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Happy New Year Everyone! I hope that you have had a Happy Holiday Season--whatever holidays that you celebrate. I am looking for a good year in many ways. Hope you are excited too.

I have so much going on today. I’m excited to have debut author Sara Holland here to share about her YA fantasy EVERLESS. The world Sara created where time is extracted from blood sounds fascinating. And her book has been getting great reviews. I honestly can't wait to read it.

Before that, I have my first IWSG post and I'm also participating in the Flaming Crimes Blogfest today too. I'm going to start with my IWSG post.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of the month is officially Insecure Writer's Support Group Day.

The co-hosts this month are Co-Hosts: Tyrean MartinsonThe Cynical SailorMegan MorganRachna Chhabria, and Jennifer Lane

Optional Question: What steps have you taken to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

I haven't really put a schedule in place for my own writing, which I know is a problem. Even though I have work, this blog, producing my boyfriend's two plays, and my mom moving from Florida in spring to independent living where I live, I want time for my own writing. And I'm committed to somehow write on a regular schedule.

How will I do this? Not 100% sure. But I'm planning to read this month's IWSG book club book, THE WEEKEND NOVELIST, by Robert Ray to help me figure it out. On the bright side, I have used the extra time I've had in November and December due to a week each month without work or pay as a contract writer to get in a more regular schedule of working on my manuscript. I have 76 pages solidly done. I'll keep you posted.

Now onto my interview with Sara. First, here’s a blurb from Goodreads:

In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

Hi Sara! Thanks so much for joining us!

1. Tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.

I’ve been writing on and off for as long as I can remember—one of my earlier memories is my parents had gotten me one of those kits where you write and illustrate on a set number of pages and send it to a factory to be bound up into a hardcover book. It featured a girl making friends with a friendly sea monster and bringing him to live in her backyard pool.

Growing up I always loved YA and knew I wanted to write it, but I also loved helping other people with their writing and talking books with like-minded peers. So after college, I headed to New York to try to land a job in publishing, and ended up at a literary agency. I love it—all books, all the time!

Through all those years, I was writing—I started various projects and even finished a couple of manuscripts, but nothing really felt up to par until EVERLESS came along.

2. I remember those books. I wanted to get one for my daughter, but she hated writing. Where did you get the idea for EVERLESS?

The very first thing that pulls me into a story is often an image, and that was the case here: I saw a barefoot girl kneeling by an icy lake. I didn’t know who she was or why she was there, only that she had lost something important and she was grieving. I wrote a scene based on that image, which became one of the cornerstones of the story—it remained relatively unchanged throughout the manuscript’s extensive revisions, and now appears in Chapter 7 of the finished book!

3. Ooh, I'll have to remember to pay special attention to that chapter. I love how you created a world where time is extracted from blood and used as payment. What an idea! Where did you come up with it and what was your world building process like?

I sort of feel like at its core, it’s not that fantastical a concept. We have the idiom that “time is money,” and even in the real world the two are connected in all sorts of ways. When I started working on EVERLESS, I’d just gotten out of college and I was working multiple jobs. With pretty much two shifts a day every day, every hour had to be planned out if I wanted to get any writing done. And I later realized that I had unconsciously started to weigh everything in terms of time and money—like, was such-and-such social event worth the twelve dollars I could make at work in that time? So the link between time and money already existed for me, as I think it does for most people who worry about money at some point or another. When I was writing, then, the magic system and the world of Sempera actually came pretty easily—it felt like I was just taking what was already an abstract reality and making it concrete.

5. I think we've all had those totally planned out times of life. That's great how you used it to shape your world. Share a bit about Jules and how she evolved as a character.

I love Jules. (Probably that’s the case for every author with their MC, but still!) She’s smart and brave but also tends to assume she knows best and consider no other possibilities, which of course comes back to bite her in the butt. Still, the most important thing to her, what drives her, is her relationships with other people. She initially goes to the Everless estate to save her father, but once there she forges a number of other friendships and bonds, and it’s these that keep her grounded and sane when her sense of self begins to shift. It’s funny—it usually takes me a long time to discover who a character is, but Jules felt pretty much fully formed from the start.

6. What was road to obtaining an agent and a publishing contract like?

My journey was a little untraditional because I worked with Glasstown Entertainment—a company founded by YA authors Lauren Oliver and Lexa Hillyer, which comes up with concepts for stories and then collaborates with up and coming authors to make them come to life. I’d previously submitted to one of their editors, the wonderful Alexa Wejko, and she remembered me. So when the right project came up later, she reached out to me, and it went from there!

