Sara Holland

Author of: Everless

AUTHOR BIO:

Sara Holland grew up between small-town Minnesota and the countless fictional worlds of books. She graduated from Wesleyan University and worked in a tea shop, a dentist’s office, and a state capitol building before heading to New York to work in publishing. These days, she can be found exploring the city’s bookstores or finding new ways to put caffeine in her bloodstream. Everless is her debut novel and is followed by Evermore.

To learn more about Sara, connect with her online:

Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Website

INTERVIEW:

+ What can readers expect from EVERLESS that they wouldn't gather from reading the summary?

SH: The girls Jules meets at Everless—the bubbly Ina and the mysterious Caro—and the friendships she forms with them, are a crucial part of her arc and get lots of page time (and even more in book two!). My most important (and complicated, and joyful, and fraught) relationships as a teen were with other girls, an experience I think a lot of us share. So I wanted that to be reflected in Jules’ story as well.

+ How did the story idea for EVERLESS first come to you? Did you have Jules in mind as the MC from the start?

SH: Stories typically first arrive to me in the form of images. In this case, I had this image of a girl kneeling by the side of an icy lake. I knew she was grieving and angry, I knew she’d just lost something dearly important, but I didn’t know what, or how she’d gotten there, or what would happen after. I set about excavating her backstory and figuring out what she would do next, and soon had the bones of a story!

+ What was the inspiration behind the sub story within EVERLESS of the Alchemist and the Sorceress?

SH: I always love stories-within-stories. Narratives of all sorts—myths, sacred texts, books, film and so on—are so much a part of our societal bloodstream, and I love seeing that reflected in fictional worlds. I knew I wanted to include a sub story within EVERLESS, and I wanted it to be about two women, since that bond is seldom explored in our culture compared to friendships between men or relationships between men and women. And the story of the Alchemist and the Sorceress grew from there.

+ How does working at a literary agency affect how / what you write? What is your biggest takeaway from your job that helped you along your publishing journey?

SH: I know from my day job that nothing in publishing ever goes exactly according to plan, so that’s given me some extra perspective as an author; I’m able to look past the normal hiccups and see the bigger picture. Too, as an agent, I get to work with people from all corners of publishing, so I know a little bit—not much!—about the many and varied responsibilities people have. That’s given me a deep appreciation for everyone in all departments who worked on EVERLESS, even the ones I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting—so if you’re reading this, thank you, truly!

+ What does researching for a book look like for you? Was there anything interesting that you discovered while researching that greatly impacted the story?

SH: Historical research I must admit is not actually a huge part of my process. It’s more focused on technique—I’ll pick up another YA book and dissect the text to see how the author dropped the breadcrumbs for a big twist, or subverted tropes in a clever way, or used language to show a hidden facet of one character or another. Luckily my partner is a huge world history nerd, so if I need to know, say, what a certain carriage would look like or how plumbing might work in this imaginary castle, I can just ask him.

+ Congrats on EVERLESS being your debut novel! Did you do anything special to celebrate this amazing achievement?

SH: Thank you! I met up with my amazing editor and fantastic publicist and we went around to the various bookstores in New York, signing copies and taking pictures. It was freezing cold, but remains one of the most exciting days of my life!

+ Can you share what you are currently working on? Do you have anything planned to write outside of the fantasy genre?

SH: I can’t share much at the moment, but ideas are percolating! I don’t know if I could ever leave fantasy behind entirely, but I’ve always loved contemporary fantasy—anything that makes me believe magic exists in our world, that it could be right around the corner. I would love to write something along those lines someday.

+ What is the last book that you've read that you would rate 5/5 stars?

SH: I’m halfway through THIS MORTAL COIL by Emily Suvada right now, and can already tell it’s going to be a five-star read! It’s a twisty sci-fi that uses fascinating technology in super-imaginative ways, yet always feels grounded and emotionally true.


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