Hello, everyone! As I mentioned at the beginning of the month, Lost in Pages is participating in the blog tour for the upcoming release of Crimson Ash by Sulich hosted by That Bookshelf Bitch. Today we have an interview with the wonderful author herself, as well as a giveaway to win a signed ARC of Crimson Ash!
About the Book
Solanine collapses to her knees when she knows she’s not mistaken.
That’s Quill’s jacket.
“No,” she whispers. “No, no, no. I can’t lose you.”
She latches onto Quill’s hand the way they used to do as kids running through the forest. His hands held warmth then, but now the October air’s bitterness kisses his skin while Death’s shadow clouds over his still-open eyes. A blanket of blood lies beneath his head, and Solanine brushes a lock of matted, dark hair from his face.
She has lived in moments like this one too many times. While she closes Quill’s eyes, she’s reminded of Father, but Solanine has moved on from Father’s death years ago with the help of someone whom she expected to always be by her side—Quill.
Now he’s gone too.
She stands on unsteady legs and curses at Mordecai—the man behind the soldiers. He’s responsible for the murders of Father and Quill and the capture of Ember. If that cruel man never existed, there would be no army of soldiers roaming the Earth. Solanine finds a tattered blanket to cover Quill’s body. She crosses the neighborhood’s crumbling, abandoned road. Trees grow in the largest fractures, and common knotweed reaches out from cracks in the pavement, overtaking the road like ivy clinging to the skeletons of nearby houses.
Eventually, she stops walking and slumps against Quill’s supply bag as people around her add branches to the last bonfire. The breath of the flames stings her skin while the fire burns taller than Tucker.
Then the ex-soldiers start laying the corpses in the blaze.
Too numb to cry, Solanine stares at the distorted shadows cast across the broken asphalt.
People gather silently around the smoldering bodies.
Just as Solanine couldn’t grip her sister’s hand tightly enough, she can’t grasp the reality of a single emotion.
There’s nobody left you love.
The flames crackle when a stranger tosses the last body onto the pile, and the branches shift under the corpse’s weight, sending sparks into the air that float like fireflies.
She imagines each of their spirits drifting far above to a better place.
The only competition to the fiery luminescence is a woman with silvery-blond hair. When she steps out from the crowd, her pale skin glows, but her eyes are full of sorrow. Everyone turns in her direction.
“We’ve lost more souls tonight in our battle for humanity,” the woman says.”But know that we will not lose the war. Even though many of our loved ones may not be with us anymore, we must fight. Even when it hurts to know they’re gone, we must fight. Even if you want to give up hope, we must fight against the enemy whose goal is to strip away all that makes us human. If we do not continue our fight, we will face a fate worse than death. Tonight, may the dead rest in peace knowing they haven’t died in vain.”
Everyone raises their right fist into the air, forming an unspoken vow for revenge against the government, but Solanine doesn’t know how she can fight after losing so much. Without wasting another second, she rummages through her supply bag and pulls out a bottle whose amber liquid glows in the backdrop of the flames. It was meant for trade. She takes a deep swig, welcoming the burning sensation of liquor sliding down her throat.
About the Author
Haley Sulich currently lives in Minnesota, but she hopes to own a house near the beach someday. Her writing inspiration stems from her battle with depression, which shows through the darker elements of Crimson Ash. Starting out on Wattpad, she was a Featured Author on the site for over a year. She’s also the founder of the book-editing and publishing company Write Plan. When she isn’t writing or editing, she likes watching horror movies, paintballing, taking photographs, and eating ice cream, which happens to be half of her diet.
Which character in Crimson Ash reminds you most of yourself?
I would say that Ember reminds me of myself the most. I put a lot of myself into her character, such as her inability to remember her past and her inability to feel emotion. These two aspects relate to me because when I suffered from severe depression, I shut everyone and everything—including my emotions—out. This made it very hard to relate to others and feel anything at all. As for the trouble with remembering, I have a hard time remembering the three years of my life when the depression was the worst. It was like I was sleepwalking through those years, and the memories are very unclear.
Where does the world-building in the novel originate from? What inspired this kind of world?
I read a lot of dystopian novels, so a large part of this world was inspired by other dystopian worlds. What inspired this world the most, however, is my experience with depression. I wanted to create a world—and an antagonist—that symbolized depression and mental illness.
In one sentence, how would you describe this novel?
Two estranged sisters must learn to fight for each other.
As a debut author, what is the most important lesson you’ve learned throughout the entire writing and publishing process?
Patience is the most important lesson I learned. I can be a very impatient person at times and want everything done now. Due to this, there were many times when I would set unreasonable deadlines. For example, I thought I could finish the entire editing process in three months, but content editing alone took at least eight months. Then there was copyediting and proofreading. When I rushed my deadlines and became impatient, the process didn’t run smoothly and my stress levels skyrocketed.
What is the main takeaway you would like your readers to remember after reading Crimson Ash?
Since Crimson Ash was written about mental illness, the book is meant for readers who have dealt with mental illness as well. Due to this, the main takeaway I want my readers to remember is that they are not alone. There will be some very low points in your life, but—as cheesy as it sounds—things will get better.
There you have it, guys! You can add this book on Goodreads, and pre-order a copy via Amazon, Barnes & Noble or IndieBound. We are also hosting an international giveaway for a signed ARC of Crimson Ash.
And don’t forget to follow along on the blog tour for more author interviews and reviews.
Blog Tour Schedule
05 March (Monday)
06 March (Tuesday)
07 March (Wednesday)
08 March (Thursday)
09 March (Friday)
10 March (Saturday)