We have a lot of fantastic authors at OneFour KidLit and are excited to introduce them all to you. Today, we’re talking to Sara Raasch, author of SNOW LIKE ASHES (Balzer + Bray, Fall 2014). One author, four questions. Here we go!
Hey, you’re getting published! How’d that happen?
Very slowly. I started writing SNOW LIKE ASHES when I was twelve (then it was called GIVING LIGHT) and actually wrote the entire trilogy before I was fifteen. I was madly in love with this book and took 7+ years of rejections before I realized I should move on to something else. But the story and characters never left me, and after two agents, six other books (two of which went on submission over the span of two and a half years), and a LOT of chocolate, I took a step back and analyzed who I wanted to be as an author. GIVING LIGHT was always IT for me, the story that made me fall in love with writing and really defined who I am as an author, and so in the summer of 2012 I morphed it into SNOW LIKE ASHES. I revised with my agent through the fall of 2012, went on submission in January 2013, and had interest within a week. By the end of January, I had accepted an offer from the amazing Kristin Rens at B+B, and I couldn’t be more starstruck. I mean, more excited 😀
What’s your debut book about? Can you share any cool details with us?
SNOW LIKE ASHES is about a sixteen-year-old refugee/spy named Meira from the Kingdom of Winter who has to help the other refugees free their enslaved people from Spring. There are eight kingdoms in Meira’s world — four Seasons, or kingdoms stuck in eternal seasons (Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Spring) and four Rhythms, or kingdoms that move through the normal rhythms of natural seasons. Because Meira is from Winter, I have a slight obsession with winter and snow. Or slight superstition, I should say.
I went on submission with SLA in January, which is peak snow-season in Utah. And every time I got good news while on submission (an editor is interested, they’re going to acquisitions, you sold!) there was a HUGE snowstorm where I live. Like big, fat flakes that stick to everything and ice falling in sheets and white, white everywhere. And while everyone else around me complained about the weather and how awful it was, I’d just smile and squeeze a handful of snow and tell myself that The Universe was pulling for me this time, that this book would really be IT — the culmination of my lifelong dream tying together in the book I’ve loved all my life. I still get giddy when it snows because it’s a reminder that good things happen just like blizzards — first one flake falls, and it doesn’t look like a whole lot. But soon dozens of flakes are falling and you can’t see anything through the white, and all you know is the glorious wonder of cold and beauty, and you can’t remember ever feeling anything but happy.
What are you most excited about in the debut process?
I’ve envisioned seeing my book on a shelf in a bookstore since I was five years old. I still get a little fainty when I think about it.
What cool facts might readers not know about you?
1) I have the world’s most ambiguous degree and even I’m not entirely sure what it’s for: BS in Organizational Leadership.
2) I met my fiance on match.com. Yep, we’re one of THOSE couples.
3) This is more of a weird quirk than cool fact, but I have the strangest celebrity crushes. No, seriously — most people swoon over Josh Hutcherson and Chris Hemsworth, but I remember sitting in the theater for Iron Man 2 thinking “Hmm, Mickey Rourke…” In my defense, anyone who uses a Russian accent gets 200% hotter just by talking.
|Sara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. 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 the Valentines. She is represented by Charlotte Sheedy Literary.|