Today’s special guest is young adult novelist, Sara E. Tall. We’re chatting about the second book in her Alpha Academy series, Piper’s Song.
During her virtual book tour, Sara will be giving away a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too.
The book is $0.99 during the book tour.
Sara’s enjoyed creating fantastic stories since she was old enough to hold a play sword, around the time she learned how to walk. Gradually she learned to direct her creative energy into writing, and it’s been a downward spiral ever since then. When she’s not writing she’s probably either dancing or reading batman comics. She also loves running away to the mountains of Utah and Montana. Nothing gets more fantastic that those views.
Please tell us about your current release.
Piper’s Song is the second book in my series, Alpha Academy. Billie is a half-human outcast who returns to the magical underworld Realm and finds it’s ripping itself apart from the inside. Her peculiar magic is making a difference in the Realm, but for better or worse remains to be seen.
What inspired you to write this book?
This is going to sound terrible, but Alpha Academy was originally just supposed to be my first series to teach me how to write, so when I wrote all my other stories, I was a better writer. The problem was, I fell in love with the story. Other Inspirations include the Mortal Instruments, The Winx Club TV Show, and Harry Potter.
Another interesting tidbit was that Misfit’s Rise, the first book, and Piper’s Song were originally one book called The God’s Song, but I split them up so everything wasn’t so squished together. It made them both so much stronger.
Excerpt from Piper’s Song:
“Leave her alone.” The words were out of my mouth before I could stop them. It took about a half a second for everyone’s eyes to swivel towards me, Sedna’s included. She looked like she wanted to tear my limbs off, one by one. I gulped.
And then she chuckled. “Billie, the hero, is here to save the day.”
I ignored the flush in my cheeks as I said coolly, “We both know she’s not the one you are mad at.”
And just like that, the smirk slipped off her face as her glower returned, like my candor had reminded her how much she hated me.
“It’s really cute how protective you are of your roommates,” she said coolly. “There’s one you might want to be a little more concerned about. She’s in the hospital. Her name is Artemis.”
I could swear my temperature dropped at the icy way she said Artemis’ name. I also couldn’t stop myself from looking down. My voice was small as I said, “I’m sorry for what—”
“Don’t,” her voice sliced through mine like a knife, “you dare apologize to me.”
For a moment, I really thought she was going to tear my limbs off, but she seemed too angry to move. No one else dared move either, even her friends. They just stared between the two of us, waiting to see who would break first.
It was me. “You want to pick a fight with me, fine.” I lifted my chin, trying to look more confident about that statement than I felt. “But leave her out of it.”
What exciting story are you working on next?
Alpha Academy is a series, so book three, Queen’s Fall, is set to be released this fall! I also have a Witch Academy series and a middle grade retelling of King Arthur in the works.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Interesting question. I think the moment you sit down to write something you enjoy or something that matters to you, you’re a writer. But I’m not sure I really started applying that title to myself until I graduated High School and started making writing a major part of my life. I finished my first novel my Sophomore year of College, and it’s been an amazing ride every since.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your workday like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I suppose you can say I write fulltime as much as a person with a part time job and whose addicted to road trips can write fulltime. My full writing days begin with some writing in the morning and end with some research in the evening. I’ll write anywhere from 1000-5000 words a day spread out through a couple projects. There’s also usually a couple hours of revising or plotting in between. It can be a pretty long day, but there are plenty of food/snack/Netflix breaks in between.
My biggest advice when it comes to balancing life and writing is to schedule out your time with specific time blocks set aside too write. Don’t overburden yourself, but finding consistent writing time, whatever your schedule allows, works wonders. I also like setting specific goals each day, week, and month of what I want to accomplish. This really helps my lay out smaller milestones for all my projects and keeps me accountable for what I do and don’t accomplish.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have an obsession with writing playlists. Every project has their own custom-made playlist, and in the later drafts of my stories I have specific songs that I write each of my scenes to. Of course, that might just be an excuse to listen to music more.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
For a long time I wanted to do something with animals. Zookeeper, veterinarian, and wildlife researcher were all pretty high on the list. When I started wanting to become a writer a lot of my stories were focused on animals. My first ever story had cats and dogs as the main characters. While I obviously moved away from that, I spend as much time as I can in nature and visit wildlife reserves to get my animal fix in.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Thanks for joining my virtual blog everyone. I love talking books and writing so I look forward to hearing your thoughts!
The book is $0.99 during the book tour.
Thanks for being here today, Sara.