Today I am bringing you an interview with Sara Raasch, the amazing author of YA Fantasy novel Snow Like Ashes, and it's upcoming sequel Ice Like Fire.
Here is her novel and her interview:
Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Published: October 14th 2014 by Balzer + Bray
Number of Pages: 416 pages (Hardcover)
Series: Yes, #1 in Snow Like Ashes series
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.
Interview with Sara Raasch
1 - Describe Snow Like Ashes in a haiku.
A warrior girl
Fights for freedom and Winter.
The storm starts with her.
2 - What makes Snow Like Ashes stand out in its genre?
I particularly love the Season Kingdoms -- it was so fun to develop their different cultures and people!
3 - How long did it take you from first idea until publishing deal? And how many queries did it take until you found 'the one'?
I started writing SNOW LIKE ASHES when I was a preteen, and it came out when I was twenty five, so all in all (with a few years here and there with breaks for other projects) almost half my life. I got my current agent with a query for a different book, but adding those queries to the ones I sent to get my first agent, I sent upwards of hundreds!
4 - Why and how did you decide that the Kingdoms in your fantasy world should be based upon seasons and why winter? Is it your favorite season of the year?
I first got the concept when I wanted to write a book where "winter" was perceived as the good guys. The other Season Kingdoms evolved from there. Actually, winter is not my favorite season -- I'm a total autumn girl!
5 - What was the most challenging about writing Snow Like Ashes, and the sequel Ice like Fire?
The most challenging thing for both of them was writing the sequel! Sequels are difficult for a number of reasons, but particularly with trilogies -- it has to be a complete story while still being a bridge between stories.
6 - What's your record of words written in one day? Do you have a writing routine?
While writing SNOW LIKE ASHES, I managed 12k words in one day. Have yet to break that record -- and I'm not sure if I want to, heh.
I tend to write in the morning, then break for lunch, then do marketing stuff/non-bookish things in the afternoon.
7 - What was your first thought when you first saw the final version of the cover? And, because I know you like to draw, did you ever draw your own cover ideas while writing Snow Like Ashes?
I LOVED it! I still do! The cover designer and artist are brilliant beyond words.
I did draw my own cover ideas for SNOW LIKE ASHES, but waaaaay back when I was a preteen. So they're pretty horrible!
8 - Cats or Dogs?
I currently have a cat, but I love all animals!
9 - Hogwarts house? Why?
I . . . haven't read Harry Potter. *hides*
10 - If you could travel to any place in the world, where would you go? And what book would you take with you (only one)?
I'd love to visit New Zealand. And I'd probably take a New Zealand guide book, hehe. Is that cheating?
11 - If you were forced to participate in The Hunger Games, as female from District 12, what would be your strategy? Fight or flight?
Total fight -- almost to a fault. I tend to get very overprotective-mama-bear whenever under threat.
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 October 13, 2015. Neither features her hand-drawn pictures.