Today we have a fun interview ahead of us, and a special one.
Happy release day, Sara Baysinger!
Her debut, Black Tiger, is officially out there in the book world and I couldn’t be more excited to be interviewing her on this occasion. Grab a blanket and a few pillows for my fun chat with Sara about inspiration and writing of her dystopian novel.
Sara Baysinger grew up in the heart of the Andes Mountains in Ecuador where she spent her childhood exploring uncharted lands and reading all things magical. She now lives among the endless cornfields of Indiana with her husband and two young children. Sara enjoys writing and reading anything out of the ordinary, and has a bad habit of zoning out at the most inopportune moments. She is currently considering seeking medical attention for her potentially life-threatening coffee addiction.
– Hi Sara! I’m so excited to have you on the blog! For those who don’t know you, can you share three words to describe yourself?
Thank you so much for having me! 😀 Okay. Three words. Introvert. SuperNerd. DinosaurHunter. (Sorry, that’s technically five words, but you get the idea. :P)
– I saw in your bio that you have chickens (which is totally cool!). Do you have any special names for them?
Of course! One can’t very well own chickens and not name them. 😉 Oh, you want to know their names? Hen Solo, Chewbocker, Princess Layer, Obi Wing Kenobi, and Luka Skyflocker. (Can you tell how nerdy my family is yet?)
– Their names are so awesome! Love it! I’ve noticed you have a love for nature via your Instagram account (you’re photos are awesome by the way!). How did that inspire scenes for “black tiger”?
I do! I am such a country girl at heart. And I’m so glad you asked this question. I grew up in the mountains of Ecuador, in a small village. We had a retreat center about 30 minutes away that was located in the middle of nowhere. Think “Lord of the Rings” type of landscape. It was magical. My sisters and I went there often to ride horses and explore. I definitely give all credit to this place for sparking my love for nature. I left that place behind in my childhood and my family had many moves since then, mostly to cities. But my husband and I just bought a house in the country (in Indiana) and it really takes me back to my youth. I love that I can step outside and instead of hearing the motors of passing cars, I hear the sound of crickets and birds chirping. Instead of the smell of car exhaust, I smell honeysuckle and just pure, fresh country air. I love taking pictures of all things outdoors because I’ve learned never to take for granted the beauty of nature. (You can follow my nature pics on Instagram at @livingontheburrow)
To answer your actual question, I wanted to somehow put into story my love for nature. I wanted readers to feel that longing for the peaceful countryside, to smell the air and hear the music of nature.
– That definitely sounds like a magical place to live and great inspiration as well. I’ve heard on numerous occasions that most authors can’t choose a favorite character, BUT I am curious about who you would want to hang out with for a day. Who’s the lucky character to hang out with their awesome author? What would you guys do?
Wow this is a hard question! I think I would definitely pick Rain from Black Tiger… as long as we were friends. (I would NOT want to hang out with him if we weren’t friends. He can seriously be a jerk sometimes.) As for what we would do? I don’t know. Visit the local library, maybe? 😉 (Totally giving away my nerdy side here.) Actually, it would probably be fun to go to theme park with Rain.
– I’m pretty sure I would pick Rain too, but definitely would want him as my friend. I could imagine it would be a blast going to a theme park. Coming from living in the country, how do you think your experience would be if you were suddenly thrusted from your home and into the city of Ky? Would it be similar to Ember’s? (hopefully without certain visits of a few places though, right?)
YES! In fact, I totally drew from my experiences to write Ember’s story. Like I said earlier, I grew up in a rural village and went out to the country often. When I was 13, our family moved to the city and I left all that behind. The city we moved to was HUGE (kind of like Ky) and slightly intimidating. I remember feeling trapped a lot of the time, because every time I stepped outside I was surrounded by buildings.
So to answer your question, if I were sent to Ky, I would probably feel very much like Ember did, wanting to leave it behind and return to the quiet country life.
– That must have been rough. Though I haven’t lived in the country, I could see myself reacting the same way as you and Ember. Alright, I gotta know! I’ve made it known to you that I’m #TeamRainAllDay, but who’s side are you on? Team Forest or Team Rain?
That’s seriously the best hashtag! Umm… I don’t know. I mean, I could be Team Forest, because he always has Ember’s best interest in mind, and he really does just want to keep her safe. But then, Rain is fun and exciting and a little…dangerous, so I could totally see myself being on Team Rain, too.
Hmm…I guess you’ll just have to wait until book two to figure out my answer. 😉
– I definitely cannot wait for book two! It should be interesting to see what your answer is. 😉 For my last question, if America suddenly had a Career Day similar to those in Ky, what career would you want and why?
I would be a writer, obviously! 😛 But I guess if I were a part of the Proletariat I wouldn’t have that option. In that case, I would definitely want a career in the Community Garden. Aaaand I would probably want to work in the orchard. <3
– Writing is awesome! I appreciate you stopping by today, Sara, and sharing a little about your chickens and Black Tiger.
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About Black Tiger
When the fire goes out, supposedly dead, the embers still remain; tiny specks of deadwood and ash that have the capacity to burn down an entire city.
Ember Carter is a sixteen-year-old farmer’s daughter who wants nothing more than to stay close to her family in the Community Garden when Career Day approaches. Unfortunately, all farming careers are given to boys, and besides, as of the past two years, all students have been drafted to the Line of Defenders to fight in a war no one seems to know about. When Ember meets Forest, the mysterious stranger who seems to know a bit too much about city life and the way the government is run, she’s even less eager to leave the safe haven of the Garden.
On Career Day, the future couldn’t look brighter when Ember is the only student assigned the career of a Farmer. But all hopes come to end when she attacks a Defender to save her best friend. Suspected a rebel and sentenced to death, she’s transferred to Frankfort Prison where she will carry out her sentence.
But Frankfort is full of surprises and snotty Patricians. While in prison, Ember learns a dark secret about Forest that makes her question what little she knew about him. And then there’s Rain,the carelessly handsome boy who enjoys instigating her just a bit too much. If THAT’S not enough, the world learns something about Ember even she doesn’t know. A secret that brings her character into question, enlightens her on her mother’s true identity, and ultimately, gives her the power to affect the rise or fall of Ky.
With the handsome Forest tugging at her heart, and the rogue Rain whispering treasons into her ear, can Ember make the right decision that will redeem the corrupt government of Ky?