Today, I am thrilled to welcome author, Sasha Greene.
She is a writer and computer programmer who lives in Glasgow, and struggles to stop the books in her house from multiplying mysteriously and overflowing on the bookshelves. (I think many of us can relate to that). Sasha is also an adaptive snowboard instructor, in which she passes on her love of mountains and racing down a hill to people with physical and mental challenges.
I asked Sasha about her debut novel, Something like Happy, and being an author.
Please note that some of the content in this post talks about mental health and suicide.
Tell us what inspired you to write Something Like Happy?
I’ve always wanted to set a book in Glasgow, because it’s such an amazing city and it tends to get passed over in favour of more glamorous locations. I also really wanted to write a book which touched on the theme of mental health in a positive way, because there is still so much stigma regarding the topic, especially around suicide. There are so many people who seem to be fine at first glance but are actually really struggling with their mental health on a daily basis. All these people inspired me to create my characters, Jade and Nick, who are just doing their best to navigate their way through the issues they’re facing.
When did you start writing seriously?
When I was a child, I was very serious about my writing. I wrote fairy tales about witches and talking houses and illustrated them too. I still have copies of them somewhere. I think I was about 15 when I tried to write a historical crime romance story. It wasn’t very good (I know, because I still have a copy of it!) and I think I got a bit disheartened and gave up on writing. I didn’t start writing seriously again until about eight years ago, when I found a course run by Kate Walker on writing romance. She encouraged me to apply to the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme, and the rest is history.
What do you love most about being an author?
There are so many things it’s hard to pick! Seeing my book and being able to physically turn the pages was so exciting. Getting my first five-star review was exhilarating. But I think the most amazing experience was when someone told me that they had given the book to a friend who never reads books and they loved it and now they want to read more. Knowing that I’ve helped someone to find a joy in reading is something I really treasure.
What are you working on now?
I’m writing a follow-up to Something Like Happy, where one of the supporting characters gets his own story. It’s about two people who have both been through traumatic experiences and need to figure out if they can trust each other. PTSD is quite a challenging topic to write about, so it’s taking a lot of work and research but I’m really excited by how it’s all finally starting to come together. It’s going to be another great story.
What do you hope readers will take away from Something Like Happy?
I really like the title of the book because it’s a good reminder that life will not always be happy, but as long as it’s something like happy, then that’s enough. Most of all, it’s just a good story that I hope people will love reading, but if it also gets people talking about mental health then that would be great. I went through a period where I had some serious issues with my mental health, and reading positive stories was what kept me going. Everyone deserves a happy ending.
More about the book:
Something Like Happy is an emotional and thought-provoking novel about friendship, love and day-to-day struggles with mental health. Jade is just trying to get by. She doesn’t want to talk about it. She doesn’t want a fuss. But one day she meets Nick and everything changes.
Out of the most difficult of situations, Nick and Jade’s friendship grows into something neither never knew they needed. Jade used to be sure that she was better off alone. But could it be that together, with Nick by her side, she can start to feel something like happy again?
Where can you get it?