Sarah has been writing for more than 25 years, starting with poetry before moving on to non-fiction and fiction. She lives in the Midwest with two monsters (the kids), an ogre (the hubby), and whatever drama-llama is coming to visit this week. Sarah is the author of the Runespells series: Too Wyrd, Fluffy Bunny, and The Chains That Bind. She has short stories in several anthologies, including Counterclockwise: A Time Travel Anthology, A Twist of Fate: A Collection of 11 Twisted Fairy Tales, and Beyond the Mask: A Superhero Anthology. Sarah also has a blog via Patreon and makes funny videos about writing on her vlog, Practically Writing.
1.What is it about your genre that speaks to you?
On the one hand, fantasy allows for anything to be possible. However, it isn’t like “real life” in the sense that you have to be able to show these impossibilities as having a certain level of capability within the rules of the world you’ve created. So, it’s both completely open-ended, but also includes a lot more knowledge of how things do/might work.
I really like the banter between the characters. Whether it’s friendly or borderline aggressive, the back and forth in several scenes really just pleases me. I’m not sure how I managed to do that, but there it is.
3.If I were stuck in a room with your main character, what would we be doing?
There would probably be food and/or alcohol involved. Nicola loves to socialize over a glass of hard cider and a pizza, or something similar. You would definitely be talking about weird stuff. No topic is off-limits.
4.When you are writing, tell me about the emotions that are running through you and what it takes to work alongside them.
I tend to feel the same things that my characters are feeling. That’s useful for getting the details of emotional description. However, I also have a constant thread of insecurity or dissociation/disbelief. I kind of feel like it’s silly or surreal that I am allowed to be doing this writing thing… and that people seem to actually like it!
5.You’re going to go back and visit yourself when you first started writing, at whatever age it was, and you can give yourself one piece of advice. What would it be?
Just finish the writing. Whatever it is you are working on, however you think it’s going, just finish it. Ending the story is the hardest part. Starting stories is easy in comparison, but you can’t do anything with a work unless you finish it.
6.If you could live anywhere other than where you are, where would it be?
I would love to live in a place with more moderate temperatures. I am constantly distressed by either heat or cold. I like it when it’s just a bit chilly, but that doesn’t happen much where I live now.
7.If you could choose any other writer, living or dead, to be your mentor, whom would you choose and why?
Neil Gaiman. He writes in a similar style and genre to what I do, and I love how he talks about writing. I watched his Masterclass videos and he is funny and personable and encouraging. I would love to just chat with him for a while.
8.Now that you have published your first book, do you have any dreams you have not reached? Goals for new books, series beyond this publication, or anything else that can tantalize the fantasy public?
Well, I’m currently working on a short story for an anthology (my seventh anthology, BTW), book #4 of the Runespells series, book #3 of my romance series (as Lina Greyce), and book #1 of a new series, the M.A.G.U.S. chronicles. I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things once the kids are back in school. I got a bit overbooked last school year and would like to focus more on writing this year. I’m shooting for another seven publications in the next year, but I don’t think I’ll make it… 😛
I will be doing some giveaways through my newsletter, and most of my work is available as tiered rewards on my Patreon, and I will be continuing that as I get more finished.
9.If we reach beyond the written word into visual media, and you could choose how your story is consumed, would you want a television show, a movie series, or anime to tell the story of the book and the world it takes place in?
I think mine would be best told as a movie. If you go with the whole series (once it’s written), it still wouldn’t fit well as a TV show or anime, I think.
10.Can we expect an audio book from you, and if you had the ability to choose anyone to narrate it, is there someone in particular you would hire?
I have audiobooks on the long-term plan. Unfortunately, I am not able to make that happen just yet. As for who, I don’t really have a single person I would want. It would have to be female, as the story is first person with a woman MC. They would have to be able to project sass and pain equally well with their voice. I guess I’m pretty open as to who that could be.
11.Do you have any regrets about the story you told? Would you make any changes to its telling or did you capture exactly what you were looking for?
The closest thing to a regret that I have is that I feel that I’ve grown as an author since I wrote it, and the plot is weaker than I would have liked. I would never go back and change it, though. It is what it is, and I could spend my whole life rewriting three or four books to reflect where I am as a writer “now,” and that would be a waste of the rest of my ideas/books/WIPs.
12.What are the things you’re most proud of in this book or series?
I feel proudest of the fact that I seem to be doing well at making each book in the series even more intense then the last. I have created a thread of action that progresses in each book to form a series-wide plotline, and I know where it’s headed.
I also get a lot of compliments on how I am approaching the MCs trauma. She goes through a lot of stuff and she doesn’t come out unscathed. I did this intentionally, but I wasn’t sure if people wanted a really psychologically damaged MC. Turns out my fans love having her work through some wicked-serious mental issues. So, I’m going to just keep messing with her.
13.What element of this story can we expect in your future work?
I really love showing diversity in my characters. Not just race and gender and sexuality, but also dealing with physical and psychological issues. I have a WIP where the love interest is a paraplegic and the MCs brother is on the autism spectrum. I try to never make a disability the “key” to having some special super-power (ie, ASD people all become psychic or something) because that’s not how it works. All my characters are just people. Some are POCs. Some are non-neurotypical. Some are LGBTQ+. Sometimes that gives them extra problems. Most of the time, they are just people caught up in these weird, fantasy situations.
Find Sarah everywhere online:
Vlog channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwIyhTZ60_FiXXpCaf_t30g
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FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSarahB/
FB Series Page: https://www.facebook.com/RunespellsSeries/
FB Street Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/StreetTeamSarah/
Goodreads (author): https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8016250.Sarah_Buhrman
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Sarah-Buhrman/e/B00BTM5S1O/
Goodreads (Too Wyrd): https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30339895-too-wyrd