Author Of The Week: Chat with Sarah Porter (Vassa In The Night)!

Author Of The Week: Chat with Sarah Porter (Vassa In The Night)!

Welcome to our weekly special feature post, Author Of The Week!!

Each week we will be interviewing a different YA author

and highlighting their upcoming release!

 

 

 

 

Introducing Sarah PorterYABC's Author of the Week!!

 

I write stories that seem to me to be quite true enough for all practical purposes. Among them are VASSA IN THE NIGHT, THE LOST VOICES TRILOGY, and the forthcoming WHEN I CAST YOUR SHADOW and TENTACLE AND WING. Realism makes little sense to me and I experience more truth in the fantastic. I always have new novels underway, both Young Adult and Grownup/ Literary/ Speculative. When not writing my own weird stuff, I can often be found leading creative writing workshops with amazing young NYC public-school writers via Teachers & Writers Collaborative. Or I might be drawing, or gardening, or wandering wraithlike through the streets. I live in Brooklyn, land of mystery, with my awesome husband Todd and our two cats, Jub Jub and Delphine.

 

Website * Twitter * Facebook * Instagram

 

 

 

YABC:  What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

I grew up with Russian fairytales, but what made me think of retelling “Vassilissa the Beautiful” was the work I do with Teachers & Writers Collaborative here in NY. I’ve taught writing in many public city schools, and sometimes my students have told me stories about living with half or step or foster families that didn’t welcome them or want them: the kinds of families you find in fairytales. It occurred to me that kids like my students are truly the new fairytale heroes, but most of them don’t realize it, so I wanted to write a book that would reflect that reality. Vassa is a lot like kids I’ve known, smart and brave and raw at heart.

YABC:  Who is your favorite character in the book?

Almost everyone I know who has read VASSA would choose Erg, Vassa’s magic doll, but for me it’s always Vassa herself. That combination of morose and sardonic and defensive, but secretly sweet and vulnerable, makes me want to take care of her and comfort her. And I love that it’s her kindness that helps her in her struggle. She’s not an ass-kicking hero, but one who fights with empathy. We see so many models of heroism that involve prowess with swords and fists, but there are other paths to becoming a hero besides demon-slaying, and I wanted Vassa to illustrate an alternative way.

YABC:   Which came first, the title or the novel?

I knew what the title had to be before I started writing. Sometimes finding the right title is a struggle but this one seemed very obvious to me.

YABC:  Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?

You mean, from when I started writing at all? Probably that the most important thing is to really hear the voice of each character, to dial in on it like picking up a radio signal. Once the voice is there you can follow it anywhere. I’m not a fan of outlining, personally; I just want my characters to tell me what happened.

YABC:  What do you like most about the cover of the book?

Everything! The lettering, the colors, the swan, the stars. It’s so pretty! (At least, I think so.)

YABC:  What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2016?

Dare I say THE WINDS OF WINTER? Or will that jinx it?

YABC:  What was your favorite book in 2015?

So many! But ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY by Charlie Jane Anders, RADIANCE by Catherynne Valente, I CRAWL THROUGH IT by A. S. King, and ANCILLARY MERCY by Ann Leckie were a few favorites. Or maybe some of those were early 2016? All of them are completely fresh and visionary and exploring directions we’ve never gone before.

YABC:  What’s up next for you?

Well, a novel I love beyond words, and that I’m really proud of, will be coming out on Tor Teen in autumn 2017. It’s called WHEN I CAST YOUR SHADOW and it’s the story of a boy, Dashiell, who has died at age twenty-two from a heroin overdose, but comes back to persuade his younger twin siblings, Ruby and Everett, to serve as vehicles for possession. And then I have two novels underway now, one a YA about foster siblings entrapped in an eerily suburban version of Faerie, possibly titled NEVER-CONTENTED THINGS, and one for adults, a historical science ‘n’ sorcery story set in the early 19th century. Now that I think of it, they both involve variations on the changeling myth.

YABC:  Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?

Spoiler alert! There are two adjacent scenes near the end: the voluntary death of a major character, and Vassa’s dream-visit with her dead mother; both were devastating to write. I wept continuously while I was working on them, which meant that I was crying for maybe three days straight, and pounding the keyboard like a maniac while the letters blurred through my tears. I hope you’ll know what I’m talking about when you get there!

Meet, Vassa In The Night!!!

In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.

In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling out again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.

But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair. . . .

Inspired by the Russian folktale Vassilissa the Beautiful and Sarah Porter’s years of experience teaching creative writing to New York City students.

 

Amazon * B & N Indiebound

 

 

 

Vassa In The Night

By: Sarah Porter

Release Date: September 20, 2016

 

 

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS* 

One winner will receive a signed copy of Vassa In The Night and a small surprise from Sarah Porter! (US only).

 

*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Librarian's Corner--August 15, 2016
Featured Review: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Related Posts

 

Comments 15

Already Registered? Login Here
Kristen Joiner on Thursday, 18 August 2016 05:08

you had me at "beheading shoplifters". Also I like that the blurb is a bit confusing, makes me more interested to read this.

0
you had me at "beheading shoplifters". Also I like that the blurb is a bit confusing, makes me more interested to read this.
Julie on Thursday, 18 August 2016 19:54

I think Vassa In The Night sounds really interesting, and the cover is beautiful.

0
I think Vassa In The Night sounds really interesting, and the cover is beautiful.
Dianna G. on Saturday, 20 August 2016 22:57

I know next to nothing about Russian folktales, so this book would be educational for me in some ways.

0
I know next to nothing about Russian folktales, so this book would be educational for me in some ways.
Cassandra Carpio on Tuesday, 23 August 2016 20:15

This book is one of my most anticipated releases! I can't wait to crack it open! The cover is just to die for!

