Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Authors Day Thursday, Sarah Prineas

Okay I'm super excited to have Sarah Prineas here today.  For those of you who don't know about her, she is the author of  the Magic Thief books.  You can visit her website here.  Mrs. Prineas is one of the authors who made me want to write middle grade fantasy.  Please enjoy the interview!  (Cause otherwise I'll be sad.)

When did you start writing?
I came to writing pretty late--not until my 30's when I had a new baby and was living in Germany and was lonely and bored.  Writing was an escape from that, and to my astonishment it was something I loved doing. 

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

After a few years of what I call my writing "apprenticeship," I wrote The Magic Thief and realized that this was my Thing. I had a whole 'nother career going at that point, but once The Magic Thief was published I realized that writing was the career I was meant to have. 

How much did you write before you were published?
I got hugely lucky--the first story I ever wrote was requested by an editor and then published.  After that I spent a few more years writing and publishing more stories before attempting a novel.  

What is your favorite part of writing?
Writing is my favorite part of writing!  :D  What I mean by that is the joy of being immersed in a story so that the world falls away and the plot and characters feel present and real.  Then that next idea comes along and it's incredibly exciting and fun. 

What's you least favorite part?
Because I'm a "pantser" who often doesn't know what happens next in my books until I write them, I sometimes hit a plot snarl that takes a while to untangle.  Then I have to go back and figure out where I went wrong and set everything right before I can continue.  

 Can you describe your debut book for us?
Sure!  The Magic Thief is a fantasy adventure story about a gutterboy-thief named Conn who steals a wizard's magical stone and sets off on his own journey toward becoming a wizard--and saving his city from a terrible evil.  More info is on my publisher's book website: or on my website,

What does your writing process look like?
Like traffic on an L.A. highway--stop and go!  I tend to write a lot and then let it sit, and then get inspired and zoom along again.   

How did you come up with the idea for you amazing setting in The Magic Thief?
Wellmet is inspired partly by the winding streets of Victorian-era London, especially as portrayed in the novels of Charles Dickens.  The river running through Wellmet is like the Thames in London--it's also a little like the Iowa River, which runs through Iowa City, where I live

. If you could go back and re-write The Magic Thief Series, what would you change?
I think it meanders a bit at the beginning, so I'd tighten it up a bit and get the plot moving sooner.  Mostly I'm happy with the way it turned out. 

How did you get published?
The traditional way!  I got an agent who shopped The Magic Thief to 10 editors in NYC, and HarperCollins jumped on it pretty quickly and made an offer we couldn't refuse.  After that it was a whirl! 

Do you have any advice for writers looking to get published?
Yes, its advice that one of my best writing buddies, MG author Greg van Eekhout gave me, which is to Never Surrender.  Writing is hard, there are lots of setbacks, but you can't let that stuff hold you back--keep going.

Anything else you want to say?
Thanks for putting together such great questions!  Be sure to check out my new book, Winterling.  Here's a book trailer to whet your interest!

Happy reading!! 

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Winterling had a fantastic trailer (and a great book cover)! Just made my 'to be read' list ;)


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