May 31, 2014

Oblivion Blog Tour: Author Interview + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the OBLIVION blog tour hosted by EgmontUSA! Today I have an interview with the author to share with you - and don't forget to enter to win a signed copy of the book!

Author: Sasha Dawn
Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller
Release Date: May 27, 2014
Publisher: EgmontUSA


Lisa McMann's Dead to You meets Kate Ellison's The Butterfly Clues in a psychological thriller full of romance, intrigue, and mystery.

One year ago, Callie was found in an abandoned apartment, scrawling words on the wall: "I KILLED HIM. His blood is on my hands. His heart is in my soul. I KILLED HIM." But she remembers nothing of that night or of the previous thirty-six hours. All she knows is that her father, the reverend at the Church of the Holy Promise, is missing, as is Hannah, a young girl from the parish. Their disappearances have to be connected and Callie knows that her father was not a righteous man.

Since that fateful night, she's been plagued by graphomania -- an unending and debilitating compulsion to write. The words that flow from Callie's mind and through her pen don't seem to make sense -- until now.

As the anniversary of Hannah's vanishing approaches, more words and memories bubble to the surface and a new guy in school might be the key to Callie putting together the puzzle. But digging up the secrets she's buried for so long might be her biggest mistake.

1. What gave you the idea for Oblivion?

Plots come to me in dreams for the most part.  This one debuted in a series of recurrent, semi-lucid dreams that haunted me for decades: a girl feels guilty, but she doesn’t know what she did. She knows she’s been wronged, but she can’t prove it because she doesn’t remember anything. Callie’s problems grew by the page, which I think happens naturally as we write. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I wrote the first sentence, for certain. By the end of the third chapter, I knew I wanted this piece to be wrought with discomfort and compulsion. Because writers are not born of safekeeping, I’ve struggled with remembering things that may or may not have happened, and that translates to Callie. I’m an avid writer. My fingers are often tapping keys before I open my eyes in the morning. While I’m not plagued with writing, I do consider it compulsive. The idea that someone could explore repressed memory through written word intrigued me, and when I decided that writing wouldn’t be Callie’s choice, but a necessary element of life (like breathing and eating), it all came together.

2. Are any of your characters ever based on yourself or people you know?

There is a little bit of me in every character I write—even the insane ones. I often pay tribute to people in my life in little ways: Callie wears a ring on a chain around her neck, and so does my eldest daughter. Lindsey has amazing fashion sense, and she’s comfortable in whatever she happens to wear; this is a nod to my youngest daughter. Occasionally, I’ve named nasty characters after ex-boyfriends. That’s fun! Writing is undeniably therapeutic. If writing about a challenge will help me overcome a few of my own, I’m going to do it. And naturally, bits and pieces of those I’ve met along the way show up in the most surprising places. Lindsey’s entourage, for example, is an amalgamation of my sorority “sisters” and some of the other nastiest girls I’ve met.  That said, every character is fictional. I have yet to write a character solely based on someone I know or used to know.

3. What inspired you to become an author?

I would write, even if no one wanted to validate my words. I’ve always seen writing as an avenue to self-expression. I’ve learned a lot about myself through writing, and I’ve always had a knack for creating tales, so I’ve always done it. I finished my first full-length novel at age twelve (after several unfinished attempts). I’m sure it was terrible. I used to write one book each year for my friend Mary; every year on her birthday, I’d give her an absolutely awful stack of pages that would pass for a manuscript, and she always acted excited to read it. That’s what good friends do, you know. I suppose I’ve known inspiration along with aspiration my entire life.

4. Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

While everyone can learn from rejection, it’s important to remember that every rejection is only an opinion. You wouldn’t take it personally if someone preferred the “Sunrise Surprise” paint sample to your chosen “Vanilla Pudding.” (I’d love to have that job…naming paint colors.) It’s hard not to take rejection personally, but never allow a rejection to stomp on your dreams. You’re the best writer on the planet. Sure, someone may misunderstand your work. Someone may not see value in what you do. It doesn’t matter. You know you rock. Keep at it.

5. What's up next for you?

Hopefully, another book with Egmont is on the horizon! I’ve written three YA thrillers since Oblivion. Here’s to hoping the folks at Egmont believe in one of them!

 Thanks for stopping by the blog and chatting today Sasha!
Sasha Dawn teaches college composition to America's youth at McHenry County College and the College of Lake County. She's drawn to suspense, the survival instinct in people, and has a crush on Thomas Jefferson. She lives in a suburb of Chicago. 


 Giveaway: (1) Signed copy of OBLIVION - Open to US only!


  1. I love the way you came up with this idea. I have a lot of dreams that I've jotted down in hopes of turning them into bigger things, so it makes me smile to see a dream-turned-book come to life. I'm also fascinated with the writing idea and how that will come to life.

    Thanks, Steph, for hosting!


    1. CJ, keep in touch as you write and as you read! I'd love to hear your thoughts! Twitter: @_SashaDawn or email:

      Thanks again, Steph! Hope to see you again soon!