One of the many things I miss during this pandemic year is the opportunity to attend book fairs and signings and meet other authors. This month’s guest — Sarah Anne Carter — is one of the inspiring young writers I met last year. I’m so pleased to introduce her to you. Sarah is, like so many of us, an avid reader and also a book review blogger. She has been writing stories since she was little, and is constantly thinking of ideas that could be used as a plot for a novel. She is a journalist by trade, but she has also worked in the public relations and marketing fields. She grew up as an Air Force brat and has lived in many states and countries. Currently residing in Ohio, she spends her time enjoying her family, reading, and writing. And we also have this in common: she is a lover of travel and cats!
Janet Irvin: Hi, Sarah! Welcome to my author’s corner. I’m excited to let readers learrn a bit more about you and your writing. Let’s get started. Your website lists you as a reader and a writer and you have lists of your top ten books for the past few years. How do you select your favorites?
Sarah Anne Carter: I do love reading! I keep track of what I read on Goodreads. I only give 5 stars to my absolute favorite reads – the ones I would want on my bookshelf. I use the 5-star rated books to make my top 10 lists.
J.I.: What do you look for in a good read?
S.A.C.: I consider a book a good read if I learned something new and it took me away from my life for a while. Historical fiction is my favorite because it usually combines both of those.
J.I.: How do you decide what to write about in your novels?
S.A.C.: Ideas for my novels come from various sources. I usually get a small idea and then build from that. With The Ring, I wanted to share what Gold Star military families experience as I’ve been around the military my whole life. I got the idea for Life After while writing as a freelance blogger for a prepper web site and wondered how a teenager would deal with a long-term power outage.
J.I.: You have a romance novel and a YA dystopian novel. Do you prefer one genre over the other? Why or why not?
S.A.C.: I really don’t prefer one genre over the other. I focus on writing stories, not specific genres. My next book will be a YA fantasy and then I have a contemporary fiction book in the draft stage.
J.I.: What does your typical writing day look like?
S.A.C.: I usually write for a bit after lunch. I have four children, so I make small goals of writing 500-1,000 words most days of the week. Then, about once a month, I can get away for a few hours and do a longer writing session or editing.
J.I.: What made you decide to become a writer?
S.A.C.: When I was in 4th grade, I had a teacher who encouraged me to do creative writing in my free time. She entered one of my poems into a journal for military children and it was published. I’ve wanted to write (and have written) since then.
J.I.: What are you reading now?
S.A.C.: Right now, I’m reading Dracula by Bram Stoker with my husband. We’re trying to read through some classics together and neither of us have read Dracula yet. I’m also reading Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore.
J.I.: Do you have new work underway?
S.A.C.: I am just starting up a new fiction book about family relationships and how generations sometimes repeat the same mistakes.
J.I.: How much research and revision do you do for a book?
S.A.C.: I do enough research to make sure I have key facts right in my books. Some take more research than others. I spend quite a bit of time revising each book, though. I take some time away from the book between each revision so I have a fresh perspective.
J.I.; Of course, I always like to ask a few questions just for fun, so here goes: If you could have written any book, which one would it be? ?
S.A.C.: If I could be the author of another book already written, I think I would chose Wonder by R.J. Palacio. I think the book has a wonderful message and could be read by readers of any age.
J.I.: What is your favorite adult beverage?
S.A.C.: My favorite adult beverage is a hot apple cider with some apple cinnamon bourbon added to it.
J.I.: Thanks, Sarah, for joining us this month. Below are the covers of Sarah Anne Carter’s books, as well as her preferred contact information.