BUCKHANNON – As we leave 2021 behind and take on 2022, many folks are planning things they want to do and see in the upcoming new year. For those who enjoy reading, making a ‘must read’ list for 2022 is a priority, so be sure to include ‘A Mad Awakening’ to your list of reads – a young adult gothic romance and contemporary nod to Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein,’ written by Buckhannon native Sasha Hibbs.
‘A Mad Awakening’ is scheduled to be released Jan. 7, 2022, in eBook format and Hibbs said the print edition of the book will follow a few weeks after the book release and will be available online at major retailers such as Amazon, Barnes and Nobel and BAM.
When asked to describe ‘A Mad Awakening’ Hibbs refers to the book’s blurb which says, ‘The dead are meant to stay dead. Eighteen-year-old Albert Frank Young knows because he’s one of them. He had his life planned out with intentions of attending college in the fall with his brilliant girlfriend, Mary Shelley. What he didn’t plan for? Dying before his dreams were realized.’
Hibbs said her spark for book writing came because she has always been an avid reader.
“I had kicked around the idea of writing, but it was not until college when both of my English professors encouraged me to not only write, but pursue a career in writing,” Hibbs shared. “That vote of confidence meant the world to me, that and the thought of having the power to make the ending the way I wanted it.”
Hibbs was born in Buckhannon and has lived in West Virginia all her life.
“I am a graduate of Davis & Elkins College and have the most amazing and supportive husband, Tim,” she said. “We’ve been blessed with two outstanding daughters, Aeliza and Ava.”
Hibbs said what most people know best about her, along with her book writing, is that she is a registered nurse.
“I would have to say little known facts about me include I have a moderate obsession with foreign film, in particular Bollywood,” Hibbs shared. “I also love the opera and will forever be a diehard fan of the underdog.”
Prior books written and released by Hibbs include The Vulcan Legacies, which is a four-book young adult paranormal romance series, and contemporary young adult romances including ‘The Boxer and the Butterfly,’ ‘Northern Pines,’ ‘No Romeo’ and ‘Sutton Summer,’ which is a USA Today recommended read. All of these books can be purchased online in eBook format or paperback at most major retailers. Also, these books are available right here in Buckhannon at ARGO Books.
“I have been in discussion with ARGO Books about having a book signing after the print release of ‘A Mad Awakening,’” Hibbs said. “I would love to see the community come out and support not only local authors, but the local scene in general. How cool is it we have a local bookstore right in Buckhannon?”
Not everyone reading about this book would be considered a young adult aged 16-18. But Hibbs said her books cast a wide appeal to people of many different age groups.
“When I write, I have young adults in mind, but hope that my writing appeals to folks of all ages,” Hibbs said. “It’s difficult for young adults to relate to adult material because, well, they have never been adults. But I think for the most part, adults can relate to and enjoy young adult fiction because we were once young and everything was new.”
Hibbs said she considers her 16-year-old daughter to be her severest critic.
“When my work meets with her approval, I feel like I have accomplished what I set out to do,” she said. “She and my soon-to-be 13-year-old daughter are my sources for information, because I was a teen in the 90s so it can be a challenge to write about teens today. Having two teens certainly helps me overcome that obstacle.”
Hibbs shared two recent experiences she had which she thinks helps to show the diversity of age of her readership.
“One involved a 13-year-old girl who asked to have her picture taken with me after talking about my books,” she said. “Another was when I met an older woman in Walmart who stopped to talk about my books. So, my readership is really a mix, or perhaps that demonstrates they are really for all ages.”
Hibbs said she and her husband, along with Bobbi and Steve Halterman of Pillage Sound, run The Blaxxmith Shop Gallery and the Infamous Art Collective Gallery on Main Street in Buckhannon.
“We are a growing collective of artists, musicians and writers and we strive to provide the much-needed platform for locals to share and showcase their skill,” she said. “Most people do not know I am a best-selling author, not only from Buckhannon, but that I am also trying to give back to the community where I am from. I know how exclusive the art scene can be and we want to change that.”
Hibbs said additional information about her and her books is available on Amazon, Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.