7. That's awesome that you worked with Lauren! And what a great story of getting published. What was something that surprised you about working with your agent or editor?

I honestly didn’t expect working with my editor to be so much fun! Since we’re both in New York,
when we got the chance, we would sometimes grab coffee or dinner to hammer out plot or characterization issues. I’ve had critique partners before, but I didn’t know how fun it would be to talk story with someone who knew the ins and outs of my book just as well as I did. We got a lot of weird looks in coffeeshops, discussing murder and betrayal and time manipulation, but it was more than worth it!

8. Okay, you're making us all jealous because you are going to coffee with your editor. That's so cool! How are you promoting EVERLESS? What are some of the things you’ve done to build your social platform since getting your book deal?

I hadn’t been doing much social media prior to my book deal, so there was definitely a bit of a learning curve. Before, the little I was doing was mostly on Facebook and Tumblr—I only dabbled in Twitter, and I didn’t do Instagram at all. But now, I’d say those latter two platforms are crucial: Twitter for following book and publishing conversations, and Instagram for reaching readers. I feel like I’ve started to get the hang of it, especially in the last few months since ARCs of EVERLESS have made their way out into the world. It’s so surreal to see people I’ve never met responding to my story, my words. I don’t think I’ll ever get over it!

I’m also doing a blog tour in the next few weeks, a launch party at a local bookstore, and recruited basically all of my family, friends, and coworkers into talking about EVERLESS every chance I get!

9. What are you working on now?

I just turned in a draft of the sequel to EVERLESS in to my editor, so I’m taking a short break to catch up on my reading before we dive into revisions!

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Sara. You can find Sara at

Twitter: @Sara__Holland
Instagram: sarahollandwrites
Website: sarahollandwrites.com

Sara has generously offered an ARC of EVERLESS for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment through January 20th. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. This giveaway is U.S.

And I'm also excited to participate in the Flaming Crimes Blogfest to celebrate follower Chrys Fey's release of FLAMING CRIMES.

Prompt: What is something ridiculous you would save if there was a fire?

I'm sorry, but I am too practical and sentimental these days to grab anything that wasn't meaningful to me. Here's three things I would try to get:

My favorite baby picture of my daughter and my favorite of my daughter, late husband, and me
A little of my husband's ashes that I saved
A pair of earrings that my boyfriend gave me that I love and mean a lot to me

What about you? What would you grab?

Series: Disaster Crimes #4
Page Count: 304 
Digital Price: 4.99 
Print Price: 16.99
Rating: Spicy (PG13) 


BLURB: Beth and Donovan are now happily married, and what Beth wants more than anything is a baby. Her dream of starting a family is put on hold as fires burn dangerously close and Donovan becomes a victim of sabotage.

Donovan escapes what could've been a deadly wreck. Their past enemies have been eliminated, so who is cutting brake lines and leaving bloody messages? He vows to find out, for the sake of the woman he loves and the life they're trying to build.

Amidst a criminal mind game, a fire ignites next to their home. They battle the flames and fight to keep their house safe from the blaze pressing in on all sides, but neither of them expects to confront a psychotic adversary in the middle of the inferno.

Their lives may just go up in flames…

About the Author: Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept blending romance, crimes, and disasters. She’s partnered with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and runs their Goodreads book club. She’s also an editor for Dancing Lemur Press.

Author Links:

Here's what's coming up:

Monday, January 8th I have an interview with debut author Rachel Lynn Solomon and a giveaway of her YA contemporary I'LL MISS YOU WHEN I'M GONE

Wednesday, January 10th I have an agent spotlight interview with Elizabeth Bewley and critique query giveaway

Sunday, January 14th I'm participating in the Best of 2017 Giveaway Hop

Monday, January 15th I have an interview with debut author Elizabeth X.R. Pan and a giveaway of her YA contemporary THE ASTONISHING COLOR AFTER

Wednesday, January 17th I have a Call for Questions for Agent Peter Knapp who will pick questions to answer on Monday, February 5th

Monday, January 22nd I have an Agent Spotlight Interview with Molly O'Neill and query critique giveaway

Monday, January 29th I have an interview with debut author Gwendolyn Clark and a giveaway of her YA fantasy INK, IRON, and GLASS

Hope to see you on Monday!


Jennifer Lane said...

