Friday, October 16, 2009

Author Interview: Sasha Soren

Author Sasha Soren is embarking upon a blog tour for her new book Random Magic. I am pleased to kick off this blog tour with an interview.

Sasha Soren is a freelance writer/​producer, screenwriter, copywriter and lyricist. Her work has been featured in Time Out (UK), Gene Simmons Tongue, SEED magazine and on CNNfn broadcast television. She's also lead lyricist for French indie group "Hex".

Hello Sasha and welcome. This must be an exciting and busy time for you and I appreciate you taking the time to answer a few questions for me.

1. How long have you been writing and what inspired you to begin?

Have been writing all my life. Have always read voraciously, as well, so that probably had a lot to do with it. It just seemed like a natural progression.

2. What inspired or influenced Random Magic?

Well, let’s pretend you’re reading a book you just love, you forget all about the time, might have to go to work in the morning, but don’t really care.

Or you’re reading a book somewhere, and just laugh out loud. Or find yourself crying. Or just totally forget about the world around you. You’re lost in a good book.

It’s just like jumping into another world. A fictional world. But when you’re crying about something in a book – you’re still crying real tears. Or when you laugh out loud about something, same thing.

Reading is an immersive experience, but more like it’s going on some kind of actual journey, like you’re actually in the book when you read it.

Also like to travel, so have always thought that it’d be fantastic if you could just go to some kind of celestial library and pick out any book from history, and just sort of…pop into it, and enjoy a little road trip to some strange place.

So, that was the initial spark that unwound into a whole story. Was thinking about it one day, and thinking, well, which book would be the most fun for a road trip?

Thought that Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland would be a lot of fun, but wasn’t keen on just writing about some character in her world, it didn’t seem that challenging.

Then thought, well, what if she was lost outside her book, in Victorian London? That might be interesting…but then really just felt like it wouldn’t be as much fun to write something set in our “real world,” because it might be limiting.

Finally thought, okay, what if someone loses her in another book, which turns out to be a crazy, colorful, magical world?

And then what if someone from our world has to go get her back, or all the books about Alice ever printed would just start vanishing, because, logically, if there’s no Alice in Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, then the story would slowly start unraveling, because the essential ingredient would be missing.

How would that affect our world? If chaos theory kicked in, there’d be real trouble. So, someone has to go get her.

And what if this someone had absolutely no idea how to survive in a much rougher, unpredictable, and magical world?

Hey, that might be fun…

That’s what started it off, then just kept going.

It was just really interesting, and also just wanted to see what happened next. Half the time (like Winnie and Henry themselves), didn’t even really have a map or a plan, just grit, and would just go on ahead.

The fortuitous thing is that eventually, the characters took over, and as long as I kept an eye out for where they were headed, the next guidepost on the road would just show up.

It sounds a little bit like hocus pocus, but that’s what happened.

3. Tell us a little about the characters in Random Magic, particularly Winnie and Henry.

Henry, who’s technically aristocracy, even though he’s young at the time of the story, has had a really privileged upbringing. His environment is safe, predictable, and a bit dull.

He really hasn’t had to fight for much at all. He’s lazy in school because his future has already been decided for him; he’ll inherit Witherspoon Castle, a title, a secure position in society and a great deal of money.

He’s basically good-natured and likeable, helpful and easygoing, but he’s never had any conflict or trauma in his life, and never been forced to think on his feet or fight for his piece of bread.

Then he lands in Winnie’s world, which is serious trouble. Luckily, he also meets Winnie.

Winnie has lived a life completely different from Henry’s insulated experiences.

She was abandoned at birth, and had to survive in harsh circumstances, with no one to help her.

So, she’s necessarily much quicker, in every way. She thinks faster. She moves faster. She acts more quickly, she reacts more quickly.

She’s blunt to the point of rudeness. Her morals are ambiguous, and she’ll use violence to defend herself or anything (or anyone) she cares about.

She’s resourceful, cunning and brave, and solves problems logically and quickly. But if smarts aren’t sufficient and violence can’t be avoided, she uses her fists.

For Winnie, every element of her character developed that way out of sheer necessity. If she wasn’t as resilient, tough and wary as she is, she wouldn’t have survived. It’s as simple and brutal as that.

Of course, when they meet, it’s a bit like, as Baron Samedi observes later in the book, a lamb meeting a hawk.

But each of them has something to learn from the other…

4. Are you a full time writer and what is the hardest part of writing for you?

Full-time writer, yes. Full-time working writer, not always.

And there’s the hardest part of writing, right there.

The actual writing is never the hard part. The hard part is finding enough gigs to make enough dosh to buy the time needed to write longer works, like Random Magic.

Writers need time to think, time to research, time to write out their stories, time to edit, and time to proof, then rewrite if necessary.

That’s a lot of time!

Unless you’re independently wealthy -- hey, that’d be nice -- then you really do have to compromise, fight, make do, think creatively, be resourceful, able to live on a thin dime when necessary, and just be bloody-minded, generally.

If you’re writing all the time but not working, then you starve.

But if you’re working all the time, then you’re not writing. You have to find a balance that works, and keeps on working.

So, you might work for a stretch of time, then try to steal a stretch of time for yourself where you can just write.

Also, you have to make that your priority, because you end up making a lot of other sacrifices, some very major ones, along the way.

Can you do it, though, yes, of course. If you have a strong will and keep going where other people would give up, you can do anything. (That’s something that Henry learns from Winnie’s actions -- and of course she’s right.)

You have to really have grit and passion and belief in a particular project, though, or you won’t make it. It’s just that hard.

5. Random Magic is your first published novel. Can you tell us a little about you experience with having a novel published.

It was a hell of a lot of work, a lot of sacrifices, agita, drama, anguish, vexation, blood, sweat and tears.

