- Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up in Evansville, Indiana, with a very cool adventure-seeking family. My parents took us everywhere and also encouraged me to participate in student foreign exchange programs. I lived in Mexico, England, Germany, and traveled to many countries before meeting my husband. I studied business administration and international studies in college. I also studied Spanish, German, and culinary arts. I married a chef, and we have two little girls. After meeting my chef, my travels continued. We’ve lived in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Sanibel Island, and we live in Naples, Florida now, where we have two restaurants. When I’m not writing or playing with the kids, I like to take pictures of southwest Florida scenery and wildlife and share them at my photo blog, Sarah’s View from the Bottom. (www.sarahsviewfromthebottom.com)
- What inspired your latest book?
PRISMATIC is book one from the HARMONY RUN SERIES and was inspired by real life events from history, such as the Holocaust, slavery, apartheid, and segregation, to name a few. It was also inspired by my own childhood and life experience. I have multiracial relatives, cousins, friends, and children, and I’ve seen prejudice and racism in my travels around the world and in the U.S.A. I decided to write a story where multiracial teenagers could try to help spread the word that we are all just humans.
- How did you come up with the title of it?
PRISMATIC means brilliantly colored or iridescent, and I thought that would be an appropriate word to represent the characters. The protagonist is a multiracial girl, and the other characters come from varying ethnic backgrounds. So, I look at them like a prismatic rainbow, like the human race. We’re all humans, brilliantly colored no matter how we look…We’re prismatic. I chose the series title, HARMONY RUN SERIES, because Rain is in a dark, new world but running towards her end goal of harmony.
- What can you tell us about the characters in this latest book?
The star of PRISMATIC is a seventeen year old girl, Rain Hawkins. She’s a good person. She cares about her brother, her parents, her friends, and she’s not afraid to stand up to injustice. Still, she’s your typical teenage girl, who jokes around with her friends, fights with her mom, and has a crush on a teenage guy. She’s afraid of the world she’s been forced into, but she remembers what freedom was like, so she’s brave and strong. She’s a fighter.
- What is your writing process?
Whenever I get ideas for a new story, I start by taking notes in a notebook. I brainstorm ideas, possible plot points and themes, and character descriptions. Then, I usually start with the opening chapter. I see where that leads me. Usually, I end up staring at my notes again and brainstorming more. Eventually, I write the entire first draft, and I may or may not use everything I wrote down during the brainstorming process. After the first draft is complete, I go back and rewrite parts, revise, and begin to edit. Then, I go back through and edit again. Then, I go back to edit again. Finally, I hand it over to my publisher, Winter Goose Publishing, who gives it to one of their professional editors. This is followed by a few rounds of editing between me and their editing team.
- How would you describe your genre?
PRISMATIC is considered young adult fantasy and dystopian. It is written for a mostly teenage audience, but I’ve found that adults are reading it too, which is great!
- What is something people do not know about you?
I loathe public speaking. I absolutely hate to speak in front of a group of people. It doesn’t matter if it’s two people or two hundred. I’d much rather talk to myself, my dog, my immediate family, my computer, my notebook, or the man up above any day. I know that sounds strange, but I just get uncomfortable when I have to talk to people out loud. But I make myself do it. I go to book clubs to meet readers, I attend conferences and give presentations, and I do radio interviews. But let me assure you, it is extremely difficult for me to overcome my phobia. 8. What advice do you want to give other writers? Don’t compare yourself to other writers, stay true to you, write, edit your work, revise, edit your work again, and work with a really great editor! Most importantly, stay positive and keep writing!