Welcome to another Writers on Wednesday! I’m thrilled to bring you an interview with Sara Raasch. I met Sara through the YA Valentines, and I’m delighted that she stopped by today to talk about her writing process and future plans.
1. When did you start writing?
I started writing…well, my bio really says it all! I’ve been writing for as along as I can remember, with one particular early memory being around when I was five and my cousins wanted to have a lemonade stand. Naturally, I decided I wanted to sell hand-drawn picture books alongside their lemonade. Since that failed publishing attempt I’ve known I have to be involved in the book-making process.
2. Are you a pantser or a planner?
So much a planner. In every possible way. In fact, I spent a good chunk of time yesterday making detailed population statistics for the Winter Kingdom in my book, SNOW LIKE ASHES. Fantasy is a BEAST of a genre, and can easily eat people alive — the only way to successfully survive creating an entire world full of people and rules and cultures and customs is to jot down a note or two!
3. Can you give us an idea of your writing process?
Bad Days: Wake up. Get breakfast. Get slightly mauled by Assassin Cat (who means well, but he is, after all, an assassin). Sit at desk. Browse Twitter. Open Word doc. Browse Pinterest. Look at Word doc. Upload stuff to Tumblr. Delete a word in Word doc. Etc etc, until I manage to either A) Discover a huge hole in my world that I haven’t worked out yet, i.e.: the population statistics I had to work out the other day or B) Edit the bejeezus out of stuff I’ve already written because I love editing but HATE HATE AND LOATHE drafting.
Good Days: Fly out of bed on the high of an idea I’ve been letting simmer for awhile and pound out two or three chapters in a mad-dash of inspirational excitement.
I tend to be either GO GO GO or meh, let’s check Twitter again.
4. Which authors have influenced your work?
Would it be cheesy to say all of them? Every inspirational story, every success, every book sitting on my shelf serves as an influence to me. All of those authors were where I was once, new and unknown, and made it, and kept going, and it’s brilliant.
5. What are your plans/future projects/new releases that we should be aware of?
My debut YA fantasy SNOW LIKE ASHES comes out Fall 2014 from Balzer + Bray, and it’s the first in a trilogy. It’s about Season Kingdoms and imprisonment and genocide and torture and magic artifacts and princes and a badass assassin/soldier-girl who wields a chakram. Yes, a chakram. If you don’t know what that is, google it. Your life will never be the same.
6. Any tips for new writers?
Two, actually: Don’t give up. Keep moving forward. It sounds cliche and those phrases probably just washed over anyone reading this, but those six words got me through 10+ years of rejection, querying, failure, hope, struggle, pain, blood, sweat, and tears. Getting here, to the point where I can say “MY DEBUT NOVEL COMES OUT FROM A REAL LIVE PUBLISHER NEXT YEAR!” is so, so worth all the sh** I had to go through to get here. Don’t give up. Keep moving forward.
7. Any tips for old writers?
Same as above, actually: Don’t give up. Keep moving forward. Just because someone gets that ever-elusive book deal doesn’t mean they’re immune to rejection, failure, struggle, etc etc. In fact, I’m finding that not a lot is different between the Writer-Sara I am now and the Writer-Sara I was before I got my book deal. I still HATE drafting and love editing, I still plan and plot and outline my stories to a sick degree, I still hate my writing somedays and fall in love with characters other days. There’s no magic fix, there’s no secret change in this writing-world. It sucks sometimes and it’s great others, but it is always, always worth it.
Profile: 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.