Hello, Sara – please tell us a little about yourself …
It’s always a challenge to define myself. I’m a bit of a nerd. I’m a forty-something mother of two. I’m a widow. I’m a sports fan. I’m a shy, Midwestern girl who doesn’t speak much. I’m a writer. All of those are absolutely true, but I’m not certain that they truly capture who I am.
My life has come in two parts. In life #1, I married young and raised a family while I completed my education. I was a soccer mom, PTA officer, dog owner, all the usual middle-class American stereotypes. There’s not much exciting or unique about Life #1, but it was good and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
I thought Life #2 began when the kids were grown. Like many moms, having an empty nest let me refocus on myself. I’d always been a writer, but with my time free of ball games and commitments my drabbles and short stories shared with online friends began to grow into something more. I published my first book, SNATCHING GENIUS in late 2011.
Eight days later life changed and I found Life #2 wasn’t anything like I expected. My 46 year old husband suffered a heart attack. Just like that I had a whole new life. So, I’m picking up the pieces, starting over, redefining myself. I have hope for life #2, despite the dark beginning it has a bright promise.
What inspired you to write?
Storytelling held a certain importance for me growing up. My paternal great-grandmother loved to tell stories and she would even write them down for us in little books. I lived most of my childhood in the same house as my mother’s grandfather and he was a master storyteller. Having him tell us a bedtime story was the highlight of any day. Both of those grandparents, one on each side of my family, showed me that stories and the effort it took to create them were special.
I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have some kind of story playing in my head. It seemed a natural thing to imagine adventures and excitement. As a kid it was the best way to entertain myself and it became a habit that never went away.
How many books have you written?
Two released so far, but many more are planned in the series.
Briefly, give us the lowdown on what they’re about, including genre and titles.
The Moore family is a special group. This large, extended family is centered around an amazing couple, a scientist and an elite soldier, who are passionately dedicated to each other and their children. Their clan includes a charming, all-American boy, a genius with athletic skill and a penchant for finding trouble, a musical prodigy, a math and computer whiz, and a host of supporting characters with their own specialties. These are stories of love, family, adventure and growing up.
An old enemy of Joe and Kat returns and they find their children are the targets of his revenge. Love is all you need, until the shooting starts.
A look back at Joe and Kat’s courtship. This is the story of their beginning. A love story as remarkable as the family they become.
Where can we find your book/s?
All major ebook retailers, including: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Sony, Kobo, Baker & Taylor, etc.
What or who is the driving force behind your creativity?
That life #2 I mentioned needs to have meaning. I wasn’t expecting the circumstances handed me, but with such a shift comes opportunity. I’ve been given a chance to make a childhood passion into a fully realized dream. I’m going to work hard to try and make that happen.
How do you feel about e-publishing compared to traditional publishing?
Traditional publishing is set up to reduce the control of the author. The quality of literature is subjective and so is the process of getting published. There is a great deal of luck involved in finding the right publisher for your work and gaining their approval for your project. And the writer has very little control over what happens once that deal is signed.
With e-publishing the control is yours. There are drawbacks to that, of course, it’s you against the world so you better work hard. But, instead of worrying about finding the right publisher, all you have to worry about is finding the right readers.
What’s your all-time favorite read?
That’s a tie between The Belgariad, by David Eddings and Crime and Punishment, by Dostoyevsky. And odd combination, but I have eclectic tastes.
Do you draw from personal experience when writing, such as situations and settings?
Are the characters in your books based on real-world people (you don’t need to name names!)?
Some are heavily influenced by real life people, usually its personality traits or the character’s interests, but sometimes its a bit more than that. I frequently name characters after real world friends or family, although that character might bear little resemblance to their namesake.
If you could morph into any animal, what would it be, and why?
I just stripped the bedding off my bed while taking pains not to disturb the cat. So, I’m going to say house cat. I want to live in luxury and have humans doting on my every whim.
Have you attended any writing classes or workshops? If so, which ones?
Only the classes taken as part of my bachelor’s degree, I hold a BA in Literature.
What’s your overall impression of self-publishing?
It’s a LOT of work!
Where’s your favourite place in the world, and why?
My grandparent’s farm. I had a complicated childhood, and that was always my safe place.
How do you handle negative feedback from readers?
If it’s given constructively I try to consider it without prejudice. If it’s just a hateful rant I ignore it. I’ve really been lucky to have received very little of the hateful kind. I get that literature tastes are as varied as ice cream. What works for some won’t satisfy others.
If you could sit down with any author and have a chat, who would it be, and why?
Harper Lee. The question…Is once really enough?
Do you use social networking such as Facebook and/or Twitter, and if so, how do you find it?
I do use it. I was an avid Twitter user long before I published. My challenge there has been to incorporate my business venture with my casual use. I’m figuring it out.
Facebook took some getting used to, but I have found it’s a great tool for spreading the word about my projects.
How do you market yourself and your book/s?
Lots of Twitter. I utilize the World Literary Cafe to connect with other authors and cross-promote. Virtual book tours are something new to me, but I do have one scheduled for July and I’m looking forward to it.
If you owned your own planet and the laws of physics didn’t apply, how would you have it?
It might be fun if the ground was springy, like a giant bounce house.
If you could sum yourself up in one word, what would it be?
What does the future hold for you and your writing?
The Moore Family has a long story to tell. Each character has their own unique talent and destiny and we’ll get to see all of that.
I also have some unrelated projects I’m sketching and I’ll get around to as soon as Bug Moore and her family stop occupying the majority of my attention.
Lennon or McCartney or neither, and why?
That’s not even a question. Lennon. So, so, so Lennon. I can appreciate what Sir Paul brought to the table, but John had something special. What a beautiful soul.
If you were stranded on a desert island, and needed to burn books for kindling in order to survive, which of these would go into the flames first – The Bible, Catcher in the Rye or War and Peace?
Burning a book, any book, is abhorrent to me. I’d rather freeze.
Thank you, Sara, for your your Interview responses!
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