Happy release day to A Wicked Magic by Sasha Laurens, which is described as “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina meets The Craft” … to celebrate today’s release, Sasha is here with a guest post about finding the ideal place to write.
Everyone who writes has an ideal place to do it in: A cozy chair in a quiet room, or maybe a cute cafe, or writing retreat in idyllic cabin. Wherever it is, let it be Instagrammable! You’ve got your beautiful notebook with that lovely cover. Your most inspirational writing implement is in hand and somehow your handwriting is calligraphically perfect. You’ve got an unlimited supply of coffee that never dehydrates you or makes you wacky from too much caffeine, and snacks, which are absolutely the healthy kind yet somehow also indulgent. Your loungewear is polished, serving luxe-intellectual realness, and is definitely not the pajamas you’ve been wearing all week.
Sure, this set-up sound hard to find, but you’re pretty sure once you do, inspiration will overtake you and those sentences will just pour right out.
I regret to inform you, that’s not how any of this works. You don’t live inside a Pinterest aesthetic board, and you never will. Even if you did, there’s no way to predict when writing will be easy or hard (alas!).
But that’s okay. Diligent work is what gets books finished, not bolts of inspiration or instargamming your matcha latte, and lucky for you, you can do that work in a lot of different circumstances.
I wrote my first novel on my cell phone on the subway during my work commute. I had an hour-long ride each way, and I knew there was no way I could get up early enough to write in the morning. Instead, I’d get on the train, bee-line to the first available seat, ignore the rush hour chaos of around me and tap-tap-tap away on my Notes app one-handed, while I tried to keep hold of my coffee.
At first, these were definitely not my ideal writing conditions. Actually, they were conditions under which I wasn’t even sure writing was possible. I’d certainly never heard of anyone writing a novel on their phone. But over the course of a few weeks, that changed. I wrote tens of thousands of words on the subway, and even came to prefer it. Writing on my phone meant I couldn’t edit or even re-read as I went, and the absence of cell or internet service was probably far better for my productivity than any moment of inspiration has ever been. On the weekends I’d revise everything I wrote on the train during the week, and I was often surprised by how good it was.
I’ve since moved away from New York, but I’ve taken this lesson with me: My favorite place for writing is wherever I can get writing done, even if it isn’t ideal.
Maybe you’re snatching an hour before work to mash the grungy keys of your laptop (you should really clean it), and you just ran out of milk for your coffee. Maybe you’re scribbling on sticky-notes, because the pressure of those beautiful notebooks meant you could never bring yourself to sully their pages with your potentially imperfect words. Maybe you’re in line at the DMV and you’ve got your Notes app open.
You’ve just written something like, “She hugged him with her arms,” and you’ve forced yourself to move on to the next sentence.
Congratulations. You have found a place to write.
Dan and Liss are witches. The Black Book granted them that power. Harnessing that power feels good, especially when everything in their lives makes them feel powerless.
During a spell gone wrong, Liss’s boyfriend is snatched away by an evil entity and presumed dead. Dan and Liss’s friendship dies that night, too. How can they practice magic after the darkness that they conjured?
Months later, Liss discovers that her boyfriend is alive, trapped underground in the grips of an ancient force. She must save him, and she needs Dan and the power of The Black Book to do so. Dan is quickly sucked back into Liss’s orbit and pushes away her best friend, Alexa. But Alexa has some big secrets she’s hiding and her own unique magical disaster to deal with.
When another teenager disappears, the girls know it’s no coincidence. What greedy magic have they awakened? And what does it want with these teens it has stolen?
Set in the atmospheric wilds of California’s northern coast, Sasha Laurens’s thrilling debut novel is about the complications of friendship, how to take back power, and how to embrace the darkness that lives within us all.
SASHA LAURENS grew up in Northern California, where she learned to drive on Highway 1’s switchback turns and got accustomed to the best weather in the world. After studying creative writing and literature at Columbia University, she lived in New York for years and, at various times, in Russia. She currently resides in Michigan, where she is pursuing a PhD in political science. A Wicked Magic is her first novel.