A warm welcome to another author whom I’ve not only had the pleasure to meet, but to have also worked with. Please welcome the founder of The Bloggers Bash, and published author, Sacha Black.
What’s the name of the book?
Keepers – Which is the first in the Eden East novels. It’s a Young Adult fantasy book in the same kind of vein as stories written by Sarah J Maas, Victoria Aveyard and Veronica Roth. While it’s protagonist is 17 years old, the story will appeal to anyone that like fast-paced, character-driven stories with killer twists.
What inspired you to write it?
The main character, Eden, came to me when I was nine and being bullied. I needed a hero to help me get through, and that’s what she was. But the core of my inspiration comes from my surroundings. I love travelling, and I’m a really visual person, which is probably why I’m so obsessed with the locations in my stories. Some of the places in the book are inspired by my experiences. In particular, a trek up to Mt Everest Base Camp when I was eighteen, a more recent trip to Sweden, a little quintessentially British village I lived in as a child, and last, a place I haven’t visited (but would love to) in China called Kowloon Walled City.
How long did it take you to write Keepers?
HA! Technically about 21 years! But in reality, five years. When I started my first draft, I didn’t know how to write, so I ended up writing three drafts from scratch because I was learning the craft at the same time as drafting. But if you look at the version I ended up publishing, then it probably about 6 months from the first word to pressing the big bad ‘publish’ button.
Do you have any plans for a follow-up book?
OHHHHH YEAH! Hehe. Keepers is part of a 6-book series, and I’m already nearing the end of the second book which I’m tentatively launching around the end of April/May. But I also plan to do some free short stories and a novella linked to the book too. Plenty to get my teeth into.
Where can people buy the book?
You can buy Keepers at any good bookstore online.
What three pieces of advice would you give to someone who wants to write and publish a book?
Never, ever let anyone tell you no. Sure, you’ll get rejections, but this is a game of persistence. So, if you want it, don’t stop till you get it. Be obsessively determined. I used to think my obsessiveness was a bad thing. Not anymore. It’s what gives me an edge, what makes me consume knowledge, and fight every day for my dream. It’s also what picks me back up after a rejection or negative review.
Create a habit. Doesn’t matter whether you’re a morning writer or a night owl. Just create it, stick to it, and show up. Treat your writing like a business, and it will become one.
Be prepared to market, no matter whether your self-published or traditionally published these days, you’re going to have to market. So, suck it up princess and get comfortable with saying, “I’m proud, this book is awesome, and you should read this.”
What does blogging mean to you?
Blogging means the world to me. If it weren’t for blogging, I’d never have started writing, nor would I have realised being an author was my dream. Not only that, but I’ve met some amazing people, some of whom have become my closest friends. The blogging community is so supportive, and that’s what makes it such a wonderful place to be. And how can I not mention the Bash? The Bloggers Bash (for those that don’t know, is an annual event where bloggers can get together and finally meet each other) has grown and grown and created an amazing community that I am so proud and honoured to be a part of.
What have you learned from being a blogger?
A lot. Not least of which is a deeply personal lesson – I can’t do it all. Blogging will always have a place in my heart, but it’s books that I want to publish. That was a hard lesson to swallow because I want to blog as much as I used to, and I just can’t. But I’ve also learnt about branding, author platforms, social media and marketing. Blogging has quite literally changed my life, and yet, I only started blogging one random night almost six years ago after a glass of rosé because I was in need of a place to rant! I find it mind-boggling that it’s the things you least expect in life that can have the biggest impact.
What do you think the future hold for you and your books?
The future is a massive sparkly unicorn. In the next couple of year, I will be writing full time. When I do, I will diversify my work a little. I’d like to do more speaking gigs, and I’d also like to develop courses – maybe one day I’ll even have the school of Books, Business and Bad Words (my tagline)! In the immediate future, it’s a lot more books, both non-fiction writing craft books and fiction although it might not always be fantasy that I write.
Thank you for joining us today, Sacha. Knowing how busy you are with the arrangements for this year’s bloggers bash and your writing schedule, it was lovely to talk to you.
If you have any questions or comments for Sacha, please leave them in the comments, and she will come back to you.
Connect with Sacha
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