Friday, July 20, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway: The First by Sara Zaske

Author: Sara Zaske
Series or Stand Alone:
             Stand Alone.
How I got it:
            By the author for an honest review
Pages: 170
Publisher: Sara Zaske
Genre: Young Adult / Urban Fantasy/ Eco-thriller
First Published: April 21, 2012
Buy it from: Amazon
Add to LibraryThing
FIRST LINE(S): "I should have never gone to the new girl's house. the walls didn't need to melt, and the ground didn't have to disappear under my feet to know I should have stayed far away from Violet Starkley."

The GIST (From Goodreads):

"Cassie Craig is not the chosen one. Not even close.

She's just an ordinary, 15-year-old California girl with a few problems. She talks too much. She has a crush on a guy in her school. She worries about her dad who is a Marine in Afghanistan.

Then, there's her new friend, Violet Starkey. The weirdest girl in school, Violet comes from a group of magical people who claim to be the first on earth.

When Cassie discovers that Violet has powers over nature, she will do anything to be her friend--all for the chance Violet might help bring her dad home.

But Cassie isn't the only one who wants Violet's powers, and she soon finds out just how dangerous it is to be the true friend of one of the most powerful magical beings in the world."

OPINION: Check Out My Full Review Coming Tomorrow!
OVERALL:  "The First" was slow going in the beginning but with kick ass paranormals, great characters and a fast paced storyline, I would recommend it as a fun and easy read.---8.5 out of 10

Please help me welcome Sara Zaske to my blog! She wrote a post about writing and, as an aspiring writer, I found it pretty inspirational. Enjoy!

It's all in my head: writing The First
(or how to write a novel when you have no time)

The First actually wasn't the first. The first book I wrote, which I'm now calling Spitfire, took forever, (um, I should say "is" taking forever because I'm going to revise it yet again), and I approached it with a serious work ethic. I made outlines. I plotted and re-plotted. What I didn't do was write. I didn't have much time. I was working a 9-5 job and a young child at home.

Flash forward four years. I finally finished Spitfire, but it didn't spark as much interest with agents as I'd hoped. I just had my second child, but this time, I could stay home with him for awhile. Which meant I would have some writing time, right? Yeah, not so much. I did have some time, but not to sit quietly in front of a computer. So I learned to write in my head.

I started with characters and voice. I daydreamed as I pushed a stroller about a normal girl who couldn't shut up and a powerful girl who was afraid to speak. I sleepwalked while imagining people with powers over nature, who could make huge waves or force animals to attack. Fortunately, the wee hours of the night trying to put a baby to sleep is an excellent time to think about magic. And as the characters came to life in my head, whole scenes started to take shape.

The most challenging part was putting a plot together this way. I really wanted my computer. I wanted quiet, undisturbed hours to plan. But that wasn't going to happen. Still, it was possible with a little imagination discipline. When I had those stolen moments to think and dream, I worked on imagining the big picture, not just scenes. I'd pose a "what if?" for my characters and carry it through to its logical end, over and over again.

So when I finally had some computer time, the book was almost written. Where Spitfire was a constant struggle, writing The First was fabulous fun. It was almost a relief to type out all the scenes I had played and replayed in my head hundreds of times. It was faster too. Spitfire took me four years to write. The First took one.

So to all my fellow writers with busy lives out there, you can find the time to write. There are always those moments waiting in the grocery line, the doctor's office, on the train, or for a child to finally fall asleep. Use them. You can just stare at the wall and be bored, or you could be starting your next novel in your head.

Thanks for the great post Sara!

Author Bio

Sara Zaske has lived a variety of places including eight years in Oakland, California where The First is set. A former journalist, she currently works as a freelance editor and writer in Berlin, Germany. She also hosts the book blog: YA Fantastic Book Review. Occasionally, she still dreams of California.

Sara is graciously giving one lucky reader a Ebook of "The First" through Smashwords though July 31st. It's International. Enter through Rafflecopter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway