Today I’m conducting a session with…Sarah Andre!


Sarah is giving away a SIGNED copy of Tall, Dark and Damaged!

Just comment and share this post to be entered into the giveaway! Feel free to use the handy-dandy click-to-tweet links to share it quickly.


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?
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 #AmWriting @SarahRSWriter 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.


Damaged Heroes, Book 2 needs a title! If I chose yours I’ll thank you personally in the acknowledgements. @SarahRSWriter #AmWriting Click To Tweet

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.”

Buy Links:
Amazon | BN | iTunes

You can find Sarah here:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author | Goodreads | Bookbub

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.

About the author: abbieroads

36 comments to “Author on the Couch: Sarah Andre, Second Session”

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  1. Amanda Uhl - May 24, 2017 Reply

    Loved the excerpt! I’m hooked. Good luck with the RITA!

  2. mike staron - May 1, 2017 Reply

    One for the money
    Two for the show
    Three to get ready
    Four to DIE!

  3. mike staron - May 1, 2017 Reply

    One for the money
    Two for the show
    Three to get ready
    Four to DIE!
    You’re welcome for your new title.

  4. sarah andre - April 17, 2017 Reply

    Congratulations, McCall, you won a copy of Tall, Dark and Damaged! I’ll get with you off line.

  5. Susan Breeden - April 14, 2017 Reply

    Chiming in waaaay late, but I’m so excited for you, Sarah!! The RITA nom…that pretty much says it all. LOVE the excerpt, and I know the title you end up with will be awesome. 🙂

    • sarah andre - April 14, 2017 Reply

      Thanks Susan!! Looking forward to your debut-

  6. bn100 - April 13, 2017 Reply

    interesting answers

  7. abbieroads - April 11, 2017 Reply

    Here’s my shot at your title… Though I confess I’ve only got part of it…
    What about:

    Ready, Aim,… Something.
    On Your Mark, Get Set… Something.

    • sarah andre - April 12, 2017 Reply

      Ha! Great minds…I touched on those and also a derivative of Lights, Camera, Action. Thanks for the help, Abbie, and thank you again for hosting my today!

  8. Amy DeLuca - April 11, 2017 Reply

    SUCH a fabulous excerpt! I’m already sold on the new Untitled book and can’t wait to scream your name on Rita night. 🙂

    • sarah andre - April 12, 2017 Reply

      Aw, thanks so much, Amy! This scene came out perfect on the first draft- they just jumped off the page.

  9. Denny S. Bryce - April 11, 2017 Reply

    Congrats on the RITA final! So, excited for you. And OMG, thank you for saying it ‘takes a year’ to write a novel. In this hurry up and get it done author world, I sometimes feel SO slow. But it takes what it takes. Congrats, again.

    • sarah andre - April 12, 2017 Reply

      I really, really tried to go faster this year and it didn’t happen. I think my mind needs to percolate and nothing can speed that up. Thanks Denny, for all you do for us!

  10. McCall - April 11, 2017 Reply

    So happy to see you and your *gorgeous* books here on the couch, Sarah. I’ll be cheering like crazy on Rita night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • sarah andre - April 12, 2017 Reply

      Thanks, McCall, can hardly wait to see the Dreamweavers in Orlando!

  11. Anya - April 11, 2017 Reply

    Glad you found our newsletter helpful, Sarah!

    As for titles, I kind of love “Mascara Always Runs”—for when you write a “comedy of errors”-style chick lit. 😉

    • sarah andre - April 12, 2017 Reply

      HA! Thanks, Anya. Well, no rest for the weary–back to edits. 😉

  12. SANDRA MASTERS - April 11, 2017 Reply

    Sarah and Abbie: Enjoyable read and I can relate.
    I, too, love the quote. It’s generated some thoughts for your title.

    Abbie: Sorry, maybe, to say, that I did use the phrase, “She worried her lip.” I use the word “worried” in other instances, too.
    Congrats on the RITA. Fingers crossed.

