Interview with Sarah Davis
I am delighted to welcome American author, Sarah Davis to my blog. Her debut novel, Inside Voices, will be published by darkstroke this year. Over to you, Sarah.
My sincerest thanks to you for the interview opportunity. It really is an honor to chat with the author of the bestselling Edinburgh Crime Mysteries.
1 Please tell my readers a little about yourself? I grew up on a farm near a very small town in central North Dakota. I moved out of state for veterinary school and then on to Los Angeles Angeles more training in equine medicine and surgery. It was a bit far from home, which at first seemed like a good idea, but the wide open prairie called me back to my roots. I now live on a farm about half an hour from where I grew up. My hobbies are many – reading, writing, and rabbits are the top three.
2 What inspired you to become a writer/author? Like the 80% or so of people that want to write a book, I toyed with the idea that one day I could whip up a children’s book. Years passed by without any concrete ideas until one day several years ago, I imagined a scenerio of a veterinarian and her telepathic twin daughters. I could picture what they looked like and where they lived. And over the next few days I continued to think about that same family – how the loss of the girls’ father would affect them. Inside Voices grew, with encouragement and support from my family, into the novel I can now share with interested readers.
3 What is the best thing about being a writer/author? Learning about new things while making stuff up. When writing a novel, any research done is “for my story” and not “to waste time.”
4 What is your writing routine like? I write whenever I have free time, which to be honest, isn’t very often. Usually I’ll scratch notes down and explore them at a later time. My husband gave me a pair of noise canceling headphones so I could listen to music while writing, although I’m pretty skilled at blocking everything out once I get in the zone.
5 How much time is spent on research? Time spent on research depends on the subject. If it is a highlight of the story, then I’ll spend hours reading and watching videos. For Inside Voices, I watched hours of videos of polar bear cubs, movies about Alaska and the people, called up friends who visited or lived there, and read books and research papers on polar bear studies. When incorporating tragic events, I was careful with what I searched on google – didn’t want to be flagged for looking up how to (insert bad thing here), so I watched more movies that had corresponding themes.
6 How much of the book is planned out before you start writing it? For Inside Voices, I knew the beginning and end and a few major scenes. Then I worked to tie it all together. My next story is thoroughly plotted as it is scifi/fantasy with worldbuilding.
7 What do you think is most important when writing a book? Characters, plot, setting, etc. All of them! Sometimes not in equal measure. I have read great books that focused on the characters with large blocks of dialogue telling the story and little in the way of setting.
8 What is your latest book about? Inside Voices is about a young women with extaordinary gifts who struggles with anxiety and depression. She wants to move past the tragedies she endured but finds herself facing new nightmares.
9 What inspired it? I think I answered this in #2 🙂
10 Why did you pick the genre or genres that you write in? A wise friend encouraged me to write a book that I would read. Made perfect sense so I wrote some fantasy elements into Inside Voices.
11 How did you go about getting a publishing deal? I pitched to agents and publishing houses off and on throughout the last few years without success. In fact, I had polished Inside Voices to the point I was ready to self-publish. Then a Twitter pitch contest caught my eye. And following an intensive training, I honed three pitches for #PitMad. Lo and behold I received some interest, one of which was Darkstroke Books. The supporting community into which I was welcomed has been refreshing and amazing.
12 Any new books or plans for the future? My current work in progress is entirely scifi/fantasy – no polar bears or dogs, but very large flying horse-like creatures and cats.
13 What authors have been an influence on your writing? Not sure I can say they influenced, but I enjoy reading anything by Neil Gaimen, Terry Pratchett, Terry Brooks, Christopher Paolini, Patrick Rothfuss, Holly Black, James Rollins…ah, I could go on for much longer and into other genres.
14 What writing advice would you have given yourself when you started? Don’t give up. Take a break. Be patient. All the things that work in life.
15 What writing advice would you give to an aspiring writer or a new author to the block? Do your research but don’t lose sight of your goal. Write every day. Find someone to edit your work.
16 What has been your favourite book so far this year? That question is too hard to answer! I started my way through some current Darkstroke books, and have thoroughly enjoyed each one.
17 What is your all-time favourite book and why? The Last Unicorn. It requires no answer to the “why.”
18 What genre do you read most often? Scifi/fantasy
19 What are you currently reading? As of June 19 – The Southern Book Club Guide to Slaying Vampiresby Grady Hendrix. Listening to The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.