An interview with Sara, an aspiring author and blogger at Sincerely, Sara
You’re currently in graduate school studying Creative Writing. What benefit do you think a course like this has for an aspiring writer?
Honestly, my novel wouldn’t be where it is without the help of the people in my writing workshops. When you’re writing, there are always little things that nag at you, that you know aren’t quite right, but maybe you’re not sure why. The people in workshops help you see what’s working and what isn’t in a clear, constructive way. They’ve helped me write a better novel and have given me so many ideas.
At the moment you’re busy writing a novel, can you tell us a bit about it? Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
I don’t want to go into too much detail since my story is so precious to me right now. I can tell you that it’s an alternate history murder mystery (that’s quite a mouthful!), the two main characters are men that save each other’s lives right at the beginning, and that they’re forced to go on an adventure together. Can anyone say bromance?
This particular idea came about when I was sitting in an anthropology class my senior year of college (about three years ago now). I guess learning about different societies sparked something in my brain. I think most of the time my ideas come before I fall asleep or when someone mentions something and I think, That would be a great idea for a novel!
On your blog, you like to combine articles about books and writing with fashion posts. How does reading inspire your love of fashion?
Reading is such a fascinating thing! It brings you entirely into the mind of someone else, so at times I feel like I am someone else, and if I love a character, then of course I want to dress like them. Generally, YA novels feature characters wearing cute outfits, so it’s not hard to figure out what they have in their closets, but sometimes it’s fun to wonder what a character from the Victorian Era would wear today, or to translate a male character’s outfit into something a young woman would wear. It’s all part of the fun!
Classic American literature vs. classic English literature: what are your favourites and why?
Definitely classic English literature! I’ve always found classic American literature to be boring. Maybe that’s because I’m used to it and it’s what I grew up with, but I’d rather read something written by Jane Austen or William Shakespeare or Charles Dickens.
My favorites would have to be Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion by Austen. I’m not a romance novel kind of girl, but I have to say that Austen’s novels have made me more of a romantic. There’s something so lovely about them.
Which books are you planning to read next? Do you have any that you secretly suspect you’ll never get round to?
On my immediate to be read list are: Allegiant by Veronica Roth, Lexicon by Max Barry, Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. I’ll probably never get around to those books that everyone says I should read because they’re poignant and say something about life and society, like The Help or Still Alice. I’m not usually into literary novels based on real life. I’ve always used reading as an escape, so I don’t want to read depressing stories about loss and family. If I want to be sad I’ll read the newspaper.
Are there any books you started but never finished?
I’m actually pretty good about finishing novels I’ve started, but there are a few that I couldn’t get through. I felt like I was reading A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin for years, so I’ve put it on hold, but I’m not sure I’ll ever finish because his writing is so dense. I also never finished The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, How To Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu, and others that I’ve forgotten.
I’m terrible for buying books and having piles of them lying around the house waiting to be read. How do you prefer to read: are you a Kindle addict, library regular or a paperback collector?
Can I say all three? I have tons of books lying around waiting to be read, both in the real world and on my iPad Mini. I prefer reading real books because I love actually holding the book, turning the pages, and feeling the paper, but lately I’ve been reading more on my iBooks app because it’s so convenient. I also have the app Overdrive, which is sometimes how I get books from the library. One click and you have the book. No need to drive or get dressed.
And finally, do you have any random/funny/bizarre stories about books to share with us?
My random story about reading is that I hated it until I was 12. I never wanted to read for school and I certainly never read for pleasure. My aunt had given me the first Harry Potter novel and it sat in a pile for a long while, probably more than a year. It was actually when I saw the first movie that I decided to give the book a try and fell in love with reading. I guess I needed a little push to find the thing I loved. Reading had been waiting for me all along.
If you’re a blogger, writer or book lover and you’d like to take part in Space on the Bookshelves, get in touch! You can email me at amy(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)tenpennydreams.com