22 Mar Q&A with Sarah
Q: What do you think is the most important part of a story?
A: For me, I can’t have my characters fall in love just because they’re having amazing sex when they first meet. I love to see people fall in love in the day-to-day lives they lead. My favorite parts of writing romance are those moments that capture the heart. Those parts of the story where the hero gazes at the heroine in the streaming sunlight and realizes that he wants to wake up with her every day for the rest of his life. Or when the main characters share a split second of pure, unadulterated pleasure at just being together. Those are the most important parts of the story for me.
Q: What made you decide to try and publish your first book rather than resign it to the bookshelf of your computer files?
A: Okay, so, here’s how it all began. I had written 80% of Sharing Annabelle. My friends found out I hadn’t finished it and had no plans to finish it or send it in. One very late night, perhaps involving some adult beverages, I found them reading my book out loud and praising it. Knowing I have a problem turning down bets, they bet me that I wouldn’t be able to finish it. Once I proved them wrong, it was submitted. I didn’t even without really think it would get published. Now, I could not be more excited that I got started on this path!
Q: How do you plot a story?
A: I majored in English in college, which you can’t always tell by my grammar (or lack their of), but it did instill in me a certain writing process. I start with creating a book journal. I have a different one for each book. I always begin the journal with character outlines and descriptions of the settings. From there I create a general book outline for interactions I want to happen or particular scenes I want the characters to engage in. Once I’m satisfied with the small outline, I start writing. My process has changed a bit over the last few years since I joined a critique group. I used to write whatever scene I was in the mood for. Now, I write in a more linear style.
Q: Where does your inspiration come from?
A: My inspiration comes from where I’d imagine all authors get their inspiration – life. I love to people watch. I spend hours watching people interact because I feel like half of our lives are made up of the little moments. There are so many things that seem to go unnoticed – a caress, a shared look, an inexpressible moment of closeness – those are the moments that really matter in relationships.
Q: What is your favorite book?
A: My favorite book is The Giver by Lois Lowry. I know it’s a YA book, but I’ve loved it since I was a kid. I actually collect various versions and languages of the book. I have about a dozen and they are displayed with pride on my bookshelf. If I’m picking a favorite romance, it’s waaaay to hard to choose. Currently, I’m really into Shelly Laurenston, Kresley Cole, TJ Klune, Rebecca Zanetti, Megan Erickson, Carla Cassidy, N.R. Walker, Celia Kyle, Katy Madison, and Jessica Clare. I’m sure there are 1,000 more, but those are the ones that came first to my mind.
Q: What does your writing day look like?
A: My writing day starts by walking into my local coffee shop and the baristas getting me my usual order and then mocking me for coming in for the millionth time that week. Then I take my coffee with a super-human amount of espresso to a table by the window. Then begins the procrastination. I people watch, drink my coffee, and review what I’ve written as well as my book journal. That’s when the espresso kicks in and the mad rush of typing begins. I write until the espresso wears off and call that a good job. I don’t ever force myself to write because then it becomes a job instead of something fun that I love to do.
Q: How do you deal with writer’s block?
A: Ah, writer’s block, that fickle jerk. I am constantly plagued by writers block. That’s why I have to go to the coffee shop. If I try writing at home I just sit and stare at my screen for hours and get nothing accomplished. Sometimes I’ll go for a drive. I do a lot of thinking and planning in the car. I know it sounds nuts, but I kind of let the characters dialogue while I drive. For some reason, I can really hear their personalities that way.