Thursday, 29 January 2015


Title: The Seventh
Author: S.D. Wasley
Publisher: Evernight Teen
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance, Suspense
Release Date: 23rd Jan 2015

BLURB supplied by Bridging The Gap
Sixteen year old Mimi Alston has company. No less than three ghosts follow her around, and only she can see them. At her last school, she was known as the girl with imaginary friends. Now Mimi’s starting fresh in a new town, where she’s determined to make some real friends and fit in for once. She’s ready for a normal life...except Mimi never counted on her fascination with troubled goth-boy, Drew.

When she’s invited to join the elite Gifted Program, Mimi discovers she’s not the only one at the school with an unusual talent. Maybe being normal isn’t even an option anymore.

Evernight Teen    

“Mimi, would you mind telling us about yourself now?”
I swallowed again. How did she expect me to make a coherent sentence after what I’d just heard? If there was another Mimi, a logical one that could step outside of my own body and look at the situation objectively, she would say: Get a grip, Miette. This is bullshit. These people are either lunatics … or they are playing the cruellest prank in history. But the problem was, logical Mimi had gone AWOL. I believed these kids. Deep in my heart, I knew without a shadow of a doubt they were telling the truth and––whether what they were describing was real or not––they believed in their gifts as fact. Doctor Mayer would have a field day with them.
I heard myself launch into speech and marvelled at how unlike myself I sounded. I heard a Mimi I hadn’t heard in years: excited, happy and relieved. “I’m Mimi Alston. I come from Perry Ridge. I have one brother, who’s much older. He lives in Canada with his wife. I love drawing, especially portraits. I had a nickname at my old school. Mimi-and-her-imaginary-friends.” I couldn’t believe I was telling them this secret … a secret I had been so determined to keep that I’d actually been prepared to fake my whole personality, day in and day out, at this new school.
“It’s because I have company with me, pretty much all the time. Meet my ghosts, Hannah, Albert and Marvin.” I pointed at the chairs beside me and the other kids stared. Even Drew raised his head to look at me in amazement. “Hannah joined me when I was thirteen. She was a kitchen maid. She was nineteen, and she was pregnant with her boss’s child. She died having the baby. Albert joined me when I was fourteen. He was a soldier in World War II. He died on the stretcher after getting a serious shrapnel injury. And Marvin only joined me earlier this year. He was homeless after losing his house because of his gambling debts. He died of hypothermia during a cold snap.”
Patience’s eyes looked like horrified saucers as she stared at the empty chairs beside me. After a moment, Mona let out a shuddering breath and even contemptuous Cassie looked impressed. Gabe sat watching me curiously, as if he didn’t expect quite what he was seeing or hearing.
“You’re a Necromancer,” nodded Ms Deering.
Necro … doesn’t that mean dead?” asked Mona.
“And mancy is magic, or conjuring,” affirmed Ms Deering. “Mimi calls the dead.”
“I call them?” I couldn’t help exclaiming. “I never called them! I don’t want them around!”
Ms Deering just smiled ruefully. “I don’t think you can help it. I didn’t mean you actively call them––I meant you bring them … attract them. You invite their spirits to make contact.”
“Why?” I asked.
“The million-dollar question,” Mona laughed shortly, dragging her eyes off the empty chairs beside me. “Why do any of us have these gifts?”
“Can you hear them?” Patience asked me, her face still terrified. Great. She was freaked out. Oh, well … at least she didn’t think I was crazy.
“Yes,” I said. “That’s how I know what happened to them.” My mind drifted towards some of the other things they’d said to me and I hastily changed my train of thought. “They used to talk more, but I started trying to ignore them so they stopped being so … chatty.”
Mona cackled at that. I decided I wouldn’t mention the medication I had been taking to help me “ignore” my ghosts. I could feel Drew still watching me, so I looked back at him. I badly wanted to ask him why he looked so stunned. I also wanted to ask him what his gift was. But I couldn’t form a sentence because his face was so painfully beautiful in that moment that I forgot to breathe and just stared.
“Drew,” Ms Deering said in a firm tone. “Please tell us about you.”

Drew snapped out of our little two-way staring contest and cast an angry look at Ms Deering before getting up and shouldering his satchel.


