I'd like to introduce my friend Sarah Sanchez from Texas! Like me, she began writing seriously only a few years ago. She has released two series; The Sunwalker Trilogy is YA and The Keeper Chronicles is middle grade fiction.
Tell us a little about yourself , Sarah.
I am a mother of three, a chocolate addict, and a Texan. Several years ago I found my true passion, writing. Although I love to read and have stories spilling out of my brain, I never really thought about becoming a writer. My grammar is atrocious. But I found a wonderful editor, who can attest to my truthfulness. She fixes all my mistakes and I get to focus on the part I enjoy, writing and creating.
Share a short excerpt from your novel The Portal Keeper.
It was dark all around him as he struggled to catch his breath. He couldn't make out his hand in front of his face and had no idea which direction to swim in. Suddenly he was roughly pulled out of the water and tossed onto a hard surface. He coughed a few more times and tried to sit up. The floor rocked beneath him, and Ajax realized he was on a ship of some sort.
“Well, what have we got ourselves here?” a grizzly voice asked. “Spots, shine a little light over here, will you?”
Something buzzed by Ajax's ear and then a small but exceptionally bright light shined in his face.
He put up his hand, attempting to shield the beam from his eyes.
“It's a man,” someone called out.
Someone prodded him with a stick.
“Hey!” Ajax exclaimed, swatting it away.
“What were you doing out in the middle of Death Lake at this hour?”
Death Lake, that sounds promising, Ajax thought to himself.
“I'm looking for my friend,” Ajax answered. “Have you seen anyone else? Did anyone else fall?”
“Shut him up,” another voice called. “Get him down below.”
Something covered Ajax's face and then he was grabbed forcefully and carried to another location. He felt as if he were going down stairs. He was flung unceremoniously into a chair, and the hood was yanked off his head. He rubbed the back of his arm, where he had been gripped too tightly. It was dark in this new place too.
Slowly a lamp was lit, giving a little light to the area.
A rhinoceros stood at the head of a table, wearing a pair of striped trousers and suspenders without a shirt. He leaned forward. “How did you come here?”
Ajax scooted back in his chair, looking around the table. He must have really experienced a lot in the past week because the talking rhinoceros didn't amaze him as much as he felt it should.
What brought about the idea for this book?
This is my second series. The first is a YA vampire trilogy. It is a little to intense for my younger children. So I wanted to write something they would enjoy. I asked for suggestions, and was told, “I want a book with a dragon in it.” I had been toying with the idea of writing a story with a portal and came up with The Portal Keeper. This is the first book in The Keeper Chronicles.
Currently, what are you working on?
At the moment I am getting The Secret of the Realms, the sequel to the Portal Keeper, ready to send to my editor. I have a few beta readers that give me their feedback first, so I am just waiting to hear back from them.
I am also working on Darkwalker, the third and final book in my vampire trilogy.
What have you struggled with since you began a career in writing?
Balancing my time. Between family, my day job, writing books and promoting them; there never seems to be enough hours in the day. I try and do a little bit each day, but that doesn’t always occur. I try not to be too hard on myself. As long as I am making progress I call it a win.
What kind of research do you do before you start a story?
Typically most of my research is done as I am writing and not beforehand. As the story unfolds sometimes I stray into unfamiliar areas, and so I pause and do some research. Luckily I have the Internet at my fingertips. You just have to be careful you are looking at reliable sites as people can post anything they want online.
Do you have people read your work before you publish?
I don’t understand how anyone can write and not people read their drafts first. I look for ruthless beta readers. I don’t want someone to tell me how great my book is, I have parents for that. I want my flaws and inconsistencies found before we go to print. It can be a little hard to read the comments sometimes. But I love that I have found honest beta readers who want my books to be great even if getting them to that point may sting a little bit. Now after my book is published - praise away.
What did you learn from writing your first book?
There are so many lessons I have learned on this journey. The first is never give up. Don’t expect overnight success, and authors are some of the kindest people out there.
How many times do you think you read your book before going to print?
At least a dozen. I feel like I have the worst memory. So I read it half a dozen times before I even send it to beta readers, and then I go through a few after I get it back and a few more after my editor does her work.
Any last words?
Thank you again for taking the time to interview me. Whether you pick up my book or another author’s, don’t forget to write a review. They mean the world to us. Check out free sample chapters of all my novels on Amazon or read them for free with Kindle Unlimited. Happy Reading!!