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Debut Author Interview: Sacha Wunsch and Lies My Memory Told Me Giveaway and the IWSG Post

Happy Wednesday Everyone! Today I’m excited to have debut author Sacha Wunsch here to share about her YA psychological thriller Lies My Memory Told Me. It has such an interesting premise that makes me excited to read it.

In addition, Sacha is a founder of a new literary development company, As You Wish Literary. You can read about it in my interview with her in June. 

Here’s a blurb of Lies My Memory Told Me from Goodreads:

From the thrilling voice of Sacha Wunsch comes a heart-stopping psychological mystery in a world where memories can be shared—and one girl can’t trust any of them.

Enhanced Memory changed everything. By sharing someone else’s memory, you can experience anything and everything with no risk at all: learn any skill instantly, travel the world from home, and safeguard all your most treasured secrets forever. Nova’s parents invented this technology, and it’s slowly taking over their lives. Nova doesn’t mind—mostly. She knows Enhanced Memory is a gift.

But Kade says Nova doesn’t know the costs of this technology that’s taken the world by storm. Kade runs a secret vlog cataloging real experiences, is always on the move, and is strangely afraid of Nova—even though she feels more comfortable with him than she ever has with anyone. Suddenly there are things Nova can’t stop noticing: the way her parents don’t meet her eyes anymore, the questions no one wants her to ask, and the relentless feeling that there’s something she’s forgotten…


Before I get to my interview with Sacha, I have my IWSG Post.

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

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!

My awesome co-hosts for the October 6 posting of the IWSG are Jemima Pitt, J Lenni Dorner, Cathrina Constantine, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, and Mary Aalgaard!

Optional Question: In your writing, where do you draw the line, with either topics or language?

Well, I don’t ever want to write erotica, so that’s a line I’ve drawn. Because I write middle grade and young adult, I do have to be more careful with the language I use and the topics I present, especially for middle grade. Right now, I’m writing a young adult fantasy with some mob leanings. I’m okay with presenting more sensitive issues and using more adult language. I’m not going into graphic details though when I present things in the story.

What lines do you draw in your writing?

Interview With Sacha Wunsch

Hi Sacha! Thanks so much for joining us!

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

Hi Natalie, thanks so much for having me! It’s funny, I never dreamed I’d be a writer when I was a kid like a lot of authors do. I was a bit of a late bloomer when it came to writing. I was working an office job and there wasn’t enough work for me to fill the day with and wanted something I could do while I was bored sitting in front of a computer at work – and writing novels seemed to fit the bill!

2. I never imagined writing novels as a kid either. So funny that you started writing when you were bored at work. Where did you get the idea for Lies My Memory Told Me?

It was actually a happy chance encounter during a conversation with a friend. She was talking about how a relationship with another friend had deteriorated to the point where they had decided to part ways. My friend had this beautiful thought - that we all have these collections of memories in little, imaginary boxes.  She pictured herself as a little ballerina in one of these jewelry boxes of memories, which her former friend would take out every now and then and remember all the fond memories they shared. I loved that image so much – and the ballerina even made it into the book! 

3. What was your world building process for building your world and the new technology that Nova’s parents created?

New technologies come out and hit the scene so quickly nowadays, and it’s much the same in the world of Lies My Memory Told Me. There’s so much focus on both the benefits and potential dangers of technology, things like social media, screen time, appropriate content, etc. and I really wanted to explore that paradox and what it might look like in the not-so-distant future. With that in mind, I thought about how that could play out and how the tech could feel futuristic and yet accessible at the same time.  

4. How did you plot out your story and keep the tension building in it? What tips do you have for other writers who want to write a psychological thriller?