What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
S.D. Wasley (Sasha), born in Perth, Western Australia and still living here now. I live in a wine-growing region close to the famous Swan River.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
Easy question. YES. I have always wanted to be a writer but didn’t actually feel confident that it was possible. So I filled in the gaps with various other careers and aspirations, including university lecturer, migrant English teacher, pharmacy assistant, vet, PR account manager, and finally settled on being a copywriter.

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
When I signed my contract for publication. Before that I considered myself a wannabe.

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
Yes, it did. I have written a few books over the years and this was the first one I got past the publishing line. I had plenty of nibbles but no bites before The Seventh.

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
In addition to my writing work, I work as a writer. Haha! But it’s true. I’m also a copywriter who writes blogs, e-newsletters, websites, and lots of other corporate and marketing stuff.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
The Seventh. Sixteen year old Mimi is followed around by three ghosts. She thinks she’s crazy until she meets other gifted kids.

Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
Canadian publisher, Evernight Teen.

Do you have a "lucky charm" or "lucky routine" you follow when waiting for your book to be accepted by a publisher?
When I hit send or pop it into a mailbox I also blow an imaginary kiss and wish my book will land on the desk of the right submissions editor! I guess the kiss I blew for The Seventh finally hit the mark.

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
It depends on the book but I write fast. I can start and finish writing a book within about three months, in amongst my other workload, but I would then want to spend several months editing. That’s the slow bit, for me.

Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others?
The Seventh came very naturally. Once I found Mimi’s voice, the words just poured. I have tried to write a semi-non-fiction book about some life experiences and that has come very hard to me. I think it’s because when you write that kind of book it’s a gruelling, emotional process. I need to dredge through some unhappy memories to do it, so it tends to get put aside.

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
There are more Mimi books coming! I have at least two more stories I need to write about her. I am currently working on a new adult paranormal romance (ie 16-25 yo) and I have another sitting on the backburner that needs some major editing. I also have a middle school urban fantasy I really love, but again, it needs serious editing. I wish I had time to work on them all right now!

What genre would you place your books into?
Young Adult Paranormal Romance.

What made you decide to write that genre of book?
It’s one of my favourite genres to read. I am a sucker for ‘magic meets love’ – and the dangerous situations our characters find themselves in make for just the right challenging circumstances in which to find intense love. And those teenage years are so intense, too! I love the depth of emotion my characters experience.

Where do you get your book plot ideas from? What/Who is your inspiration?
Music is a big one for me. I am intrigued by lyrics and good ones can inspire book ideas. I also lie in bed at night and work on storylines. Sometimes my research inspires ideas, too. A book I read recently that covered the history of a number of famous artists sparked loads of ideas for the book I was writing.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I like to either sit at my desk to tap away at my computer, or curl up in a chair with my notepad. I like to have a coffee or, if it’s later in the day, a glass of wine. I get up occasionally and do a housework job to stretch my legs, or I head over to my social profiles to interact with other humans for a while! One dog usually lies at my feet, and the other one next to my desk. Occasionally I play my Youtube favourites music playlist while I edit.

Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them? ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
Yes, my partner reads them, and sometimes my sisters. Occasionally I will ask a trusted friend or someone from my target market to take a look. Their feedback informs the editing process and helps me iron out issues. I’ve very lucky to now have an editor through my publisher, who has helped enormously with closing plot holes and questioning the characters’ actions. I would like to access more beta readers in future.

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
YES. I value all feedback, good or bad.

What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
My book is very new so there are only a handful of reviews (and no bad ones at the time of writing). I got a fabulous one from a fellow ET author, Marcus Damanda, the other day – he totally ‘got’ what I had tried to do in this story, so I was over the moon to read it! It’s on Amazon and my blog, if you’re interested.

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
No way. But I might have a conversation with them to find out more about why they didn’t like it.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?
My publisher arranged the cover design and fortunately they took on board all my ideas and suggestions! I wanted to feature a significant drawing from the story on the cover and it was also important to me that Mimi not be depicted as too ‘sexy.’ I wanted her to be like her character in the book. I always find it hard to cope with when the cover image doesn’t match the character. For me, the three important elements I wanted included were a lake/water (check), the special drawing (check), and dark-haired Mimi, preferably facing away from the viewer (check). They nailed it! I adore my book’s cover.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I actually had a different title for a long time and then discovered another book with the same name and in the same genre. So I changed mine. Usually, I write first and pick a title later.

