Monday, October 19, 2020

Sara B. Larson Interview - Warriors of Wing and Flame

Photo Content from Sara B. Larson

Sara B. Larson is the author of the acclaimed YA fantasy DEFY trilogy (DEFY, IGNITE, and ENDURE) and the DARK BREAKS THE DAWN duology (DARK BREAKS THE DAWN and BRIGHT BURNS THE NIGHT). She can’t remember a time when she didn’t write books—although she now uses a computer instead of a Little Mermaid notebook. Sara lives in Utah with her husband, their four children, and their Maltese, Loki. She writes in brief snippets throughout the day and the quiet hours when most people are sleeping. Her husband claims she should have a degree in “the art of multitasking.” When she’s not mothering or writing, you can often find her at the gym repenting for her sugar addiction. 


Hardcover : 384 pages
ISBN-10 : 1250208432
ISBN-13 : 978-1250208439
Publisher : Tor Teen (October 27, 2020)
Language: : English


“Packed with fascinating relationships, pulse-pounding romance, and breathtaking adventure, this story held me captive to every page.” ―Kathryn Purdie, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Burning Glass

"I was completely swept away with this fierce magical story of broken family, and sisters trying to survive a mysterious past. Romance, betrayal, gryphons, forbidden doorways, and devoted sisters had me flipping the pages to unravel the secrets of this dark world where no one is who they seem to be. Larson has created a spellbinding world that has all the elements I love―magic, mystery, romance, and sisterhood! I can't wait for more!" ―Mary E. Pearson, New York Times bestselling author of The Kiss of Deception

"What a stunning gem of a story. Fans of gorgeous, emotional, action-packed fantasy are going to want to snap this up. I loved it so much, I read it in one sitting!" ―C.J. Redwine, New York Times bestselling author of the Ravenspire series

“Larson’s bold and imaginative tale of sisterhood, magic, and monsters is a deft exploration of loneliness, family, and friendship inside a citadel hedged by lies and blood.” ―A.G. Howard, #1 New York Times and international bestselling author of The Splintered Series

“Sisters of Shadow and Light is a rare beauty that will grip your heart and steal your breath away. I adored this book!" ―Jennifer A. Nielsen, New York Times bestselling author of The Traitor's Game

“Fantasy readers will become absorbed in the world-building and strong relationship between the sisters.” ―School Library Connection

“Fans of the author’s earlier work, as well as that of Kristin Cashore and Rachel Hartman, will enjoy this story. Purchase for those who love fantasy novels and Larson’s other books.” ―School Library Journal

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
I went to college to become a nurse, so I didn’t learn much that is applicable to writing from my actual classes. Unless I write a medical drama someday! But I learned lots of other things while I was at college, such as

What inspired you to pen your first novel?
I’ve been writing for a long as I can remember. I have notebooks with stories that I wrote in second grade. (And they weren’t fluffy either—one was about a premature baby that ends up dying in the end! I know, right? My poor mom.) I’ve always had stories in my heart and my mind. In middle school and high school I would go weeks or months without writing anything, but then inspiration would hit, and I’d write furiously for days, morning until the middle of the night, until I finished it. Then I went to college and was so slammed I stopped writing. And then I got married, and I never even thought to tell my husband that I had once written books—and lots of them. I still don’t know how I failed to think about or bring up what was once such an integral part of who I was, but I didn’t.

One day, when our first son was about ten months old, inspired by a church lesson, my husband asked me if there was anything I wished I was doing or missed since I’d become a mom. I thought about it and it suddenly hit me. “I miss writing!” He looked confused (and rightly so), so I elaborated, “I used to write books. I loved writing.” He looked even more confused, but to his credit, he immediately said, “Well, then let me take Brad, and give you a few hours so you can write a book.” (Ah, his blessed innocence of what it took to write a book—let alone try to get it published.)

Tell us your latest news.
My newest novel Warriors of Wing and Flame is releasing on October 27th which I am so excited about! As the oldest of 5 girls, this duology about the bond between sisters has very special meaning to me. I can’t share any other news yet—but keep a watch on my social media and I will as soon as I can!