To keep the tension high, it was important to always stay close to what Nova was feeling as the events of the story unfolded. There had to be a sense of her finding things out at the same time as the reader – the idea being that Nova would be wondering about certain aspects of the story at the same time as the reader might be asking those same questions. She was very much as in the dark as anyone else coming to the book. In order to build the tension throughout the story, Nova had to be close to the tech (her parents invented it), and she had to have access to contrasting points of view on it, which other characters brought in. This gave Nova the opportunity to struggle with the opposing ideals, and in turn, struggle with intense emotional turmoil.  

5. That’s great advice on building up the tension. You’ve also written romantic comedy stories for adults. How has the process of writing for teens been different than writing for adults?

I actually started out writing for teens, and then my first adult rom-coms kind of morphed out of that, so I don’t find the process all that different, to be honest. Although now that I’m a stepmom of four, there’s a lot more thought about how difficult it is to be a teenager these days. There’s a lot of pressure that comes with growing up in the age of social media, so that was really at the forefront of my mind as I Lies My Memory Told Me. 

6. Yes, I bet you’re getting a good perspective on teenagers now that you’re raising four. What was a challenge you faced in writing Lies My Memory Told Me and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge was in finding Nova’s story. It took a while to discover who she needed to be in relation to the plot. In the first drafts, Nova’s parents weren’t as integral to the technology as they became in the final version. The first “world” of the novel was more far reaching – particularly the world of the tech. In the final version, the book became much more Nova’s – as in it was much more about how it affected Nova than how it affected the world in general.

7. What was your road to publication like?

It was quite a long and winding road, actually. I originally sold a different book to my publisher way back in January of 2019, which was supposed to be released last year. Unfortunately due to market conditions and a variety of factors that were no fault of my publishers or my own, that book never made it to the shelves. But my publisher, Inkyard Press, was amazing and allowed me to fulfill my contract with a new book, and that’s the one we’re talking about today!  

8. That’s great that your publisher allowed you to debut with another book. What have you been doing pre-release to promote your book and connect with readers, librarians, and teachers?

I’m actually a pretty strong believer that a writer is best served by doing what they do best – writing. The world we live in now can be difficult for someone who doesn’t necessarily love to be in the spotlight. Social media really puts pressure on us to put ourselves out there and to “be your brand”. And you can certainly see this very idea in my book!

It's actually been really difficult for me as an introvert to struggle with how much to put myself out there. It definitely doesn’t come naturally to me. That said, I am lucky enough to have an amazing publicist at Inkyard who helps source interviews, etc. Beyond that, I’m announcing events and celebrating online when a good review comes in.

9. I’m an introvert too, so it’s good to know that I don’t have to put too much pressure on myself if I ever get published. How are you planning to celebrate the release of your book and to market it?

The marketing has been going on for a while now, and so I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing with that. As far as celebrating I honestly don’t have any plans, I’m not all that sentimental, I suppose – I’m just hoping the day goes smoothly. J

10. What are you working on now?

I’ve got several projects on the go at the moment, but the one most closely related to Lies My Memory Told Me is a young adult novel with multiple timelines, tentatively titled LIFELINE. I was lucky enough to be awarded a Canada Council for the Arts grant for the project, which I am incredibly grateful for.

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

Instagram - @sachawunsch

Twitter - @sachawunsch

Giveaway Details

Sacha has generously offered a hardback of Lies My Memory Told Me for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower of my blog (via the follower gadget, email, or bloglovin’ on the right sidebar) and leave a comment by October 23rd. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest. Please be sure I have your email address.

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

Upcoming Interviews and Giveaways

Monday, October 11th I have an agent spotlight interview with Kristin Ostby and a query critique giveaway

Wednesday, October 13th I’m hosting Angela Ackerman to celebrate the release of the Conflict Thesaurus

Saturday, October 16th I’m participating in the Cheeky Pumpkin Giveaway Hop

Monday, October 18th I’ve got an agent/author guest post by Melissa Nasson and Alex Perry and a query critique and MG contemporary Pighearted giveaway

Monday, October 25th I have an agent spotlight interview with Ginger Clark and a query critique giveaway

Hope to see you on Monday!




Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Congratulations to Sacha!

I'd like to share Enhanced Memory with someone who's got a PhD in business! I'm regretting not taking any business classes in college, ha.

Liza said...

This is an amazing premise for a book. I am always in awe when folks come up with such creative ideas! Thanks, Natalie and congratulations, Sasha.

C.D. Gallant-King said...

Congrats to Sacha, her book sounds great. And an even bigger congrats on the CCA Grant! Jealous. ;-)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I don't know that I draw lines in the sand. I think it's more I just let the story do its thing then go from there. :)

Sandra Cox said...

Sounds like a great read and good to know how you kept the tension going.
'Lo, Natalie;)

Steph W. said...

Great interview. What an awesome idea for her novel.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Kids can handle dark as long as it's not detailed.
I'm glad I didn't grow up with social media.

Computer Tutor said...

Great interview--four kids? Oh my. My heart goes out to you.

Diane Burton said...

Fascinating interview. Best wishes to Sacha. Our readership does determine language and situations. Mostly, I write for adults. still, I'm careful with how much I want to share--no graphic violence or gory details. Enough of that in the real world. Hope you have a good month.

Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

I've drawn the same line :-) The book sounds awesome!

Ronel visiting for IWSG day as co-host The IWSG Goodreads Book Club

Tyrean Martinson said...

Lies my Memory Told Me sounds like a fascinating read, and the interview was great! Best wishes to Sacha!
And Natalie - I really hope to read your book someday. It sounds intriguing.

cleemckenzie said...

This seems like a very appropriate topic. AI and other tech are raising huge moral questions and will be at the forefront of discussion for quite some time.

Loni Townsend said...

Yep! Definitely have to tailor the writing to the audience. There are certain things I don't want my kids reading just yet.

Jemi Fraser said...

That's an awesome blurb - got a chill reading it!

I think genre/target audience definitely play a huge role in the lines we cross or don't in our stories :)

Erika Beebe said...

Congratulations to Sacha! The book sounds intriguing! I agree with your line. I'm the same :)

Carl Scott said...

Loving the concept. Congrats on the book's release. I'd love to have a copy of Lies My Memory Told Me. Thanks for the chance to win it. crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

Carl Scott said...

Tweeted: https://twitter.com/carlrscott/status/1445802238278991874.
Shared: https://www.pinterest.com.mx/pin/336573772160602069/
I also follow on Twitter: @carlrscott
Thanks again, have a great day!!

Leigh Caron said...

Lies My Memory Told me is a great title! And the story-line is intriguing. I've been looking for a good book to read.

Danielle H. said...

I am inspired that this author came up with her novel idea during a conversation with a friend. I think I need to train my brain to collect these ideas too. I shared on tumblr and can't wait to read this book and review: https://yesreaderwriterpoetmusician.tumblr.com/post/664318929464967168/debut-author-interview-sacha-wunsch-and-lies-my

L. Diane Wolfe said...

It sounds like Sacha made the book more relatable and personable by focusing on the main character's involvement with technology rather than the whole world.

diedre Knight said...

Hi Natalie!

Sacha's books sounds fascinating! I definitely want to read it!
Enjoyed the interview too. But then, I always do.

I agree with your answer to today's question. Would that social media and such be as cautious as we are. I feel like you get a lot closer to the truth of any matter (scene, character, storyline) without distracting vernacular.

Have a wonderful month!

Carol Kilgore said...

So true about having to be super careful about language and situations for kids and teens. It would be difficult for me. Great interview!

Denise Covey said...

Enhanced Memory sounds intriguing. Love psychological thrillers, my favorite genre.

Bish Denham said...

Sacha's book sounds really interesting. And I can relate to being an introvert. I think most writers are.

tetewa said...

I enjoy reading debuts by authors, this one sounds very interesting. Congrats on your release, would love to get a copy!

Liz A. said...

