Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, step right up and take part on a global whirlwind tour of writers’ blogs from some of the freshest, most innovative voices in Christian fiction today.
I’m pleased to introduce my friend, Sara Ella.
Sara writes outstanding Christian Young Adult fiction, has a passion for all things coffee and literary, and is a 2014 Genesis contest finalist for unpublished authors. Yay, Sara!
I met Sara through a call for other YA authors on her blog, and needless to say I’ve been impressed with her writing and passion for the Lord ever since. She’s held a plethora of job titles from Barista to Disney Character. Her favorite stories are about young adult heroines who have some sort of flaw, whether it be external, internal, or both. She loves redeemed villains and fairy tales with a twist. When not working on her novel, you can find her catching up on Once Upon a Time or reading books checked out from the YA section of her local library.
Sara’s writing has been published in Shine Brightly magazine and Thriving Family magazine, as well as online by Drama Queen Ministries. It’s her dream and desire to reach teens (and anyone who enjoys YA) through writing stories about true love and inner beauty.
For more information about Sara, you can follow her blog at http://saraella.com/2014/06/writers-world-blog-tour.html
For this blog tour I was asked to answer four questions:
1. What are you working on?
After three years, I’ve finally got my YA supernatural suspense manuscript Sunrise positioned for publication. It has received award recognition in writing contests, and has had several close calls with agents and publishers alike – but it’s still looking for a home. Wink! Wink!
In the meantime, I’ve begun work on its sequel, False Light, and am in the early stages of another novel, The Promise Keeper. Unlike the other two YA novels, The Promise Keeper is an adult, commercial fiction-type manuscript.
2. How does your work differ from others in its genre?
I prefer to write my Christian YA material with a bit of an “edge”. That is, I infuse my stories with authenticity and a bit of realism. Not profane mind you (my mother reads my material), but I prefer to present inspirational messages through the readers’ lenses that are consistent with the world in which we live. If you’re looking for G-rated, Pollyanna-ish stories then go watch re-runs of The Brady Bunch.
Therefore, my Christian YA material is not for the Amish-and-bonnet crowd. It walks the line between secular and inspiration, and has cross-over appeal. Although the whole angel/fallen angel genre of paranormal romance and supernatural suspense has been well established in recent years, my manuscript actually contains Christian themes and messages like faith, forgiveness, redemption, and the sanctifying grace of sacrificial love.
3. Why do you write what you do?
I write the stories that I myself would love to read. I don’t write according to trends, what’s popular, or what dominates markets and scores well in focus groups. I don’t write stories that “play it safe.” I write what I write because that’s what speaks to me. These are the stories that move me and inspire me.
4. How does your writing process work?
Since I’m a working husband and father of two kids, there’s little time left over during the week for writing, so I have to sneak it in as best I can – during swim or dance lessons, late at night when everyone’s asleep, etc. However, my favorite time of day is early in the morning when the sun hasn’t even made a dent in the pre-dawn darkness, with nothing but the soft glow of my laptop at the kitchen table and a steaming cup of coffee by my side.
But, when time or circumstance doesn’t allow me to write, I’m always thinking about my manuscripts and story lines. If a random thought occurs to me – like a cool new scene or a great piece of dialogue – I’ll quickly grab a pen and paper and scribble it down for later. This has garnered me some quizzical looks from co-workers sometimes.
Generally, I don’t outline and establish the entire story-arc before I start writing. With Sunrise I just wrote and wrote, never really knowing where the story would take me. The same is true right now for its sequel, False Light. I’m currently writing chapter two and have no definite ideas where or how it will end. That has generally been my MO. However, I had the opposite experience with my other work in progress, The Promise Keeper. This story was thoroughly outlined and plotted before a single word was typed. I truly hadn’t planned it that way either. In fact, the entire story just struck me out of the blue one day at work while I was listening to the song Let Me Sign by Rob Pattinson. I started jotting it down and didn’t stop until I was done – which was literally about five minutes. Kinda weird. I’ve never experienced anything like that before. It was as if this magnificent story was just thrust into both my head and my heart lock, stock, and barrel. And I can’t let it go until I write it.
I’ve “tagged” some great friends, who will answer these questions on their blogs next week on the 30th. Be sure and check them out!
Katie is the author of the upcoming young adult dystopian “Enslaved” series with Watershed, an imprint of Pelican Book Group, as well as picture books and over 50 short stories and articles for children and adults. Read more about Katie at http://www.katieclarkwrites.com/apps/blog/
Sarah is the author of the upcoming fantasy novel “Children of the Blood Moon” with Splashdown Books. In addition to being a Michigan native, wife, and mother of two kids, Sarah is also a contributing editor for Splickety Magazine and Pelican Book Group. Read more about Sarah at http://sdgrimm.com/index.html