Saaba Tahir, Author of An Ember in the Ashes | Speed Interview
The Children’s Book Review | May 14, 2015
Sabaa Tahir was born in London but grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s 18-room motel. After graduating from UCLA, Sabaa became an editor on the foreign desk at The Post. Three summers later, she came up with the concept for her debut novel, An Ember in the Ashes. Sabaa currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.
The Children’s Book Review: Which five words best describe An Ember in the Ashes (Razorbill, April 2015)?
Saaba Tahir: Adventurous, Brutal, Honest, Fast-Paced, Romance
If you had to take a vacation with one of the characters from your book, who would it be? Why?
I realize many of my readers would say Elias, (and, rightly so), but I’d probably want to hang out with Spiro Teluman because I’d want him to teach me how to forge Teluman blades. I guess it wouldn’t be much of a vacation for him—but I think it would be great fun.
What has been the best reaction from a reader of An Ember in the Ashes, so far?
I got a picture, via Twitter, of a reader who threw the book across the room when she finished because she loved it so much and really wanted more. That’s such a strong reaction that I knew I’d hit a nerve.:)
What’s on your nightstand? Any books?
I have about 50 books on my nightstand. They include: All the Light You Cannot Sea, Redeployment, The Carnival at Bray, Shadowscale, Circus Mirandus, The Tao of Motherhood and many, many more!
For your writing energy: sugar or salt, tea or coffee?
Both sugar and coffee! But no sugar IN my coffee. I just like something sweet as a counterpoint.
Writing tools: computer, pen and paper, or all of the above?
Computer, pen and paper. I end up getting a lot of inspirations from doodles and snippets of writing, so I usually have a notebook around.
Can you tell us one more thing we may not know about An Ember in the Ashes, your writing style, or yourself?
I spend a lot of my “writing” time staring off into space. I used to feel awkward about this until my mother told me that half of writing is dreaming. She was a writer as a young girl, so she would know.
Publisher’s Synopsis: Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.
LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.
ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.
When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.
Ages 12 and up | Publisher: Razorbill | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1595148032
This interview with Sabaa Tahir about An Ember in the Ashes was conducted by Bianca Schulze. Follow along with our content tagged with Romance, Sabaa Tahir and Young Adult Fiction to discover more great articles just like this one.