powerful darkness. Who is your all-time favorite villain from any piece of fiction?

Ignifex from CRUEL BEAUTY. I don’t really know if he’d be classified as 100% villain, though—and that makes me love him! Is he good? Is he bad? Is he trustworthy? Whatever he is, he’s amazing. Refer to the gif in question #3.


If Meira had the chance to ask you a single question about how you wrote her story or what the future holds for her and her people, what do you think she would most want to know?

No matter what happens to Meira or those she loves, her primary goal is to make Winter safe. So I think she would always ask some form of “Will Winter be okay?”

And then after my response, her reaction would invariably be something like: 



When the Kingdom of Winter fell, aside the tragic loss of life, the loss of Winter’s history and culture was the cruelest blow dealt. Though Meira doesn’t have many memories of Winter itself, after her experiences in Snow Like Ashes she knows its people well. If she were to begin a new written recording of all that is the Kingdom of Winter, how would the first line read?

OH SUCH A HARD QUESTION. Hmm. *ponders*

Maybe:

“This war has taken much from us. Lives, land, friends, homes—memories. Whole generations will grow up not knowing what Winter’s chill feels like, or the joy of awakening to a fresh blanket of snow, or the taste of Winterian delicacies. While we cannot bring back the lost lives or childhoods, we can ensure that from this day forward, we all have the memories we deserve.

And someday, our kingdom will reach a point where we won’t need to draw culture from handwritten texts. It will be a part of our lives, ingrained into us.

For now, though, this record will be our home.”



• • • • • • • • • • •

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 Raasch's debut fantasy is a lightning-fast tale of loyalty, love, and finding one's destiny.


• • • • • • • • • • • • 

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, the first in a trilogy, comes out October 14, 2014 from Balzer + Bray. It does not feature her hand-drawn pictures. 

35 comments:

  1. Thanks for the nice interview, they're always really interesting and the questions very thougthful! THanks for sharing! Really need to try this book!

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    1. I hope you give it a try Melliane!

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  2. Totally wanting to read it. WIll I like it..eh, bad experiences, ;)

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    1. Maybe YA fantasy just isn't the genre for you:)

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  3. Love this interview - the GIFs are hilarious! :-) She loves Ignifex and Elias? I like her style. I have my copy of this and am saving it for the weekend so I can savor it. So happy to hear you loved it so much Jenny!

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    1. I adored Ignifex, so I'm VERY excited to meet this Elias. *waits not-so patiently*

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  4. I really enjoyed this interview! I am so intrigued by this book now. I must get my hands on a copy, especially since you say it's fantastic. I will keep my eye out for your review on Monday!

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    1. I hope you get a copy Christina and I hope you love it as much as I did!

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  5. I'd probably go with a sword as well because my aiming skills leave something to be desired. LOL I love multifaceted villains, and it sounds like Raasch delivers that with Angra. And, you were pure evil with your last question there, Jenny. Nice!! *grins*

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    1. I think I'd be better off taking my chances with poor aim. I feel like I'd do way more damage to myself with a sword than I would with a bow and arrow or something ;-)

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  6. Everyone has been talking about this Elias. Definitely need to meet this guy when the book comes out. Sara is such a cute author! I love her enthusiasm for her book and how passionate she is!
    Thanks for sharing, Jenny!

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    1. YES! Sign me up for AN EMBER IN THE ASHES immediately, Nick! And isn't Sara adorable?

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  7. LOL I just started this book yesterday and so far i'm really enjoying it so imagine my surprise when I saw Sara stopped by your blog for an interview! Love the interview and while I haven't met Elias in the book yet i'm looking forward to it!

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    1. YAY! Can't wait to see what you think when you're done Lily:)

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  8. LOL! I really need to read this. I should be receiving the audiobook any day, and I'll definitely be starting it immediately. :)

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  9. LOL! Okay that first gif is just, I don't know whether it is funny or creepy!

    I so need to read this book!

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    1. He's definitely both ;-) He gets creepier the longer you stare at him...

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  10. I'm so excited to read this, Jenny. I'm thrilled that you enjoyed it too. I'm looking forward to reading your review on Monday. Happy Friday!

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    1. I hope you get a chance to read it soon Rummanah, it was definitely one of my favorites for the year:)

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  11. Oh, I'm dying to read this! Such a wonderful interview and the gifs made me LOL. LOVE it! Also, I want to meet this villain now!

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    1. We don't get to see a whole lot of Angra, but enough to pique my interest for sure:)

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  12. I so can't wait to dive into this book! I also love a good villain and oh so loved that new written recording! Such a great interview!

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  13. I am so excited to read this one. This interview makes me even more excited. I have it scheduled in November after Wicked wraps. Happy Friday.

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    1. WOO HOO! Looking forward to your thoughts:)

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  14. the underwear gif is my favorite. i laughed out loud for like 5 whole minutes i might borrow it!!

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  15. Wonderful interview questions-the underwear gif. is so funny! I love Sara's take on villains as well. I'm so excited to start this myself and can't wait to read your thoughts Monday. Thanks for sharing, Jenny and Sara :)

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  16. LOL This is so awesome as I'd do the same thing with my characters if I ever wrote a book. I suck at being badass and all that so I'd make sure that my girl is good with sword and all those weapon thing ;) Amazing interview as always, dear! ;)

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  17. Loved the review Jenny. I adored Snow Like Ashes. The world and its characters were so developed.

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  18. Can I just say that I love she's read so many current YA books? And references them in her answers? I've read so many interviews where the authors read (of course) but talk about all the classics... I know I'm being picky but I love when an author enjoys the same books he/she writes AND books I've read and loved.

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  19. I picked this one up at the store this weekend. Jenny, you are so bad for my book budget. LOL.

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  20. I'm planning on reading this one VERY soon so I'm bookmarking it to come back and re-read when I'm familiar with the characters and plot and can appreciate all these clever answers better :) Lovely interview Jenny, can't wait to compare notes!! Thanks for sharing ^^

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  21. Lovely interview Jenny! I completely adored this book!

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  22. What a fantastic interview! I'm so so pumped to read Snow Like Ashes soon!!

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