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Features | An Evening with Sarah J Maas

Sarah J Maas ended her Kingdom of Ash tour here in Auckland, New Zealand.

I headed along to the one-hour event (way to short a time, I have to say!), and gathered together with about 200 others. This was definitely the biggest author event I've ever been to (hearing Justin Cronin a few years back happened in a library and there were about 50 people, and going to Oxford and hearing R.J. Anderson was about 50 as well), but it was such a fun feeling being surrounded by so many who loved the worlds that Maas has created.

She chatted most about her Throne of Glass series, as the tour was for the final book in this series, Kingdom of Ash, but did also throw in some bits and pieces about her other series, A Court of Thorns and Roses.

One of the most amusing and interesting things she talked about right at the beginning was the drama that happened just two days before the book went to the printers last year: there were too many pages (coming in at over 1000!) and the glue they were going to be using to bind it all up wasn't strong enough! All the editing had already been long finished, and there was nothing that could really be easily cut out to lower the page numbers. Instead, they had to figure out ways to lose about 10 pages by making the font smaller, and narrowing the margins. It now comes in at just under 1000 pages, but it had never occurred to me that gluing a book would have any issues!

Sarah also talked about the importance of strong, kick-ass female characters, something her books are full of. As a child she would love watching movies like Indiana Jones and Star Wars, and always pretend she was Indiana or Luke running around doing cool things. When she got older and discovered things like Buffy and Sailor Moon she learnt the importance of strong female characters leading the way, and now writes some of the strongest female characters in YA.

As well as some questions from Kiran Dass, who was chairing the event, there was time at the end for just a few questions from the audience. One of them was 'If all your characters were in the Hunger Games, who would win?' Sarah thought about it for a minute or so and then grouped some of her characters together from each series, and then made super groups of characters crossing over into each series (some from one joining forces with some from the other), and some characters she said wouldn't even make it through and would be the first to die. Ha!

In January 2020 Maas is releasing her first 'adult' genre book, called House of Earth and Blood, the first in a new series called Crescent City. While it's labelled 'adult', it's on a similar maturity level as ACOTAR, so, she explained, didn't really feel like she was branching out into another age group. But adult or young adult, I'm looking forward to seeing what that book will bring.

Now just to actually finish both the Throne of Glass and ACOTAR series... eek!

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