Haley Sulich is the author of the dystopian novel, Crimson Ash, being published on 10th May 2018. Click here for the full review!
Haley has very kindly agreed to join me for an interview – let’s find out more about what went on behind the scenes of Crimson Ash.
Hi Haley. Thank you for joining me today!
What was your initial inspiration for Crimson Ash and how did that idea evolve as you were writing?
Crimson Ash is based on the first book I ever wrote. My first book is posted on Wattpad and is titled Enmity. After I had beta reader feedback on Enmity, I realized I still had a long ways to go when it comes to strengthening my writing skills. Readers on Wattpad loved the book, but it isn’t good enough to officially publish, so I left it on Wattpad for exposure.
After receiving the feedback from the beta readers, I decided to rewrite Enmity with a new plot line and new characters, which is how Crimson Ash came to be. The world in Enmity and Crimson Ash are both very similar. I only changed a few elements of the world-building when writing Crimson Ash.
When I started developing Crimson Ash, much of my inspiration for the new plot line came from my battle with mental illness. I wanted to write about depression, so I found a way to personify depression in the form of the antagonist.
Why did you decide to make the relationship between Ember and Solanine the central one in the story?
In my first book, Enmity, I had a relationship between two sisters, but the relationship wasn’t focused on as much as I had hoped. For Crimson Ash, I wanted to expand on that relationship and tell the story of a family that was broken apart and trying to heal. It ties in with the antagonist being the personified version of mental illness, where the antagonist has torn the Lucille family apart. Despite it all, however, the sisters are trying to overcome the antagonist and find a way to make things right again.
If you had the Choice to become a soldier, live as one of the Blinded or rebel and live in the wild, which would you choose and why?
I would choose to rebel because rebelling means you’re fighting against mental illness, and during the time I was writing this book, I was really struggling to get into a better place when it comes down to mental health. The other options—living as a soldier or as the Blinded—are out of the question for me. Both of those options mean succumbing to depression, and I wouldn’t want to live my life like that ever again.
What steps did you go through from initial idea to published book?
I started with developing the characters and the world, then I spent a couple of months outlining the book. I wrote the first draft in two months, and—if I remember right—it was 114,000 words. (The final version is around 80k words). I went through at least ten drafts with Crimson Ash. I rewrote it two or three times during the content editing stage. After the content editing stage was complete, the book went on to the copyediting, proofreading, and formatting stages.
What are your plans next – any future projects in mind?
I’m currently co-authoring a reference book with Dianna Gunn about how to write fiction. It’s targeted toward people interested in writing speculative fiction. I’m also co-authoring a YA fantasy series that will appeal to people who enjoy Pirates of the Caribbean and Game of Thrones.
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions. I know that I always really enjoy getting an insight into all the work that goes on behind the scenes of a published book.
Find out more about Crimson Ash here.
BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE
05 March (Monday)
Crimson Ash blog tour launch That Bookshelf B*tch
Review and author interview from Lost in Pages
Review and author interview from Chrikaru Reads