Hi, Natalie! That's so cool that you produce plays for your boyfriend--you sound like quite the artistic pair. And I love how Sara started writing by getting her own book bound as a child. Happy writing! A lot of progress can be made over the weekends, but I'm also looking forward to more chilled-out weekends by taking a break from writing.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Those are sentimental things that I don't blame you for grabbing.
Seventy-six pages is a great start!

mshatch said...

Congrats to Sara! Everless sounds very intriguing!

Jennifer Hawes said...

Everless sounds awesome! What a unique idea for a novel. Congrats on your great beginnings. Keep it up! I know it's hard when there's a lot going on in your life.

Tamara Narayan said...

I love the cover art for Everless! And the concept makes perfect sense to me: time literally as someone’s life blood. I’ll throw my hat in the ring for a free copy:

tamara (dot) narayan (at) gmail (dot) com

Loni Townsend said...

Great interview, congrats to Chrys, and I hope The Weekend Novelist helps you figure out how to gain more time!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Natalie, hope you had a great New Year. 76 pages is a good achievement!

Rachna Chhabria
Co-host IWSG
Rachna's Scriptorium

Yolanda Renée said...

Now that's a schedule! Wishing all success!
Congrats to Chrys!
Happy 2018!

Chrys Fey said...

You're producing plays, too? Wow. You do it all. :D

Ridiculous can still be meaningful to you. Actually, it is meaningful to you but could be silly to others. :)

I hope The Weekend Novelist helps you!

Happy New Year!!!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Many authors start out writing publishing house projects. It's a great way to begin.

I'm in the same place as you with writing, Natalie.

Jemi Fraser said...

Time as a currency is a brilliant concept - the book sounds terrific!
I'd probably save photographs as well - so important
Finding a schedule is hard. My life is wacky as well - so I just keep doing my best when I can. Good luck and all the best in 2018!!

Donna K. Weaver said...

I really like the time = currency idea. I'll have to think about that one.

Gorgeous cover on that book!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Congrats to Chrys and Sara!
Sara - I love that you had an image to work toward for your novel. I have written towards images like that, too and I find them to be anchors in my writing.
Natalie - way to go on those 76 pages! I am looking forward to hearing more.

Bish Denham said...

You've got a lot on your plate! I'm very interested in the premise of Sara's book, Everless, so please add my name to the hat!

Sherry Ellis said...

You do have a lot going on over here!

Your items you'd save from the fire are very practical. Good choices!

Pat Hatt said...

Sure great choices to grab. Have a lot going on indeed.

Having contacts sure is a good way to break on in.

Cathrina Constantine said...

It's great to have 76 pages solidly completed for the beginning of the New Year! Keep going! I can't seem to make a writing schedule with life happening all around me. I squeeze my writing time here and there.
Sara's book sounds unique and amazing. Love the cover and the title. I saw a movie with Justin Timberlake called In Time that sounds somewhat similar.

Happy New Year Natalie!!

Olga Godim said...

Your life is so busy, Natalie, it's amazing you find the time to write.
Fascinating interview, Sara.
Congrats on your new release, Chrys!

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

What an interesting interview. Congratulations, Sara. Best wishes for your writing.

Congratulations, Chrys. Those characters just find trouble wherever they are.

Natalie, good for you finding time to write for yourself with your busy life. Good luck with your goals.

Liza said...

Wishing you luck finding time with your writing! Sara's book premise is amazing. Love to read about ideas I've never heard of before. I'm with you on the practical stuff during a fire. Honestly, as long as everyone gets out safely...

Sarah Foster said...

Good luck with sticking to a writing schedule! I just started reading The Weekend Novelist today. I hope it helps me out, too.

Carol Kilgore said...

Great interview! I especially liked reading about how Sara came to write this book. Congrats!

Congrats also to Chris for her new book.

Gwen Gardner said...

Natalie, 76 pages is pretty solid progress. Good for you!

Sara, your book sounds intriguing. I'll adding it to my TBR list!

Wonderful interview, ladies! Thanks for sharing :)

Denise Covey said...

Hi Natalie. Lovely post today. I congratulate you on your writing progress. I'll be back to read more...


Unknown said...

Great interview! Thanks for the post, and happy writing. Also, happy 2018 to you! May it bring you joy and wonder. :)

Juneta key said...

If it is meaningful to you it matters. Congrats to Sara. Happy 2018. Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Wow. You do have a lot going on. Good luck with getting your writing schedule on track. Congrats to Chrys and Sara. They both have really great covers.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Best wishes for finding the schedule that works.

