Spotlight on Sara Elizabeth Santana


I was lucky enough to be chosen for a blog tour spotlighting authors that will be in attendance of this FANTASTIC YA BOOK EVENT!!

The Ontario Teen Book Fest is a YA book festival that is home to many YA authors and fans alike. The event is completely free to the public! I don’t know about you but getting to meet some of my favorite YA authors with no charge and no tickets is literally one of my favorite things in the world. This wonderful event is sponsored by the lovely Once Upon A Time bookstore of Montrose and thanks to them, there will be books and merch available for purchase 🙂

So join us on Saturday, March 25th, from 9AM to 5PM at Colony High School located at: 3850 E. Riverside Drive, Ontario, CA 91761

Spotlight on Sarah Elizabeth Santana

About The Sanctuary

The Sanctuary is Santana’s most recent book and the finale of The Awakened duology.

the sanctuary book coverZoey Valentine is finally safe. Tucked away miles underground in the fortified community of the Sanctuary.

But the Sanctuary is far from what she imagined.
Zoey can’t help but feel trapped.
Sekhmet, the evil corporation behind the Awakened, is still out there and
now, citizens of the Sanctuary are disappearing.
It isn’t until the bodies of the missing turn up mutilated, each one tagged with a note, a warning, signed by Razi Cylon.

Problem is, Razi should be dead.
Sekhmet has existed for far too long, and Zoey has had enough.
Goodreads | Amazon 

About Sara Elizabeth Santana

First off, I’d like to say how lucky I feel to be posting this spotlight on a friend of mine. I remember meeting her in line at The Last Bookstore waiting to get a book signed. And now here I am, spotlighting hesara elizabeth santanar for my blog. Let’s all take a moment to cry some happy tears. ❤

Sara Elizabeth Santana is a YA and NA fiction writer. She has worked as a smoothie artist, Disneyland cast member, restaurant supervisor, nanny, photographer, pizza delivery driver and barista but writing is what she loves most. She runs her own nerd girl/book review blog, What A Nerd Girl Says. She lives in Southern California with her dad, five siblings and two dogs. Her debut novel is The Awakened.
Instagram | Website | Goodreads | Facebook


  1. Tell us a little about The Awakened/The Sanctuary.

The Awakened duology follows Zoey Valentine, an eighteen year old girl who gets caught up in the zombie apocalypse. It’s a science fiction, but set in  our world. Sci-fi lite, so to speak haha. A virus wiped out a third of the population and those people reappear all at once as the Awakened, zombies, but faster, stronger, smarter, still retaining the memories of who they were before they died. The government turns the country into a nuclear wasteland in order to contain the problem and this leaves Zoey in a fight for survival.

2. What inspired The Awakened/The Sanctuary?

A lot of things really. I had written a zombie short story for this monthly writing exercise that some friends and I used to do and I felt sort of inspired by that. I hadn’t really thought of writing anything other than contemporary romance before that. I also felt inspired by the Walking Dead, which is a great show, but had hit a wall for me. I just wasn’t enjoying it anymore. Put those things together and my book sort of came from that.

3. What are some of the differences in writing process from the first book to the second?

I think the biggest difference is the expectations. When you’re writing that first book, you aren’t thinking of the audience because, honestly, you don’t even think that there will ever be an audience. Then someone does, and another someone, and on and on and suddenly people want to read the second book and its hard to get that out of your head when you’re writing. I also think…its difficult to keep that story going and its hard to make something happen, because it totally contradicts something that happened in a book that already was published! Book two is hard.

4. How does it feel going from blogger to published author?

Bizarre lol. I still blog, I still fangirl over other authors so it feels weird to be a part of that. I still feel like I’m not totally part of the club. Its nice though. I feel like I wouldn’t be an author without having been a blogger first. I learned so much about the world of writing and publishing and I don’t know if I would have believed in myself as much as I did without making friends with authors that did the same.

5. How do you think you’ve progressed as an author?

I think that I am constantly learning. I think before I was afraid to find my own voice. I was trying so hard to sound like the authors that I loved, because I was always comparing myself to them! But I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is my voice. I would also say I’ve opened myself up to writing things I never thought I could write before, like science fiction. I’ve been writing contemporary romance since I was 13. I love that I’ve taken the chance, because now I have so many ideas for science fiction and fantasy novels and I am so ready for it.

6. Any interest in writing anything that isn’t a book?

I used to write poetry in high school, used to put in the newspaper and I was addicted to this website called It was only as years passed that I realized that my poems were incredibly emo and I should stick to writing fiction.

7. Tips for writer’s block?

I personally don’t believe in writers block. I think that the ideas are there in your head, that you know what to write, but there’s other things blocking you. I think people are so afraid to write badly, they don’t write at all. My biggest advice, the one that helped me the most so I pass it along to others, is to let yourself write badly. Write pure crap. It’s going to be shitty, excuse the language, but that’s okay. You’ll fix it, and rewrite it and make it better.

8. What are you working on now?

I am currently jumping back and forth on outlining and story building for two different stories. Can’t quite decide which one is going to be the one. One is a sort fairy tale retelling in space, inspired by Marissa Meyer, and one is an urban fantasy about dragons.

9. Favorite pizza toppings?

I’m a total vegetarian lol. Olives, spinach, tomatoes, feta cheese, ricotta cheese, man, I’m getting hungry now.

10. Favorite book?

There are too many to even consider naming. Harry Potter is probably the absolute number one, followed by the Tricksters Duology by Tamora Pierce. After that, it just becomes chaos. Winger by Andrew Smith,  Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, the entirety of both the Mortal Instruments  series and Vampire Academy series. I could go on and on but I won’t!

Blog Tour Schedule

Continue following this awesome blog tour and get hyped about the Ontario Teen Book Fest with us!

March 15th:

Spotlight on Romina Russell – The Consummate Reader
Spotlight on E. Katherine Kottaras – Book You Very Much 

March 16th:

Spotlight on Catherine Linka – What A Nerd Girl Says
Spotlight on BT Gottfred – My Fangirl Chronicles 

March 17th:

Spotlight on Elana K Arnold – Read Now Sleep Later
Spotlight on Sara Elizabeth Santana – Starkiller Readers

March 18th:

Spotlight on Gretchen McNeil – Adventures of a Book Junkie
Spotlight on Charlotte Huang – A Traveling Book 

March 19th:

Spotlight on KM Walton – Recently Acquired Obsessions
Spotlight on Jeff Garvin – Reading Over Sleeping 

March 20th:

Spotlight on Jessica Brody – A Reader’s Antidote 
Spotlight on Aditi Khorana – Read Now Sleep Later

March 21st:

Spotlight on Ann Stampler – Movies, Shows and Books 
Spotlight on Nicole Maggi – My Fangirl Chronicles

March 22nd:

Spotlight on Julie Buxbaum – A Traveling Book 
Spotlight on Cindy Pon – Book You Very Much 

March 23rd:

Spotlight on Martina Boone – Movies, Shows and Books
Spotlight on Mary Weber – What A Nerd Girl Says

March 24th:

Spotlight on Jessica Love – Nite Lite Books
Spotlight on Lilliam Rivera – Starkiller Reads
Spotlight on Robin Reul – I Read What I Want To 


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