    • sarah andre - April 11, 2017 Reply

      Thanks Sandra. Pony up the titles! 🙂

      • SANDRA MASTERS - April 11, 2017 Reply

        Sara: I did place them in the box you set aside for it and I just retweeted. I confess I’m not the greatest Tweeter. Or I can send it to you via private message if you want.
        Again, congrats.

    • abbieroads - April 11, 2017 Reply

      Hi Sandra!

      I’ve read Stephen King say something like “she chewed her lipstick off”–at least it’s a creative way of saying it!

  13. Lark Brennan - April 11, 2017 Reply

    Great interview, Sarah! Titles are soooo hard! And series titles even harder. Starstruck at Starbucks? Unclaim My Heart? Mascara Always Runs? Just kidding. I suck at titles. Really suck.

    Good luck with finding the prefect title for your WIP! I’ll be cheering for you at the Ritas!!


    • sarah andre - April 11, 2017 Reply

      Thanks for the laughs, Lark, best CP in the world!

  14. Carrie Padgett - April 11, 2017 Reply

    What a great interview, Sarah and Abbie! I love your excerpt and it’s got the title generator wheels part of my brain in motion.

    • sarah andre - April 11, 2017 Reply

      Thanks, Carrie! I need all the help I can get. 🙂

  15. Kristi Ann Hunter - April 11, 2017 Reply

    Sarah – lovely interview! So happy for your RITA success this year! Good luck with the Indie venture.

  16. Sheri Humphreys - April 11, 2017 Reply

    OMG, Sarah! After that excerpt, I can’t wait to read the untitled book! Can. Not. Wait!
    I’m so happy for your RITA final! I hope they do the live streaming of the awards ceremony again so I can watch!

    Abbie, I must comment on your most hated phrase. To my knowledge I’ve never written anyone biting their lip, but yesterday I was working on a scene and the heroine wanted to Bite. Her. Lip! I kept saying “no, no,” yet she kept insisting that, this time, this one moment, she wanted…NEEDED…to bite her lip. I stood firm and did not let her, but I feel a tiny bit guilty.

    • sarah andre - April 11, 2017 Reply

      Thanks, Kristi Ann- it’s been a thrill doing everything by myself. Hoping Book 2 launches smoothly in a few months!

    • sarah andre - April 11, 2017 Reply

      You crack me up, Sheri! I have to admit I’m going to march through this draft one more time because my heroine bites her lip. I do all the time, so it’s a natural characteristic to give to my heroine, but I can totally see Abbie’s eyes rolling when she reads the work in a few months! ACK!

    • abbieroads - April 11, 2017 Reply

      Sheri–That cracks me up! Stay strong. Don’t you let her bite her lip!

  17. Erika Kelly - April 11, 2017 Reply

    Sarah, I’m thrilled for your RITA nomination! I’ll be thinking about a title for your book!

    • sarah andre - April 11, 2017 Reply

      Thanks so much, Erika. The second I turn in edits on Monday I am diving into your new release! Can hardly wait!

  18. Sharon Wray - April 11, 2017 Reply

    So glad to see you on the couch, Sarah. I loved TDD, especially the gothic elements. I’m really hoping that one day true gothic romances make a comeback and I hope that you’re the one leading the way. 🙂

    And congratulations on your Rita final!!! I am so excited for you!!!

    • sarah andre - April 11, 2017 Reply

      Thanks so much (as always my friend!) I really enjoyed the gothic scenes, although I’ll have to transplant my characters to Cornwall to make it really real, LOL!

  19. sarah andre - April 11, 2017 Reply

    Whoo hoo! My turn on the couch! Brought a blankie and teddy bear. 🙂
    Thanks for having me again, Abbie, I love this blog site!

    • abbieroads - April 11, 2017 Reply

      Hi Sarah!

      Sometimes one session just isn’t enough! Thanks so much for being here today!

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