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.
Snow Like Ashes Synopsis on GoodReads
I got a chance to interview her so here goes…
What is your inspiration on writing Snow Like Ashes?
I started writing the first draft of SLA when I was twelve, so all I remember is that I wanted to write a book where winter was perceived as the “good guys,” where it’s usually perceived as “evil’ (e.g. Narnia).
How does it feel like when readers associate your book with The Game of Thrones?
Intense! GoT is a huge pop culture phenomenon, so of course I’ll take the comparison gladly 😀
If ever Snow Like Ashes become a movie, which actor do you picture playing the roles of Meira, Mather and Theron?
For Meira: Ksenia Solo (I ADORE her!)
For Mather: Justin Gaston (YUM)
For Theron: I haven’t actually found a perfect actor for Theron yet…UGH
Where do your ideas come from?
Anywhere and everywhere! The latest idea I’m working on came from a geology class in high school, so inspiration pops up in unlikely places!
Who is your favourite author?
Sharon Shinn! She’s an AMAZING adult fantasy writer — her books always have fantastic world building and characterization.
What is the book that made you want to be a writer?
Books in general! There was never one specific book — it was more just the whole concept of books and reading that made me go “THIS.”
What is the hardest thing about writing?
For me…editing, heh. I can pound out a draft no problem, but editing usually takes rounds and rounds (and tears and tears).
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book, Ice Like Fire?
Making it interesting while still bridging the plot between Book 1 and Book 3. Middle books are always difficult like that — they have to be independent and complete yet…not.
What is your advice to the aspiring writers out there?
Keep Moving Forward.
Do you plan on going to the Philippines anytime in the future and what do you want to say to your Filipino fans?
No Philippines travel plans yet, alas. Hopefully someday though! To my Filipino fans: HELLO WONDROUS PEOPLE!
Ice Like Fire Synopsis on GoodReads
Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?
Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Januari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats?
As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.