0
This book is one of my most anticipated releases! I can't wait to crack it open! The cover is just to die for!
Sarah on Thursday, 25 August 2016 22:18

This is one of my most anticipated reads of the year! I am so excited!

0
This is one of my most anticipated reads of the year! I am so excited!
Lillian Lozada on Monday, 29 August 2016 10:20

One of my most anticipated books of 2016, that cover is GORGE! this takes place in fictional Brooklyn (where I live) & is based on Russian Folklore?!?! cannot wait to read Vassa In The Night!

0
One of my most anticipated books of 2016, that cover is GORGE! this takes place in fictional Brooklyn (where I live) & is based on Russian Folklore?!?! cannot wait to read Vassa In The Night!
Anne on Thursday, 01 September 2016 07:41

Sounds like a great story! I love the cover. It goes well with the blurb.

0
Sounds like a great story! I love the cover. It goes well with the blurb.
Megan Coppadge on Monday, 05 September 2016 10:32

I love that this book was inspired by fairytales. This cover is gorgeous it's simple but beautiful!

0
I love that this book was inspired by fairytales. This cover is gorgeous it's simple but beautiful!
Sabrina on Tuesday, 06 September 2016 02:35

This book sounds very interesting defiantly something to pick up and the cover looks very pretty.

0
This book sounds very interesting defiantly something to pick up and the cover looks very pretty.
Danielle Hammelef on Saturday, 10 September 2016 21:17

This tale from Russian folklore is the scariest ever. This book is packed with so much fun that I can't wait to read it. The cover is very calm, yet darkness hides so much...

0
This tale from Russian folklore is the scariest ever. This book is packed with so much fun that I can't wait to read it. The cover is very calm, yet darkness hides so much...

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Full Disclosure
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In a community that isn't always understanding, an HIV-positive teen...
Resurrection Girls
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Olivia Foster hasn’t felt alive since her little brother drowned...
Orpheus Girl
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In her debut novel, award-winning poet Brynne Rebele-Henry re-imagines the...
Riot Baby
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Rooted in foundational loss and the hope that can live...
The Haunting of Henry Davis
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Two kids are about to find out that their lives...
A Kingdom for a Stage (For a Muse of Fire #2)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Jetta is a prisoner. A prisoner of the armee, a...
Foul is Fair
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Elle and her friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer rule their...
Girls of Storm and Shadow (Girls of Paper and Fire #2)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this mesmerizing sequel to the New York Times bestselling...
Springback
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Just because someone can rewind time...doesn't always mean they should....
Myth Management
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
For hundreds of years, the British bureaucracy of Myth Management...
Jeremiah Jericho: Allowance (book 1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Jeremiah just turned 16 and found out that he inherited...
Twisted Pines
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Where have all the children gone? At rustic summer camp...

Latest Member Reviews

Jason & Kyra
 
N/A
"posso usare l'italiano or english"
Girl at Heart
 
4.7
"I know better than to start a Kelly Oram book at bedtime. I know better, yet I do it with..."
Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
 
4.7
"In all seriousness, Fireborne by Rosaria Munda is the best. I have nothing to compare it to. It is unique,..."
Tweet Cute
 
4.3
"TWEET CUTE is a fun enemies-to-dating and anonymous-You've-Got-Mail style YA contemporary romance. The book follows the two protagonists in equal..."
Imperfect: A Story of Body Image
 
3.5
"A memoir in graphic novel form, offering the personal account of a young Muslim girl’s nearly lifelong battle with perception,..."
Throw Like a Girl
 
4.3
"THROW LIKE A GIRL is a charming story about chasing your dreams, a little romance, and a passion for sports...."
The Boy Next Story
 
4.0
"'The Boy Next Story' by Tiffany Schmidt follows main character Aurora, who goes by Rory, as she tries to figure..."
 
4.0
"Veronica can see the ghost of her dead mother. She also suffers from debilitating migraines that hold her back from..."
Fearless Public Speaking
 
N/A
"If you have weak, wobbly knees and a pounding heart when you face an audience--don't worry, that's good! In Fearless..."
Pax Novis (The Pax Archives, #1)
 
4.0
"PAX NOVIS is an engaging YA sci-fi novel that takes place in the future, when humans have colonized other planets...."
And I Darken
 
3.3
"To be honest, I went into this expecting vampires. I guess between the visual tone to the..."
Trees: A Rooted History
 
5.0
"When I was a little girl there were only a few books that I drug around with me to stare..."
The Hideout
 
5.0
"The artistry and illustrations in The Hideout are dreamlike, painting a picture of your favorite park and woodland location hidden..."
Endling: The First
 
5.0
"Applegate delivers an action-packed middle-grade sequel in a uniquely otherworldly setting, with characters that are relatable, cute and fuzzy, along..."
The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising, #1)
 
5.0
"THE GUINEVERE DECEPTION is an incredible new YA fantasy that combines a dark mystery, magic, and romance/love into a gorgeous,..."
Refraction
 
4.3
"REFRACTION is a highly readable/devourable book that is certainly a page-turner. In the post-apocalyptic future, a small island appears to..."
Jason & Kyra
 
N/A
"hi :) bross :)"
Fan the Fame
 
4.7
"WHAT I LOVED: Excuse me, who gave Anna Priemaza permission to bug my house and use my brother and I..."
I'm Not Dying with You Tonight
 
3.7
"Los Angeles, Ferguson, and Baltimore. Three cities where years of racism, injustice, unchecked police brutality, and rampant anti-Black racism came..."
Serpent & Dove
 
4.0
"I’d been hearing about this book on Bookstagram, BookTube, and BookTwitter as an anticipated release for September 2019. And then..."