Great premise. Thrillers are so hard to write, the tension has to be there. This sounds exciting.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Oh my gosh, I love the premise of Lies My Memory Told Me.

And yes, audience makes a big difference to the topics and language used.

J Lenni Dorner said...

The history of the mob in America is really interesting, especially depending where you dig for information. That must be interesting to write for a MG audience.

Inkyard sounds awesome. I like the title of this book. I wonder how many of my memories are a little more "rose glasses" than actually happened.

(Blogger error on comment?)

Jenni said...

I really like the premise of this one too. It sounds really relevant, and I can tell the relationship at the core is strong as well.
I'm with you on how you have to be more careful with MG and even YA lines. Sounds like you're doing a good job of navigating that, Natalie.

Cathrina Constantine said...

I also write YA, and it can get dicey when it comes to certain situations. Hence, swearing and intimacy with teens and teenage angst and so on...I was surprised when I first read, Looking for Alaska by John Green. The language and situations were somewhat shocking, but nobody condemned him for his writing. It felt truthful. It's adults that read YA books that are offended, not the teenagers. However, my writings aren't as specific as Mr. Greens. LOL.

Chrys Fey said...

Lies My Memory Told Me sounds great. I love the concept. It’s very relevant to our times.

Emma L Gill said...

What a fantastic sounding book! Adding it to my ridiculously-long-to-be-read list. Thanks for another great interview :)

Gwen Gardner said...

Natalie, I write cozies, so no bad language, sex or violence and I’m good with that.

Sacha, so many of us writers are introverts. It may be what attracts us to writing? Congratulations on your new release. I loved your comment about keeping tension have by staying close to the MCs feelings. It’s a great tip!

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

Nice interview--good luck to Sacha with the new novel.

I'm another writer of cozy mysteries and sometimes kids' books, so language, sex, and violence are not on the agenda for my genres. But I also write flash fiction and short stories in other areas, and I still don't go there--because I'm really not comfortable with them. Reading, okay, if not in excess. But I just don't want to write them.

Rosi said...

Another informative and interesting interview, Natalie. Thanks for that. The books sounds great, but I will pass on the giveaway. Too many books here.

Beth Camp said...

Another month already? What an amazing interview with an intriguing story line and helpful suggestions for writers. Yes, please include me in the drawing for LIES MY MEMORY TOLD ME. This month's IWSG question really creates new links with other IWSG writers. Thank you for visiting my blog!

Victoria Marie Lees said...

Great interview, Natalie and Sacha. What a great premise.

You know, if we think about this books premise, isn't this what we are doing with our stories and books? We hope readers are "sharing someone else’s memory" and experiencing "anything and everything with no risk at all" from the comfort of our couch, reading. We can learn skills, although I wouldn't say "instantly," but certainly "travel the world from home" through story.

All the luck with this new release, Sacha!

Jennifer Hawes said...

Writing kid lit has its limitations, but I'm okay with that:) Sounds like a fascinating book!

DMS said...

What a great interview. I loved hearing hot Sasha got the idea for LIES MY MEMORY TOLD ME. It sounds like a fascinating book. I am definitely intrigued. Thanks for sharing and for the chance to win a copy. Wishing Sasha all the best!

Lidy said...

Congrats on your debut Sacha! Glad your book found a home with your publisher. Congrats on the grant and good luck with Lifeline.

Juneta key said...

Great interview, sounds like a great read too. Congrats on the grant, and thanks for visiting me. Yeah I have been on Angela and Becca's street team for a couple years now. This my 3rd release day with them. Their stuff is pretty great and helpful to the writer.

Leela said...

I'm an email subscriber.

Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction said...

This book sounds so interesting! I actually have a first draft of a YA book about how memory can fail us, so I find this whole concept really interesting. And I love hearing how the author came up with the idea for the sci-fi side of the story.

Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

Nancy P said...

Sounds intriguing. positive.ideas.4youATgmail.com BLOGLOVIN