Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Interview with Sarah J. Maas

Sarah J. Maas lives in Southern California, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much coffee, and watches absolutely rubbish TV shows. When she's not busy writing YA fantasy novels, she can be found exploring the California coastline.

Her debut YA epic fantasy novel, THRONE OF GLASS, will be published by Bloomsbury on August 7th, 2012.


1.      Tell us a little about yourself? Maybe something juicy.
Something juicy? Oh, man. I wish I had something juicy to tell you about myself. In a nutshell, I grew up in NYC, moved to California right after college, and I’ve been living there ever since (with my husband and dog). I’m 26, I drink too much coffee, I love watching TV, and I’m prone to eating nutella right out of the jar. ;)

2.     What do you do when you're not writing or reading?
TV. Oh, I watch so much TV it’s disgusting. I also love traveling, and the ballet, and trying new kinds of food. Honestly, if I have a night off from writing, you can usually find me eating pizza and drinking a beer. I’m pretty laid back.

3.     If you're going to live on a stranded desert island, name 3 books you'll bring with you.
The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle (so beautiful and heartbreaking), the omnibus edition of Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels Trilogy (ha! I’m cheating with that one), and Lloyd Alexander’s Taran Wanderer (since I don’t think there’s an omnibus edition of his Prydain Chronicles out there).

4.     Can you tell me a bit about your process of writing?
Well, it changes with each book. Sometimes, I like to have the whole book planned out in my head before I begin writing it. Other times, I’ll write it by the seat of my pants, making it up as I go. And other times, I’ll have a detailed outline to guide me each step of the way. Usually, though, my process is like this: wake up, drink coffee, catch up on emails, and then write for the rest of the day. Pretty boring, huh? I guess my only bit of craziness is the fact that I like to have a mirror hanging behind my desk, so I can look at myself/my expressions as I act out scenes.

5.     Why do you write and what do you hope to achieve with your writing?
Why do I write? Because I have to. Because I’d go crazy if I didn’t get all the stories out of my head. Because NOT writing has never been an option.
As for what I hope to achieve… I just want to write stories I love with my whole heart and soul—and hope that those stories are ones that other people can love, too.

6.     What are you working on at the moment?
 Book Two of the Throne of Glass series! I’m in the middle of revisions, which means that I’m pretty much living in yoga pants and a sweatshirt, and showers are optional. :P

7.     Of all the characters in the Throne of Glass series, who do you feel you're most alike? Who is your favorite?
Oooh, tough question. I’m going to say that Celaena is my favorite. She’s the reason why I’ve kept with this story for so long. When I was sixteen and began writing this series, I put a lot of myself into her, but over the years, she became very much her own person (to the point where we only have a few things in common now). But I also adore writing Chaol’s character—and, recently, I fell in love with Ansel (a character from the second ToG novella, The Assassin and the Desert). I really hope I get a chance to write more about Ansel in later books (or possibly novellas)!

8.     Do you have an author that has really inspired you?
J. K. Rowling. She is a wonderful, inspiring, and incredible person—who has done SO much for children’s literature (and literature in general). Plus, writing/reading Harry Potter fanfiction was what introduced me to FanFiction.net—which later developed its site for original stories, FictionPress.com. :)

9.     How do you do research for your books?
Hmmm. Well, I do it the traditional way sometimes, by reading books/articles/source material written by very smart people. And I also do it in other non-traditional ways/forms—by watching movies, or tv, or listening to music or looking at art. “Research” and “Inspiration” go hand-in-hand for me.

10.   What is your favorite part of writing this series?
Agh. Tough question. I think what I love most is that Celaena (as a trained assassin) gets to do so many things that only guys traditionally got to do—she can slay monsters or partake in battles or just swagger about. Writing her—writing a character that never apologizes for who she is (faults and all)—has been such tremendous fun. 

11.  Do you have a favorite scene or line?
Hmmm. I have many favorite scenes, but some of them are very spoiler-y. BUT I’ll just say that one of my favorite lines comes from early on in the novel, when Celaena first sees the royal library (while the Captain of the Guard is giving her a tour of the castle). She asks Chaol why there aren’t any guards watching the library, and he says that they’re of no use in a library. To which Celaena replies/thinks to herself:

‘Oh, how wrong he was! Libraries were full of ideas—perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.’


Be sure to Check back this week for reviews of Sarah's 4 Novella's and Throne of Glass!