Today I’m conducting a session with…Sarah Andre!
Sarah is giving away a SIGNED copy of Tall, Dark and Damaged!
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Enter to #WIN a SIGNED copy of Tall, Dark and Damaged by @SarahRSWriter #AmWriting Click To Tweet
~ First things first, if you missed Sarah Andre first session you can take a quick look at it HERE.
Me: Have there been any big changes in your life since our last session—good or bad? Tell us about them.
Sarah: Why, yes, thank you for asking. I ventured into indie publishing with Tall, Dark and Damaged in June, 2016. Last month I got the 2017 RWA RITA® finalist call! Color. Me. Gob-smacked.
This novel was my nod to Victoria Holt, my favorite Gothic romantic suspense author when I was a teen. I’d like to think the modern day Gothic thread in it tugged at longtime-Holt fans in my first-round judges too.
Me: Sarah! Congratulations! I’m over the moon happy for you and will be cheering you on Rita night!
How many books have you written?
Sarah: I’ve written five, first two will never see the light of day.
Writing a new novel takes a year- period. I really tried to shorten the process with this newest WIP, and in the end, instead of a long first draft and subsequent shorter rewrites/revisions, it was a short first draft and dreadfully long rewrites/revisions.
I’m a dues-paying, flag-flying pantser. Most painful process is the crappy first draft with large plot holes and vast passages of ‘telling.’ It’s such a mess I lose sight of the end-process, where it’s a work you’ll be proud to call yours.
Me: I’m a pantser too. Pantsers unite!
What causes stress in your writing life? Why?
Sarah: At the moment it’s getting the RITA® finalist call. (First World problems, right?) But it takes very little for my internal editor to slice through my fragile writer’s self-confidence, and right now it’s a bloodbath revising Damaged Heroes, Book 2. Every sentence is measured through: “but is this a RITA-worthy sentence?” Naturally the answer is no, nor can I create a RITA®-worthy sentence good enough to quiet my IE! Ergo, my whole creative process is shut down. Weird, huh?
Me: That actually makes a lot of sense to me. It’s like now there’s an expectation that you feel like you have to live up to. Which is crippling creativity. Sometimes you just need to get back to the joy of writing. Remember those days before reviews and sales mattered and you just wrote because you loved writing? Get back there.
Name a writing pet peeve of yours. Something that hits you like fingernails-on-a-chalkboard every time you see it.
Sarah: All derivatives of: She let out a breath she hadn’t known she was holding.
Cue me stabbing myself in the eyes! I don’t know why it bothers me, maybe the absolute frequency of use…every romance heroine seems to lose their pulmonary function at the sight of the hero! I get it, I’ve even used it myself in earlier works. It’s such a tired phrase though.
Me: Lol. Mine is the heroine who bites her lip. Because there’s just no creative way to say it and for awhile it seemed like every heroine bit her lip.
What’s your writer’s mantra? Why does that mantra speak to you?
Sarah: I saw this last week on my freelance editor’s (Touchstone-Editing) newsletter and can’t stop thinking about it.
“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
— Anton Chekhov
Was that a two-by-four to the head for you? It was for me. Not just showing vs telling. This is instantly a deeper and richer POV. I take this thought to every sentence in my revisions at the moment…am I only saying the moon is shining?
Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. — Anton Chekhov… Click To Tweet
Me: I love that quote!
Tell me about book two in your Damaged Heroes series:
Sarah: Is it possible to do a TITLE CONTEST? I’m stumped and would love help.
Damaged Heroes, Book 2 needs a title! If I chose yours I’ll thank you personally in the acknowledgements.
My MO is to twist a common descriptor phrase. (Hence: “Locked and Loaded” became Locked, Loaded and Lying. “Tall, Dark and Handsome” became Tall, Dark and Damaged.)
Ready? Description of hero: Sean Quinn has 4 super-Alpha older brothers. Sean, however, is a Renaissance-type geek, interested in classical music/literature, restores art and is introverted and slightly OCD. On the surface he’s all Beta. Underneath though (and even he doesn’t know it) he’s an Alpha. Is a 4th degree black belt in martial arts, and when the chips are down this side of him roars to life.
Outwardly the heroine, Gretchen Allen is the snarky beauty queen type, but that’s to hide the deep self-esteem problems and sexual dysfunction.
Tropes: Clark Kent and Superman. Beauty and the Geek.
NAME MY NOVEL!
Me: I can’t wait for this book to come out!
Share with us a favorite paragraph or two from your as-yet-to-be-titled novel.
“So…would you have had a drink with me last night if I’d asked?”
Gretch didn’t answer. While she cocked her head and examined her nails Sean glanced at the patrons, the bustling square, the long shadows easing toward their table. He retraced the coffee cup logo, jiggling his knee. Her silence strained every muscle in him, stretched him like some medieval torture rack. Five more seconds and he’d beg for mercy.
“You’re a nice guy,” she said in that awful kind tone his brothers’ girlfriends used. He braced for The Adjectives. Weird. Strange. Peculiar… She rested her arms halfway across the table, fingers splayed, still looking at them instead of him. “I was so sure I couldn’t tolerate any man this afternoon without going ballistic, but you’re…different.”
Hope rose. Different wasn’t bad! “Maybe we can—”
A faint smile appeared on her face, and his vocal chords seized. Hope swan-dived off Kilimanjaro, the free fall stealing his oxygen.
“You’d never survive me, Sean.”
The nerd panicking within wholeheartedly believed her. The fourth-degree black belt took exception. “You hardly know me.”
“I date a certain kind of guy for a certain kind of reason.” She reached over and twisted the cup in his hands so the logo slanted at an unacceptable sixty-two degree angle. Immediately his skin crawled with the need to right it, but she’d stuck her chin in her hand and waited, that faint smile still in place, like a cat watching a cornered mouse.
He folded his arms. “What insurmountable feat does it take to be that guy?” His jiggling knee made the table quake.
Gretch laughed, and the throaty sound washed over him, almost capturing his attention from the cup that needed turning. Desperately.
“It’d take a miracle.” She rose gracefully. “See you at work.”
You can find Sarah here:
Abbie Roads writes dark emotional novels featuring damaged characters, but always gives her hero and heroine a happy ending… after torturing them for three hundred pages. RACE THE DARKNESS and HUNT THE DAWN are available now! SAVING MERCY Book 1 in the Fatal Truth Series is now available for pre-order.