Saturday, September 17, 2016

Wisdom for future authors from Sabaa Tahir

This past week has been a busy one for me, full of birthdays (kid #2 and me) and TWO book signings from best-selling authors in the same week!  LOVE IT!
Tuesday, September 13, I attended a signing with New York Times best-selling author Sabaa Tahir.  She is fantastic.  Patient and funny, she was seemed to really enjoy the interview with the co-sponsor (Emily from Main Street Books) and I honestly thought she wanted to be there. 
Now, this was only my second author event ever, my first being A Night of Magic, so I have to say, the other four ladies ruined me for author signings, but Sabaa was a very gracious host.  She even played a cute little trivia game and gave away tote bags with quotes from the book on them.  She also did not have a limit on the number of books to be signed, so I grabbed a couple for some friends of mine that couldn’t make it.  

There were some fantastic announcements made.  First of all, books THREE AND FOUR in the series are a GO!  YAY!  Woo Hoo!  Hooray!  Second of all, An Ember in the Ashes has been optioned for a movie, yes a real live movie on the big screen from a major studio.  Half of me is SO excited about this, and half of me is pessimistic that they are going to screw it up.  Because no one has ever said, "The movie was better." I'm super thrilled for what this means for her career, though.

Most importantly, during the Q&A portion, an audience member asked her if she had any advice for aspiring authors.  I was able to grab my phone quickly and record it, and I really liked what she had to say.  I want to share it with you all (Sorry for recording you Sabaa, it was really good advice, don’t hate me!)  You might need to turn it up, I was sitting towards the back.

 Also, don’t forget to check out Sabaa Tahir’s website or grab her books.  I’ve listed pictures and synopses below for you.  They are available at all major retailers and I’m sure most small bookstores as well.

A “deft, polished debut”  (Publishers Weekly, starred review), Sabaa Tahir‘s AN EMBER IN THE ASHES is a thought-provoking, heart-wrenching, and pulse-pounding read. Set in a rich, high-fantasy world with echoes of ancient Rome, it tells the story of a slave fighting for her family and a young soldier fighting for his freedom.

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, it's most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars' survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus's will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape...and kill them both. 

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