Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Interview With Sara Baysinger, Author of BLACK TIGER

Black Tiger by Sara Baysinger, a kick-ass YA dystopian, releases TOMORROW! To celebrate and get excited for the launch, Sara herself is stopping by Looselaf Reviews to answer some questions about her new book.

Check out the book on Amazon (today is the last day to pre-order for $.99!) and enjoy the interview below!

First of all, thank you for sharing your work! It was truly a pleasure to read!

Thank you for reading it! It was a pleasure to write. ;)

This was one hell of a debut coming out of the gate! Is this the first novel you've completed? Or just the first that you've published?

It’s the first that I’ve published. I have another trilogy fully written, but it’s not anywhere close to reader-ready yet.

Where and when was the brainchild for the Black Tiger series born?

Well, the very first drop of an idea was born a little over three years ago. My family and I took a trip down to Louisville, KY and visited these megacaverns under the city, and, well, I should probably stop there. ;) But that was the first inspiration. Later, I was listening to a conversation about how politicians keep getting paid a ton of money the rest of their lives, even after they’re out of office. And I thought about how some people do hard manual labor all their lives, even past their retirement age, and are still living below the poverty line. But there’s so much middle class that we don’t see the black and white comparison of “rich” and “poor”. So I wondered what a government would look like without the middle class blurring the lines, and how a government like that would function without any resistance from the lower class. Thus, Ky and its citizens were born.

This seemed like a very character-driven story. Did you have everything mapped out, or did the characters just start to write themselves?

Writing for me is like reading a book. I have no idea what’s going to happen until I start typing it out. It’s what makes the writing process so thrilling for me. So, no, I had literally nothing mapped out, apart from the Patrician and Proletariat classes. Ember was supposed to be a shy, soft-spoken girl when I first started the story, but she had her own ideas. Forest just showed up at The Tap as I was writing that scene. As for Rain, he didn't even exist until the third draft. He was a “black suit” whose sole purpose was to escort Ember around. But when Ember started asking him questions, he opened his mouth and I honestly couldn't get him to shut up after that. ;) 

Kentucky is a very specific setting. What made you choose the location?

This goes back to those caverns under Louisville I mentioned earlier. And there’s something about Louisville as a whole that intrigues me. Louisville was supposed to have a larger part in book one, but I ran out of word count, so had to wait until book two. Because Frankfort is the capital of Kentucky, it only seemed fitting it would remain the capital of Ky. Also, Kentucky is close to Indiana (where I live) so book research was a lot easier than if the book took place in, say, LA. 

I know what *I* am, but you about *you*? Team Forest or Team Rain?

Well, Forest is kind and honest and is really only looking out for Ember, so I could totally see myself on Team Forest. Alternately, Rain is exciting and dangerous, so my adventurous side would choose Team Rain. *sigh* I guess you’ll just have to wait until book two to find out. ;) 

Do you have any specific literary inspirations? [or] What are your favorite dystopian books?

My biggest inspiration for BLACK TIGER (as you can probably tell by reading the book) was Divergent by Veronica Roth. I read that book in two days, and couldn’t stop thinking about it. I also read it in autumn, and went to the apple orchard that same week, so you can imagine how Black Tiger wove its web through all this. My other inspiration is the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi. I just loved her lyrical style of writing, and it sort of rubbed off on me. Shatter Me is also my favorite dystopian series (though it didn’t become that until I’d finished the whole series.)

Other than sequels (and please tell me it's more than one!), are there any other plot bunnies eating away at you?

There are at two sequels to Black Tiger. :) As for other plot bunnies, um, remember that series I mentioned earlier that I already have written? I’m totally going to rewrite it and publish it when this story is finished. It’s my favored child out of the two series, but has taken me a lot longer to figure out. (six years, and three complete rewrites, to be exact. :P)

What would you like to tell anyone who is considering picking up your book?



Hm.That’s a good question. There’s a lot of story building at the beginning, but action definitely picks up after that. People have been calling Black Tiger edgy, so I wouldn't let your 12 and under crowd reading it. Aaaand I hope you love reading Black Tiger as much as I loved writing it!! I just finished revising Book Two and am so thrilled about where this story is headed. :D :D :D

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