Author Confessions: Sarah J Maas

Sarah J Maas is the Philadelphia-based author of the bestselling Throne of Glass fantasy series, and her new book Heir of Fire - the third in the series - was published in September 2014.

On a visit to the Edinburgh International Book Festival we tracked her down to take our Authors Confessions.  


Where do you stand on spinebreaking?

Spines were 1000% made for breaking/snapping/destroying. It’s one of the first things I do when opening a book (I’ve actually had some friends GASP as they watched me do it).

Which author or fictional character would you most like to party with?

My best friend, critique partner, and soul-twin, Susan Dennard (author of the Something Strange and Deadly series, and the upcoming Truthwitch). We live far apart, and I don’t get to see her nearly as often as I’d like.

How do you arrange your bookshelf?

I am OBSESSIVE about keeping my bookshelves organised

Alphabetically by author. I am OBSESSIVE about keeping my bookshelves organised, to the point where I’ll reorganise it every few months just to accommodate all my new books (…I also have a slight book-buying addiction).

Do you ever turn to the back of a book and read the end first?

I am so, so ashamed of this, but YES. I do it all the time. I tell myself it’s because I’m looking at it from a storytelling/research perspective (if I know how it ends, then I can admire/learn from the way they tell the story to get to that point!), but… I’m really just super-curious and hate surprises (and I like knowing if my favourite characters will be together by the end!).

Drugs and alcohol: do they help with writing?

Never. If I do any writing, I’ll usually have to go back and rewrite EVERYTHING. So it’s not worth it for me.

Drafting is a pleasure, and a joy, and a kind of strange high.

Is writing a pain or a pleasure?

Drafting is a pleasure, and a joy, and a kind of strange high. Revisions are absolute pain/torture/misery.

Are there any films that are better than the book in your opinion?

I’m sure everyone will kill me for saying this, but I prefer the film versions of Howl’s Moving Castle and The Lord of the Rings to the books.

What would your dream job be if you weren’t an author?

A Jaeger co-pilot with my best friend, Susan Dennard. (Since we obviously live in the world of Pacific Rim and have to fight against an invading alien race with giant robots.)

What’s your favorite bookshop?

Oh, I have so many! But if I had to pick one, I’d say my childhood bookshop: Books of Wonder in New York City. I pretty much grew up in that store, and it remains one of my favorite places on earth.

What’s your opinion on reading in the bath?

Horrible idea. I’m so clumsy that there’s a 99% chance I’ll drop my book into the water, so… I never do it. My books are too precious!


If you're a Sarah J Maas fan looking for more book recommendations, check out our fantasy-themed Book Lists.

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