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
There have been some truly amazing moments, so it’s hard to pick just one. But I think one of the top moments has to be when I invited my two teachers from elementary school to one of my book launches, where, as an adult, I got to thank them for the incredible impact they had in my life when I was young, and awkward, and friendless, and did things like take an assignment to write a “story” in 5th grade (that everyone else thought meant two, maybe three pages) and showed up with seventy-five. And not only did that teacher praise me for it, but asked me to read it out loud to the class because it was “so good” and told me that I had a gift. Both of them were the most amazing teachers and ironically have become very close friends with each other, and it was definitely a highlight of being published to get to thank them so publicly for all they did for me (and many other students).

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
I hope that they are as excited to continue Zuhra and Inara’s stories as I was to write it! I want them to feel excited and nervous and maybe even a bit breathless as the battles and romances unfold. It’s hard to say much without being very spoilery since it’s a sequel!

In your newest book, WARRIORS OF WING AND FLAME (Sisters of Shadow and Light #2); can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about the novel?
WOWAF is the conclusion to Zuhra and Inara’s stories. Their world has been torn apart—literally and figuratively. They’ve almost had a complete role reversal and they both have to come to grips with the changes and challenges they’re both facing, all while trying to stop a madman with an inordinate amount of power from destroying both the Paladin and human worlds. All while navigating first loves and losses.

Which of your characters do you feel has grown the most since book one and in what way have they changed? 
Wow, that’s hard to say. Both Zuhra and Inara have to go through immense change and trials that stretch them and force them both to grow. But if I had to choose one, I’d say Inara probably has to do the most growing, because (SPOILER ALERT) she’s been pulled out of the roar permanently when she lost her power, forcing her to try and find her strength without the power she’s had her entire life, and without the sister who always looked out for her and tried to protect her. She truly had to become her own powerful, independent person in WOWAF and I loved her journey to that place.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Inara and Zuhra? 
It’s hard to answer without getting too spoilery, but I will say this: I knew they were going to need to go through some anxiety from the events at the end of SOSAL, and I was planning on including it to a degree in the plot. But then I went through a very severe period of panic and anxiety that lasted for months before and during the drafting process of WOWAF and I realized the anxiety they experienced and dealt with needed to be much more present. It was hard to write about, but also strangely therapeutic.

  • 1. Music – this is huge for me. I make playlists for all of my books. Music majorly impacts my writing inspiration.
  • 2. Reading other books – this might sound odd, but when I’m not feeling inspire to write, reading other amazing books often sparks my desire to write again. Plus it’s always good to see what else is out there!
  • 3. Get outside – being in nature can be so inspiring and help clear your mind so you can notice the sparks of inspiration when they come.
  • 4. Exercise – I know, I know. But I’m serious, it really does help. When I’m not feeling inspired that often goes hand in hand with feeling like a failure which equals anxiety and depression. Exercising helps release endorphins and dopamine which combats both depression and anxiety and I often feel much more motivated to try and write again after a really good workout.
  • 5. Movies/TV shows – art inspires more art. I don’t have time to watch many movies or shows these days, but when I’m lacking inspiration I’l try to make time for one. When I watch a truly amazing or beautiful movie, or am totally absorbed in a TV show, it can spark ideas or even just feelings that make me want to write.
  • 6. Live life outside the page – actually getting out and interacting with others can be a big part of inspiration. You never know when a conversation or an experience will trigger an idea or thought that could lead to a book. You have to be living your own life outside the writing world to create your best lives (characters/plots) within it.
  • 7. Bubble baths – never underestimate the power of a steaming hot bubble bath with Epsom salts and lit candles. Letting yourself relax and allowing your mind to wander can spark inspiration.
  • 8. Lists – this sounds weird, perhaps, but it can totally work. List your favorite movies, your favorite books, your favorite names, your favorite characteristics, your favorite tropes. Make all sorts of lists. Then try and mash them together and see what thoughts or ideas pop up.
  • 9. Cleaning – ugh, I cringe even as I type that. ;-) This is a major last resort for me. But sometimes I can’t think in a messy living area. If I’m super desperate I will turn on my playlist of inspirational music (see #1) or maybe just a pump up song and make myself clean or organize. A freshly cleaned work space (which is also my bedroom usually btw) can actually help my brain chill and let inspiration flow.
  • 10. Stop trying so hard – If I try all of these (and more) and still can’t get inspired, then I realize I might just be too burned out or trying too hard to force it to come. Taking a break from trying to be inspired, and actually telling yourself you’re not allowed to think about it or try to write, can trigger the desire to write again. And sometimes, you just need an actual, honest-to-goodness break. A week or two, maybe even a month or two. This isn’t a race, though it often feels that way. Trust that it will come back and allow yourself the grace and patience you need to allow it to happen.
What’s the most ridiculous fact you know? 
Oh, I know a few! Scotland’s national animal is the unicorn. And the Greenland shark has an average lifespan of 272 years—some can live up to 500 years! And speaking of sharks, you’re twice as likely to be killed by a vending machine than a shark. Or how about this—sneezes leave our bodies at up to 100 mph.

