Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Sara Holland

Sara Holland is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Everless, Evermore, and most recently Havenfall.

From her Q&A with Mark Skinner at the Waterstones blog:

Are you inspired by things or people in real life?

I don’t typically model characters after real people, except for in superficial traits – I might steal a friend’s favourite idiom for one character, my sister’s fashion aesthetic for another. Mostly though, my characters are a mishmash of certain parts of me and other fictional characters.

However, I am definitely inspired by real-life places. I can’t really envision a fictional room, building or landscape without modelling it on a real place I know well. That’s why I love travelling – it expands my mental library of places and scenery I can use in my stories.

And I think Havenfall is shaped a lot by its setting – the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. In the brainstorming stages of this book, I had landed on the concept of a magical hotel that sat at the intersection between worlds, but I didn’t know where that might be. For a bit, I thought I might set it in the Upper Midwest, where I grew up, or in New York City, where I live now. Both places have plenty of mysterious, magical qualities.

But then I thought about Colorado, which is a place I’ve spent a lot of time in – I grew up driving out there from Minnesota with my family to visit my dad’s parents. I thought about how when you’re driving west across the Midwestern plains, the mountains almost seem to appear out of nowhere – one moment you look ahead and there’s nothing, the next there’s a dark shape in the grey, faint but unmistakeable. I thought about how it felt to be in the back seat, chewing gum to relieve...[read on]
See Sara Holland's list of five books set in a fantastical America.

--Marshal Zeringue