Q&A with Sari Taurez author of Bubblegum

Monday, 9 October 2017

I am so excited to post my very first Q&A to my blog! I am planning to have a whole series of these coming soon on my blog and to start off with a bang I had the pleasure oft interviewing Sari Taurez author of the action packed Bubblegum.

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Bubblegum to review prior to its release which is tomorrow!I gave it a 4/5 and you can find my review here and purchase Bubblegum here.

  1. Get to know the Author: What is your favourite Book? Movie? Song?

Favorite book: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. I read it while going through my first self-edits of Bubblegum, and it just blew me away. It has a lot of the same stuff I want Bubblegum to be known for: diverse cast, lots of badass ladies, and action that never lets up (but isn’t mindless action, either).

Favorite movie: The Lion King. It’s been my favorite since I was four years old and nothing has ever dethroned it (pun intended). The score by Hans Zimmer will have me in tears in about .5 seconds, and I swear that scene where Simba climbs up Pride Rock in the rain is my favorite moment in all of cinema. Extra fun fact: I have rather large Simba tattoo on my arm.

Favorite song: “Black Out Days” by Phantogram. It’s visceral, hypnotizing, and exciting. It sucks me in anytime. Phantogram makes some great writing music. I heard in an interview that they want every song to feel like it could be in a movie… perhaps that’s why.

  1. Tell us about your book Bubblegum?

Bubblegum is about Tiana, a young stereotypical rich blonde who is cut off from her family’s riches and becomes a killer for hire. Her first client is Julia, who could not be more different than Tiana: she’s smart, lower-class, and a devout Catholic. They are forced to work together to protect a group of orphans from being sold into prostitution, meeting some unique obstacles and memorable characters along the way.

  1. Why did you write Bubblegum? Where did your inspiration come from?

I love stories that are action-packed, diverse, and full of heart - so I decided to write something that was all three at once!

The first inkling of what would become Bubblegum came to me while listening to “Paper Planes” by M.I.A. It was so easy to picture a bubbly, girly young woman who kicked ass and wanted to “Take your money”!

The inspiration behind the myriad of LGBT characters in Bubblegum came from the TV show Torchwood, which is an action/sci-fi show with LGBT characters. It isn’t essentially about being LGBT - it’s LGBT characters fighting aliens and being awesome! As someone that doesn’t usually enjoy drama, it’s often hard to find representation that is action-packed.

  1. I love the Dystopian background of this story, what made you decide to write a dystopian novel?

Dystopian stories are really big right now and much of that is because we watch the news and see things that we thought were impossible, or that we thought our country “grew out of”. Really writing a dystopian novel is just taking all of those things that exist now, and speculate: what could happen if all this just kept going for a hundred or so more years, with no positive change?

  1. What was the most challenging part of writing Bubblegum?

The most challenging part was the action scenes! There were so many times I would write my characters into a difficult situation that was hard to escape. It was the most difficult part, but also the most fun.

  1. Who was your favourite character to write?
Tiana is a blast to write. In many ways she’s everything I secretly wish I could be (except for all the pink girlyness and the addiction to murder, of course), kind of like Jim Carrey’s character in The Mask. Writing her is just taking out all the quiet, polite parts of my brain and letting myself go wild. It’s very liberating.

  1. Is Bubblegum a part of a series? If so when can we expect to hear from the characters again?

Yes! I am hoping to write four books total, when it is all said and done. Book two is already outlined and I’m writing chapter three. I’m hoping to have it published sometime early 2019, though that is a very tentative date. The working title is Fire Hazard.

  1.      If not, are you currently working on any other books?

I’ve always got something on the back burner. I have a complete outline for a middle-grade holiday-themed book, if you believe it! I wanted to challenge myself after Bubblegum and write something completely different. I eventually decided that a sequel should come out first, so for now the holiday book isn’t being written just yet… but the outline is there, waiting for the right time!

  1. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Finish your first draft. Seriously! My favorite quote about writing is from Jane Smiley: “Every first draft is perfect, because all a first draft has to do is exist”. Bubblegum would have been released ages ago if I hadn’t been so caught up on making my first draft perfect, instead of finishing it first and then going back to do edits. Trust me, that first draft won’t be what you want it to be! But your perspective on what to change and fix becomes so much clearer once that draft is done. There are times you need to write and times you need to edit - there are few times you will be able to do both at once!

  1. What character in Bubblegum do you relate to the most and why?

I relate to the three main girls all for different reasons. Julia would be the quiet part of me I show to the world. Ruby is the silly part of me I show to my close friends. Tiana is the angry part of me I keep hidden and don’t show often.

I also based Julia and Ruby in part on my own marriage. They both contain different characteristics of me and my wife.

  1. Apart from Bubblegum, what book would you say is a must read?

In this day and age, it’s important to stay aware while also keeping a healthy dose of optimism. I would suggest The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and The World According to Mr Rogers by Fred Rogers. I know everyone is suggesting The Hate U Give but it’s for good reason - it's beautifully written and does a great job chronicling some very real issues that need to be understood and faced in our society.
And as for the Mr Rogers book, I think we all need a bit of that pure light in our lives right now. There is good in the world. Sometimes we need to fight for it, and sometimes we need to fight ourselves to remember that it’s there.

To find out more about Sari head over to her website: https://www.saritaurez.com.

Thank you so much again Sari for participating in my Q&A and for my copy of Bubblegum. I am looking forward to the next book in the series!


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