And would do it all again.

6. What are you currently working on?

A nap!Again, I would like to thank Sasha for stopping by. If you are interested in Random Magic - you can find it on Amazon.

You can find my review of Random Magic here:

http://michellesramblins.blogspot.com/2009/08/review-random-magic.html

Here is the full blog tour list. Stop by and find out what other readers think of Random Magic - you may find a new blog to follow. :)

M

3/Oct. 18
Aimee

My Fluttering Heart

http://myflutteringheart.blogspot.com/

tw: http://twitter.com/aimeefluttering

tour bio

4/Oct. 20

Allison

Well-Read Reviews

http://www.wellreadreviews.com

tw: http://twitter.com/wellreadreviews
tour bio

review
author interview
other book mentions: friday firsts meme
other book mentions: sunday salon meme
other book mentions: J.Kaye comments

5/Oct. 22
Casey

A Passion For Books

http://casey62588.blogspot.com/

tw: http://twitter.com/casey625
tour bio (to be added)


6/Oct. 24

Kim

And Anything Bookish

http://andanythingbookish.blogspot.com/

tw: http://twitter.com/sunxxmoon
tour bio (to be added)

6b/Oct. 25
Kate
The Neverending Shelf

http://neverendingshelf.blogspot.com/2009/09/random-magic-tour.html
Alt: The Other Shelf (Tour site)
tw: http://twitter.com/neshelf

tour bio (to be added)

7/Oct. 26
Trisha Lynn

Trisha’s Book Blog

http://trishasbookshelf.blogspot.com

tw: http://twitter.com/trishalynn0708
tour bio

7b/Oct. 27
Becky
The Bookette
http://thebookette.blogspot.com
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio (to be added)

8/Oct. 28

Brande

Book Junkie

http://myfoolishwisdom.blogspot.com

tw: (not on Twitter)

tour bio
review
author interview
Brande's alter ego: Winnie

9/Oct. 29

Jenny

Take Me Away

http://takemeaway-jennala9.blogspot.com/

tw: https://twitter.com/JennyTakeMeAway

(Related: Doing Alice in Wonderland challenge, Sept.1, 2009 - Aug. 31, 2010)
tour bio (to be added)

10/Oct. 30

Elnice

Ellz Readz

http://ellzreadz.blogspot.com/

tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio


11/Oct. 31 (Halloween)

Mariah

A Reader’s Adventure

http://mariah-readingadventure.blogspot.com/

tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio (to be added)


12/Nov. 2

Cat

Beyond Books

http://beyondbooks.ca/

tw: http://twitter.com/beyondelsewhere
tour bio


13/Nov. 3

Jill

The O.W.L. Blog

http://owlforya.blogspot.com/

tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio


14/Nov. 4

Juju

Tales of Whimsy

http://talesofwhimsy.blogspot.com

tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio


14b/Nov.9

Charity Lynn

Keep On Booking

http://keeponbooking.blogspot.com

tw: http://twitter.com/CharityGamble
tour bio


15/Nov. 10

Alaine

Queen of Happy Endings

http://alainereading.blogspot.com

tw: http://twitter.com/madscrapper
tour bio (to be added)


16/Nov. 11

Tina

Tina’s Book Reviews

http://willowdustreviews.blogspot.com/

(alt: http://blogwithbitereviews.blogspot.com/)

tw:
tour bio


17/Nov. 12

McKenzie

The Book Owl

http://thebookowl.blogspot.com/

tw: (not on Twitter)

tour bio (to be added)

18/Nov. 13

Willow Raven

Red House Books

http://redhousebooks.blogspot.com/

tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio (to be added)


19/Nov. 15

Emily

What Book Is That?

http://whatbookisthat.blogspot.com/

tw: http://twitter.com/heynocupcake

tour bio (to be added)

20/Nov. 17

Jenn

Fallling Off The Shelf

http://fallingofftheshelf.blogspot.com/

tw: (not on Twitter)

tour bio (to be added)

21/Nov. 18

Nicole

Books!

http://my-book-views.blogspot.com/

tw: (not on Twitter)

tour bio

22/Nov. 20

Bianca

Wicked Good Reads

http://wickedgoodbooks.blogspot.com

tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio
Bianca's alter ego: Nevermore

23/Nov. 21

Michelle

The True Book Addict

http://thetruebookaddict.blogspot.com/

tw: http://twitter.com/truebookaddict

tour bio

24/Nov. 23

Andrea

The Little Bookworm

http://thelilbookworm.blogspot.com

tw: http://twitter.com/lilbookworm
tour bio

24b/Nov.24
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
Strange & Random Happenstance
http://strange-and-random-happenstance.blogspot.com
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio

25/Nov. 25

Eleni

La Femme Readers

http://lafemmereaders.blogspot.com

tw: http://twitter.com/lafemmereaders
tour bio
vlogs (books)
review
author interview
reader notes: trivia
reader notes: book themes

6 comments:

Carolyn Crane said...

Wow, what a great concept for a book! It's not my regular PNR or UF read either, but it sounds really fun.

I also enjoyed reading your thoughts on the work/write balance. Very tough!

Is this in HC or paperback?

Michelle G said...

Carolyn,

This is a trade paperback. :)

M

Carolyn Crane said...

Okay! LOL. Thanks.
After I left that comment I was like, I guess I could just LOOK!

...MY NAME IS ELENI AND I AM A BOOKAHOLIC... said...

Cool beans! That was a nice interview :) I look forward to my post to close out the tour! Good job Michelle!

-Eleni

Blodeuedd said...

Nice interview, I like to know more :) I have to check that review again and refresh my memory

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Michelle!

This sounds like it could be a fun read, great interview!

I'll try to catch some of the other tour stops!

Dottie :)