What is the one, single food that you would never give up? 
Sugar. I know that’s an ingredient, not a food, but I’m cheating because I just love dessert so much.

Best date you've ever had? 
I’ve been married for 17 years and we dated for one and a half years before that, so we’ve had some amazing dates over the years! But one of my recent favorites was when we went for a hike together and then went and got acai bowls and then pizza because we were still hungry. I loved doing something active outside, seeing the beauty of our world together, and then enjoying delicious food together after. Simple but wonderful!

If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you had “no regrets” what would it be? 
There are a few things I wouldn’t mind changing if I could. One that comes to mind is that I’d hire a professional photographer—that wasn’t my husband—to do our bridals and wedding photos. He was a photographer and he had his assistant do it for us to save money, and we did get some great photos, but not as many as I would have liked, and she kind of let him tell her what to do, but he was a bit distracted (with the whole getting married thing and all) so he didn’t remember to ask her to do certain photos I would have liked to have, like ones with me and my mom and sisters in good lighting with them all in their bridesmaid’s dresses and hair done. But overall, that’s a pretty small regret, right?

What event in your life would make a good movie? 
If you want a good drama, my last pregnancy would have been quite the movie. I kept developing complication after complication, was hospitalized multiple times, was in preterm labor for 7 weeks, and ended up having to deliver early to save my baby girl’s life—but she was born perfectly healthy! Nice happy ending. (Thankfully!)

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today? 
Having children has definitely instigated the most change in my thinking throughout my life. They challenge and stretch me in ways I never anticipated.

What is one unique thing are you afraid of? 
It’s not a fear, persay, but I have a massive aversion to using paper napkins or even paper towels to wipe my hands. I can’t stand it when either of them rip—it’s like nails on the chalkboard for me.

What was the best memory you ever had as a writer? 
There are so many amazing memories, it’s so hard to claim that one was the absolute best. But holding my real, live finished book at my first launch party for DEFY, with hundreds of family, friends, readers, and my agent there, and getting to share my story of publication with them and then sign all those books for the first time ever…that was pretty incredible.

Acclaimed author Sara B. Larson continues her enchanting YA fantasy duology with a timeless fairytale feel in an original voice.

The doorway between the magical Visempirum and the human world has been reopened. Paladin are once more living in the citadel where Zuhra and Inara grew up completely isolated by the magical hedge that trapped them there. Amidst the brewing conflict between the Paladin and humans looms the threat of Barloc, who has stolen Inara’s immense power and continues to elude the Paladin who are desperately searching for him.

In this sequel to Sisters of Shadow and Light, Inara and Zuhra must navigate the treacherous paths of self-discovery, their love for each other, and for the boys who have captured their hearts. Together, they search for the strength within themselves to bridge the divide between the two worlds they inhabit, even as war threatens to destroy everything—and everyone—they love.

You can purchase Warriors of Wing and Flame at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you SARA B. LASRSON for making this giveaway possible.
5 Winners will receive a Copy of WARRIORS OF WING AND FLAME by Sara B. Larson
OCTOBER 21st WEDNESDAY Movies, Shows, & Books EXCERPT
OCTOBER 23rd FRIDAY Casia's Corner REVIEW 

OCTOBER 26th MONDAY A Dream Within A Dream REVIEW
OCTOBER 28th WEDNESDAY Gwendalyn's Books REVIEW 
OCTOBER 29th THURSDAY Nay's Pink Bookshelf REVIEW
OCTOBER 30th FRIDAY The Bookwyrm's Den REVIEW 
OCTOBER 30th FRIDAY Reading Adventures of a Book Dragon REVIEW

1 comment:

  1. Congrats to Sara on her new book! Can't wait to read it. And so awesome that her teachers came to her book signing.