Happy Saturday! Today I’m happy to be a part of the cover reveal for The Awakened, a YA science fiction novel by Sara Elizabeth Santana. I “met” Sara through her blog, What A Nerd Girl Says, and I’m super excited for Sara and her new book! The official release date is December 1, 2015, so make sure to mark your calendars. It will be available in Kindle and paperback formats, and preorder will be available for the Kindle edition! I think the cover looks pretty fab:
Zoey Valentine is concerned with two things: surviving the multitude of self-defense classes her dad makes her take and avoiding Ash Matthews.
That is, until the Z virus hits, wiping out a third of the population in a matter of weeks. If that weren’t frightening enough, the bodies of the victims disappear and suddenly reappear, awakened from their dead state. They’re faster, smarter, and they work together to get the one thing they crave, human flesh.
The United States is in a panic and then the government decides the unthinkable: to bomb every major city overrun with the awakened.
Now Zoey is on the run, with her dad and Ash, desperate to find a place of safety amongst the ruined remains of the country.
Sara Elizabeth Santana is a young adult and new adult fiction writer. She has worked as a smoothie artist, Disneyland cast member, restaurant supervisor, nanny, photographer, pizza delivery driver and barista but writing is what she loves most. Her first story was written at age nine. She runs her own nerd girl/book review blog, What A Nerd Girl Says. Her favorite books are a tie between Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling and Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce. She lives in Southern California with her dad, five siblings and two dogs. Her debut novel is The Awakened.
As I announced last week, I’ve started a new weekly feature: the Friday Featured Author. I’ve seen my blogger friends run similar features on their blogs (so if some of these questions look familiar to you, I may have borrowed some of them…) and decided it would be a great way to introduce my followers to some amazing people.
This week I’m super excited to bring you blogger and contemporary YA author Sara E. Santana, author of Another Chance for Summer and A Little Less Than Famous. You can find her at any of the links below, and check out an excerpt from her work-in-progress, revealed here for the first time!
SES: I love writing and I love talking about books. I read more books than anyone I know and I constantly want to talk to them and I started noticing that my friends’ and boyfriend’s eyes starting to glaze over when I talked about books. I also had met my friend Jackie, who runs Seeking Bazinga, and I loved her blog and I thought “well, I could do that!” and I started my blog soon after that.
SL: When did you first start writing stories?
SES: I think I always kind of had a wild imagination. I have five younger siblings and I was always making up stories. I think I really realized that I was nine years old and I wrote a story in about a half hour for some assignment. I remember my teacher being alternately impressed that I accomplished and skeptical because I had accomplished. She showed all the teachers that were in the same building as us and I remember thinking, maybe I could be good at writing, because obviously sports were not working in my favor haha.
SL:Who or what most inspires your writing?
SES: My life inspires it a lot, or the people in my life. I see things that happen and I take a twist. I also daydream a LOT, and my curiosity on things is ALL over the place and I’ll wonder to myself, does this make a great story, could someone be as interested in this story as me? I also get inspired by various different authors that I read.
SL: On a similar note (pun intended), what music (genre, artist, etc.) most inspires your writing?
SES: Depends on the book. When I wrote A Little Less than Famous, I was listening to so much NSYNC and Backstreet Boys, I think my family was starting to get embarrassed. When I write my blog, I usually have Netflix going on in the background or just my ipod on shuffle. Right now, I’m working on my third novel and I’m listen to a mix of Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco, Grizzly Bear, Tame Impala, Imagine Dragons and the Cab.
SL:Who is your favorite author?
SES: Oh I have so many: J.K Rowling, Tamora Pierce, Cassandra Clare, Meg Cabot, Sarah Dessen, Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Morgan Matson, Rick Riordan, Libba Bray, and so many more.
SL: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
SES: I have met so many authors and I have asked them for advice every single time. I like hearing the different advice that comes from authors but you do tend to hear the same things over and over again, which shows how important they are. One thing that sticks out in my mind is to write write write, and to just FINISH something. I’ve also heard so many times that its okay to have a crappy first draft, its okay to write crap because you can work with that and make it better.
SL: What is your ultimate goal as a writer? (To write for pleasure? To be a best-selling author? Something else?)
SES: I want to be comfortable. I want my JOB, my CAREER, to be a writer. I want to publish novels and hopefully keep up with my blog. I don’t necessarily have to be a best-seller with my books being adapted for the big screen. I just want to be successful enough that it can be my every day job because all I want to do alllllll day is write.
SL: What are some of your favorite blogs to follow?
SES: Some of my fave blogs are: Seeking Bazinga, The Urge to Write, The Nerdy Girlie, The Perpetual Page Turner, City of Shadowhunters, FanGirlFeeels and Novel Reality.
SL: Tell me about your work-in-progress:
SES: I am currently working on a new novel, which follows the story of Evie Brennan, who lives in a baseball obsessed town. She lives for the game of baseball until something changes when she’s eighteen. Fast forward a few years, and she’s still in baseball town, playing assistant to Alex Young, a struggling but VERY hot shortshop. Evie has the potential to start a relationship with Alex, but her past continually gets in her way. Enjoy this small snippet that I haven’t released anywhere else!
I walked into the ballroom at the Worthington Hotel, Macon’s pride and joy, and immediately knew it was going to be a long night. Lucy spotted me as soon as I walked in and zeroed in on me as if I were a target and her the speeding arrow. A smile was spread across her face but her eyes spoke it all; she was on a mission and I would be a fool to resist her. I smiled back at her, amazed at how differently we had become, even in just looks, in the past few years.
“There are so many people I want you to meet,” she gushed, slipping her arm in mine and practically dragging me to the other side of the room. “The rookies this year? So delicious. You need to meet Simon Kennedy.”
“Simon Kennedy is nineteen years old,” I hissed at her, between my teeth, trying to keep my smile plastered on my face. I spotted Simon already and even though he was cute and a nice addition to the team, I wasn’t interested and I didn’t want to hurt any feelings either. I was looking for a personal assistant’s job, and I didn’t want to piss off anyone that could be a potential employer. I was tired of being my sister’s assistant.
“How do you even know who he is?” she asked, her eyes wide, hands planted on her hips as if she were still sixteen years old and not a twenty-two year old mom and wife of a famous baseball player.