How do you come up with characters’ names and place names in your books?
I am very particular about names. They have to suit the character. If they don’t, then that’s deliberate – intentionally jarring. I try not to use very common names, especially surnames, but I prefer to use real names (not made up ones). The place names usually also have significance for what the place represents. For example, the town where my characters go to school is called Etherall Valley, with a close reference to the word ‘ethereal.’

Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
I usually have their personalities in my head but they always develop as I write.

Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
A bit of both. I need a rough outline to start with but then the story writes itself. I have had many a wonderful plot twist happen on the page before I even thought of it!

What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller?
Really great characters – complex characters who are not perfect but still likeable. And a plot that keeps you guessing. And maybe also a strong marketing team!

Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
Not really – maybe a little bit, very occasionally. If something’s not coming together, I sit down and do some plot outlining. I find that if I get stuck it’s almost always because I’m unsure of what’s supposed to happen next in the story.

What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby?
Writing is my hobby. But I also love wandering around the yard with my chickens. I like fishing but don’t actually like catching fish – I always put them back if they are okay. That’s why I fish in the local river – there’s hardly any fish in there!

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
Yes, definitely. I have used people’s words or actions or personality traits to build my characters. I have also used my own life experiences and events as plot elements or in characters’ backgrounds.

Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
Oh yeah! Books reflect life, so of course there will be some questioning and challenging of values and morals in them. I like to explore compassion and identity. I guess the moral of The Seventh is: “Everyone’s on their own quest for self-worth and you’re the only person to whom yours matters. So when you have it, hang on to it like hell.”

Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
Many. Jane Austen, JK Rowling, Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth George, Charles Dickens, Roald Dahl.

Which format of book do you prefer, ebook, hardback, or paperback?
Ebook or paperback. More recently, ebooks are preferable. I love the flexibility and instant gratification.

What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?
Persuasion by Jane Austen. I’ve read it many times. The beautiful romance between Anne and Mr Wentworth has so much quiet dignity and pathos. And I love Jane Austen’s characters – Mary and the Admiral are wonderful.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst  book to movie transfer?
Yes, depending on the book. But Sense and Sensibility as a movie – I loathed it. Emma Thompson playing a 19yro? Come on. And then, unexpectedly, I loved Vampire Academy as a book-to-film adaptation! They totally nailed Rose’s character and the paranormal/school-y vibe.
[my daughter and I also loved the Vampire Academy series and agree the film was a good adaptation too. I recently watched Maze Runner and sadly it's sort of put me off reading the books, as I didn't like the film so much.]

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
I’m reading Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle in paperback. I am enjoying it. I am finding it easier to unravel the mysteries with each case I read! I’m also reading Dorianna by Catherine Stine on my Kindle. It’s intriguing. I’m really worried about the main character.

Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
No, not a chance!

Do you have a treasured book from your childhood? If yes, what is it?
Alice in Wonderland, and also Harriet the Spy.

Do you have a favourite genre of book?
Ghost stories, true hauntings, and romance. But I also like contemporary literary and historical fiction. I actually enjoy reading history and philosophical theory too.

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?
Fifty Shades of Grey. I dabbled in it but it’s not my cup of tea. You’d have to tie me up to get me to read the rest of it … oh, wait…
[I have to totally agree with you there. I don't mind a little steam and sizzle withinin context but I just simply did not want to read something like Fifty Shades Of Grey!]

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
I sort of do – I use my initials because there is another Sasha on my publisher’s list of authors and I wanted to avoid confusion. I would probably use a pen name if I wanted to try my hand at non-fiction or write far outside the genre I am known for … just so my readers wouldn’t be disappointed if they bought what they thought was my newest YA paranormal and found themselves reading a history of birdwatching in the Swan Valley, or something.

If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
Jane Austen, Elizabeth George, and Allie Brosh.

Where can readers follow you?
Your blog details?
Your web site ? (same)
Your facebook page?
Your Goodreads author page?
Your Twitter details?

PRIZE: $10 Amazon Gift Card


  1. Hey Sandra! Thanks for having me on your blog and I loved answering your questions. Good luck to those who enter the giveaway. Enjoy The Seventh!
    SD Wasley

  2. BTW haven't checked out Mazerunner yet but I'm curious now. Have to read it first.