What have you written so far?
Most frequently, I write short, horror stories. From the time I was young, I always liked reading anthologies and collections. The segments in an anthology are broken down into easily digestible chunks that still pack a significant punch for their page space. In that kind of atmosphere, tight writing is king. My short stories have been included in books by Knightwatch Press, DM Publishing, FTB Press, 13 O’clock press, etc.
I have also written a novella-length, dark romance called A Turbulent Affair. The story features two female protagonists on their journey to navigate their insecurities and build a lasting romance on the foundation of their friendship. I am a big supporter of the We Need Diverse Books movement, so I am actively involved in working on characters that may seem to get lost in niche markets.
What are some ways in which you promote your work?
I like to make slides with engaging quotes from my work, or snippets from reviews to highlight the quality of the manuscripts. It’s easy to find royalty free stock art for commercial use on sites like pixabay.com or Unsplash.com. I’m sure there are many others as well. The visual draws people in and has more potential for shares via social media than text only quotes.
How do you feel about indie/alternative vs. conventional publishing?
I separate the publishing world into three basic subgroups: self-publishing, indie publishing, and conventional publishing. There really isn’t a right way or a wrong way to publish. It’s all about what you want from the experience. Self-publishing is great for people who have the time, resources, and skills to devote to creating and marketing their book. The success is all theirs, but so is the work.
I have worked with small presses because it takes some of the weight of editing, cover design, marketing off of my shoulders. I have two small children, and my time is limited, so the extra help works for me even if I don’t see the same profits as a self-publisher may get.
Ultimately, I think the best way to be a large-scale success is to sign with a big house. It’s nothing against the other methods, it’s just the resources they bring to the table facilitate a bigger splash in the market.
Can you share with readers a little bit about your latest book?
I have few things in the works right now, but I am actively promoting my novella, A Turbulent Affair, which was released by Black Opal Books in January of this year. It’s been more difficult than I thought to get inclusion and coverage for the book because of the F/F pairing. I know it’s been a hot button issue lately. The story itself is not necessarily a fun, plucky romance. It’s a dark, somewhat disturbing progression into the minds of two damaged people trying to figure out how to be happy. There are trigger warnings for suicidal thoughts and self-harm as both are running themes throughout.
What is your next project?
I am working on a YA, Paranormal Mystery novel. Of course, I have been working on it on and off for the past several years, so I have no idea when it will see the light of day. The project is important to me because it’s the kind of story I always told myself I would write when I first started out.
What role does research play in your writing?
It depends on what I am writing. Generally speaking, I think research is very important because an accurate, well-thought out story will always be stronger and realize its potential more often than a story that ignores the necessary research. It’s a pet peeve of mine to see police officers blatantly disregard evidence collection procedures, or descriptions of events with factual details accidently changed or omitted. That isn’t to say there can’t be some factual wiggle room if it is properly addressed and presented, but more often it’s lazy writing. The writer needs something to happen to propel the story forwards, and instead of working out a plausible chain of events, they just make it happen and blame ‘the exception to the rule’ convention.
I am completely on board with people writing outside their identity (men as women, gay as straight, humans and dragons) but there needs to be a respectful and accurate portrayal of these characters that can only come with research. In addition to research, the story should be beta-read by people with first-hand knowledge of the subject so that they can call you out on discrepancies in edits.
If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be?
I am not a super congenial person. I am often perceived as brash and abrasive because I am honest and straightforward in my thoughts and opinions. I see little point in deluding or lessening a person’s personality simply because not everyone can handle its intensity. If I could change one thing in this world, it would be the social perception of subservient propriety that we are held to. How would I do it? Well, I’m not sure. I suppose by writing characters with similar philosophies I could normalize the readers desire to be more aggressively passionate about the things they enjoy. I wish people didn’t feel ashamed of being nerdy, or reading romance, or whatever floats their boat. Folks should be proudly, unabashedly, enthusiastic in their pursuits.
What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer?
There is a market for anything. If you have an idea, then you should write it down because somewhere, someone wants to read it. Now, finding that market can be a challenge, but in the end, you are giving the world something it didn’t have before you sent out those words. That’s usually a win in my book.
Tell us something unique about you.
I have matching tattoos with my ex-bestie. Well, I suppose that’s probably not quite true, since I’m sure she had hers removed or covered up. It’s something you see shamed and laughed at quite a bit in pop culture, but I don’t feel that way. Tattoos are a reminder of something that you wanted to remember forever. Someday those memories won’t be so painful, and I’ll be able to look back on them with quiet, detached affection.
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
The best way to learn more about me and my work would be to connect on social media or visit my website for an up-to-date history of my events and publications. I appreciate any and all involvement in my work. I’m always happy to help out fellow authors if you need a critical eye on a manuscript, an assistant reader, editor, or even just overall support for like-minded individuals.
Want to Connect with Sarah?
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page | Book Links