Congrats Sara. Looks like I'll have to set up an Instagram account.

Diane Burton said...

Sentimental things to grab. Good choices. Congrats to Sara. Best wishes for 2018.

C.D. Gallant-King said...

That's a huge blog post! So much great stuff happening to start the year!

And creating, and sticking to, a writing schedule is such a bear. Life happens. We write what we can when we can. Keep going!

dolorah said...

Thats a lot going on in your life. I don't have a specific writing schedule either, but I'm hoping to get a lot more writing done this year.

S.P. Bowers said...

Hope your holidays were fabulous! I don't have a specific writing schedule, but I do have a commitment and a drive to write so I know I'll make time for it.

Everless seems like an interesting book. I love that it started over one scene, one thing she had seen.

Cherie Reich said...

It sounds like you have a great start to your novel, Natalie.

Ooo, Everless sounds like such a cool book. Congrats, Sara!

Danielle H. said...

Everless is on my TBR because it sounds so unique and intense, therefore, fun to read. I shared on tumblr: http://yesreaderwriterpoetmusician.tumblr.com/post/169314408537/sara-holland-interview-and-everless-giveawayiwsg

Nick Wilford said...

An excellent premise to Sara's book - disturbing but intriguing. Congrats to her. Hope you manage to get some writing scheduled, Natalie.

Stephen Tremp said...

Producing a play sounds like a lot of work but a lot of fun too. And best wishes to Sara and Holland for 2018!

Tiffany J said...

Fun interview, interested in reading

Angie Quantrell said...

Oh, sounds fascinating! Congratulations! And Happy New Year! Best wishes for the writing schedule! Angelecolline(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Cynthia said...

Good luck juggling with what you're juggling, Natalie.

Sara, congratulations on your new book!

Cathy Keaton said...

The Weekend Novelist. I've heard of that book. I hope it helps you out with your busy schedule.

DMS said...

Your schedule sounds very busy! Hopefully you can carve out some writing time. Maybe just a short pocket to begin with and then see if you can add more.

Everless sounds interesting. I remember a movie with Justin Timberlake where time was the currency (though the story was much different from this one). I thought it was a fascinating concept- so I am very intrigued. Plus- look at that gorgeous cover! I would love to win a copy. :) Thanks so much!

Love seeing Chrys here today too! Wishing her the best with Flaming Crimes!

Happy New Year!

Christine Rains said...

Congrats to Sara! I get images in my head that give me ideas as well.

Good luck, Natalie! The Weekend Novelist is good if you're a plotter. He explains things simply and well.

Leela said...

Thanks for the giveaway!

Julie Flanders said...

I'm going to read the Weekend Novelist too - that pick was announced at just the right time for me! Gives me hope that I can put together a plan for the year too.
Great to meet Sara and big congratulations to her!!

Leslie S. Rose said...

Love the cover for Everless. Congrats to Sara and thanks for the uplifting interview.

Michelle Wallace said...

Work, blogging, producing two plays, and moving your mom closer to you... sounds like you have a full load!
Good luck with the writing, Natalie. Just keep going...
Happy 2018!

The Cynical Sailor said...

Congrats to Chrys and Sara on their releases and all the best to you with your writing. Have a fabulous 2018 :-)

Unknown said...

I can't wait to read this! It sounds like such an awesome concept! :)


Lisa Mandina said...

I am a follower as buffywnabe at gmail dot com. Love the interview! Thanks for sharing all of this.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a really cool idea! Thanks for the giveaway.

Alexia Chantel said...

Time is our most precious thing. This book sounds amazing!

And who doesn't think about what you'd want to grab if your house were on fire?! If my family and puppy were out of the house already, I'd grab my laptop.

eyesofblueice (at) gmail

Megan said...

This book sounds AWESOME! And I love the cover. I'd LOVE to be entered in the giveaway! <3 <3
I'd be so incredibly happy if I won!
I follow on GFC as Megan S. (megan(dot)clarsach(at)gmail(dot)com)
I also posted on twitter here : https://twitter.com/WordsThatStay1/status/952491607428878336

Karley Moore said...

I can't wait to read Everless! It looks like a fabulous read!

Gabi said...

I haven't read YA in a long time, but I think Everless is going to pull me back in. I'm excited to read it!

yellowlabs said...

I am very excited about reading this book. Thanks for the chance to win!