Sarah J Maas

Sarah J Maas is the author of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series. Originally intended as a Cinderella retelling, she started writing the series at the age of 16 and share it on the online forum Fiction Press. It was published by Bloomsbury for the first time 10 years later. Sarah is from New York and currently lives just outside Philadelphia. Heir of Fire, the third book in the series, is out now.

Q: What books did you read when you were a child?
A: Oh man, I read everything. Robin McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown and Garth Nix’s Sabriel were huge influences on me as a young writer, and I’m pretty sure I owe most of my moral compass to Lloyd Alexander’s The Chronicles of Prydain. And Harry Potter—I grew up with the Harry Potter books and was a massive, massive fan (like, went-to-bookstore-midnight-release parties level of fan). I still love that series with a wild, unrelenting passion, and always will.

Q: If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
A: Such a hard question, as there are many characters who I adore, but whose worlds are pretty miserable places to live in. If forced to choose, I think I’d want to be either Sabriel from Garth Nix’s Sabriel (seriously, battling the dead? How cool is that?) or Lyra from The Golden Compass (I’ve wanted a daemon from the moment I read that book).

Q: What is the best thing about reading?
A: That it’s a haven. I’m a firm believer that books can change and save lives.

Q: What is your all time favourite book?
A: Robert Munsch’s The Paper Bag Princess.

Q: Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
A: Let your children read what they want to read. That seems pretty simple, but you’d be surprised by what a big difference that makes. I only discovered my love of fantasy because my parents brought me to the bookstore at age twelve and set me loose with one mission: pick out books that interested me. From there on out, I was a fantasy addict, and my parents (who were not fantasy readers) never once tried to convince me to read other types of books.

Q: How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
A: My parents have always been super-supportive of my writing—perhaps a bit concerned about the practical, career-related things (honestly, it is very hard to make a living as a writer!), but always, always encouraging of the writing itself. They even allowed me to take a few summers off while I was in school to work on my writing (instead of getting a job). But they also gave me space: they let me write for hours on end without interruption (sometimes leaving food outside my door!), and never pestered me to show them what I’d written (I was a very private writer when I was younger). My parents were pretty much the best (and still are).

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