Sashi is an English and science teacher who lives in Westbrook, Maine with her husband and daughter. THE OTHER WAY AROUND is her first YA novel. She believes ice cream is a vitamin and is an amateur trash picker.
What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
I recently read Winger by Andrew Smith and I just tore through it! It’s everything I love in YA -smart, funny, great first person voice, perfectly captures the drama of being a young adult without ever resorting to stereotypical characters or situations.
What is the most rewarding part of writing?
This may sound dorky but I think the most rewarding part for me personally is telling myself a story that I love -making myself laugh with a great line or making my stomach do twists with a great kissing scene.
Do you write every day? Do you set word goals?
I try and write every day and that IS the goal for me. I usually have a loose two page goal but sometimes that’s taken up by dialogue and sometimes the two pages becomes four or five. But the most important part is getting my butt in the seat every day if possible.
Do you have any writing rituals? How about any favorite writing spots?
I always reread the previous day’s writing before I start. I almost always write at my desktop in a room in my house we call “the cave”. It’s really just a guest room with thick wall-to-wall carpet. Even though it’s not always possible I try and leave myself notes about what’s going to happen next before I exit out of the document. I leave the notes in all caps so I remember it’s not part of the main text. I’m sure a program like Scrivener has a neater way to do this but I’ve never gotten around to trying it.
In my book The Other Way Around my main character is a sixteen year old boy. While there are lots of parts of his personality I don’t identify with, I connect with the way he’s an observer, with the way he falls in love with the wrong person -which I did a lot of in my pre-married days, and with the way he sometimes says things to be intentionally provocative. I’m not super proud of that last trait but it is one I relate to.
THE OTHER WAY AROUND
Publisher: Lerner/Carolrhoda Lab
Release date: March 1, 2014
Summary: Andrew West goes to an all-girls school and he still can’t get a date. If that’s not bad enough, his Mom is the headmaster. Everyone seems to have the wrong idea about Andrew. His teachers think he’s a good student who doesn’t apply himself -he really is trying. The kids at his old school thought he was a goth. His cousin Barry thinks he’s gay.
When his Thanksgiving break goes tragically awry he decides to run away. He catches a ride with a strange group of older teenagers. The Freegans are street performers and dumpster divers. As Andrew travels the country with his new friends, he leaves behind the expectations of others and discovers what he expects of himself.
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