Saturday, March 15, 2014

Heading On Over to Tumblr

Hey there! A lot of exciting things are happening right now. I've got a new book deal, and I'm working on streamlining the many places you can find me online. That means I'll be moving my blogging activities over to Tumblr. This will let me update a lot more frequently, plus share stuff from other authors and people who interest me in general.

So, if you're looking for the latest on my books and on me, join me over there. I'm working behind the scenes on a new design, which I'll be unveiling soon. Thanks for checking me out, I hope to see you on Tumblr!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Bringing Author Sara into the Daylight

For a long time, Author Me has only come out at night to work on books. Now, it looks like I'll be able to let her out by day as well. I've got an offer for one of my young adult novels and will share more once my agent has worked out all of the details!

I'm super excited for this particular project, because it's one I've been pulling for for awhile now. I'm thrilled it's going to find its way to readers. Want a hint what the new book is about? Check out the Pinterest board I'm creating for it.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How Do Writers Eat Their Food?**

It's been a long time since I've updated this, my author blog. That is because I've been doing what authors do, which is write books. It's also because I haven't had much news to report. My agent and I are working on a couple of things and waiting to hear on a couple of others, but right now my focus is on writing a new book. (I'll write more about that later!)

My third reason for being a bad author blogger is that I've been busy with the Day Job -- or Jobs, as the case may be. Like most authors, I don't make a living off my books. I'm lucky, though, that I do make my living as a writer.

Since the two worlds don't often overlap, I thought I'd share just a bit about what helps put food on my table, starting with the awesome marketing work I do. I am the senior writer for a company that produces events, presentations and other experiences for brands like Crest + Oral-B. Recently, I wrote the script for a breakfast event honoring dental hygienists celebrating their profession's 100th anniversary. You can see some highlights right here!

I also do freelance writing for a variety of publications, websites and communities. Most recently, I've been contributing articles to a community called Vocalpoint - everything from personal stories about my kids to recipes to tips on being pale and proud this summer. Here's a screencap. ----> 

When I'm not doing all of that, I'm taking care of my children, spending time with my husband, oh, and writing books! If you're an author who also has a Day Job, tell me a bit about what you do to feed your family!

**The title for this blog post was inspired by this video, which my daughters think is HILARIOUS!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Celebrating "Firsts" with Bridget Zinn and POISON

They say you never forget your first time, and for authors that's definitely true. The release of your first book is an amazing experience. It's exciting, terrifying, humbling, gratifying and a million other things all wrapped up together. There really is nothing like it.

My first book, RIVAL, was such a long time coming, from "the call" to release day, that it almost felt like it had been out ages before it hit shelves. The "first" that actually meant the most to me was the first time I appeared at an author's event. Sitting at a table with authors I'd admired who were now my colleagues, answering questions about my process and inspiration, signing my books--it was an unexpectedly heady experience. Most of the time I'm a working mom who puts the needs of others ahead of herself. Being in the spotlight, getting to discuss something I'd created, being honored for realizing my publishing dream felt wonderful. To this day, I love making appearances wearing my "author" hat.

I would have loved to see and hear Bridget Zinn on author panels, discussing her debut novel, POISON. It came out this week, but Bridget isn't here to share it with us having passed away due to cancer. I didn't know Bridget personally, but I followed her story. And now I, along with dozens of other authors, are helping spread the word about POISON.

I'm sure Bridget would have had some wonderful insights to share with readers and fellow writers. She was a librarian who loved humor and books about strong young women. Both play a big role in POISON, which has been getting awesome reviews.

Here's the synopsis: 

Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she's the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom's future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend. 

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart…misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king's army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she's not alone. She's armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can't stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she's certainly no damsel-in-distress—she's the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.

I think POISON sounds like a great book. I can't wait to read it! And although Bridget won't be sharing her wisdom at authors' events, many of her author friends are doing them in her honor. It's not the same, of course, but I--and I'm sure they--like to think Bridget is there in spirit.

About Bridget Zinn

Bridget grew up in Wisconsin. She went to the county fair where she met the love of her life, Barrett Dowell. They got married right before she went in for exploratory surgery which revealed she had colon cancer. They christened that summer the "summer of love" and the two celebrated with several more weddings. Bridget continued to read and write until the day she died. Her last tweet was "Sunshine and a brand new book. Perfect." 

Bridget wanted to make people laugh and hoped readers would enjoy spending time with the characters she created. As a librarian/writer she loved books with strong young women with aspirations. She also felt teens needed more humorous reads. She really wanted to write a book with pockets of warmth and happiness and hoped that her readers' copies would show the watermarks of many bath time reads.

At Amazon
At Barnes & Noble
Through IndieBound
iTunes Bookstore
At Powell's Books
Add it to your Goodreads pile

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Read Any Inspiring Books Lately?

I believe the right books come to us at the right time. Often, I'll pick up a new novel and find that it is exactly what I needed to inspire my own writing or get me through a challenge with a WIP.

That's definitely the case with "Mostly Good Girls" by Leila Sales. I grabbed it because I was looking for a straight-up contemporary friendship story, and because I liked the cover. Beyond that, I knew nothing about the book.

Can I just say I love it? The writing is so funny and honest. The characters are all real people. The plot is simple and quiet and... did I mention the book is funny?

When I started "Mostly Good Girls" I was a few thousand words into a new novel project. I was struggling with my main character's voice, experimenting with the story structure, and generally feeling uninspired. A few chapters in, I realized I was meant to read Sales's book right now--and not just because I, too, have characters named Violet and Hillary. "Mostly Good Girls" has taught me a lot about taking time to establish setting and motivation. It reminded me that readers don't have to see the central conflict barreling up on them in the first two pages. It got me to slow down and appreciate the complexities of friendship and life in general.

So I'd like to thank Leila Sales for writing a great, inspiring, helpful book. And I'd like to invite you to give "Mostly Good Girls" a try. And if you have a story about a novel that helped with your  writing, then share it here!

To learn more about Leila, check out her website.