I’m always delighted when I meet a ‘new-to-me’author and am able to introduce them to you as well. Today I’d like to welcome author S.B. Roozenboom to Thoughts.
S.B. (Sarah) is the author of the paranormal young adult novel, PREDATOR GIRL. Here’s a brief description of it: Strange and unusual beasts that few people are aware of roam our world. Jared Ferlyn is one of these few—a Finder, born with the gift for detecting and tracking paranormal beings. Tagging these Otherworlders for the government, he’s had his share of keeping fey, nightlings and other creatures from human sight. But when a strange new girl comes to town, Jared is unable to classify her despite his training and experience.
Tracking her, he is pulled into a dangerous environment that not even a Finder is prepared for.
Sarah was born to the great northwest, where she grew up submerged in fairytales and make-believe. As a teen, when the stress of reality got to her, she turned to writing to create her own worlds. At seventeen, she completed her first young adult fantasy novel, and by twenty years old she has completed three with four and five on the way.
Sarah has graciously answered a number of questions about her writing for me.
Mason - Have you always wanted to write or was there an event that lead you to writing?
Sarah - I have been writing since I was a kid. My parents own a repair shop which they once both worked at, therefore I spent many evenings after school stuck there in the office with little to do. Writing and drawing was how I spent my time there. I used to draw and write on old, used computer paper, then staple all the pages together like a booklet.
My success with novels, however, came in high school. I had just gotten out of my first real relationship, which ended very badly, and I felt really broken by it. My high school peers were passing rumors about me as they did not like the person I had been dating, and my best friend in the whole world was so mad at me for dating him that she had changed schools. I felt like the lowest person ever, therefore I started reading a ton of young adult books and writing a lot.
After reading the Twilight series (the first book series I had ever finished) I said to myself, “You know, you love books. You love writing even more… why are you not writing your own?” So I spent my entire summer before senior year writing. In the fall, I came back with 900 double-spaced pages of my first book, called MARKINGS (which actually, after cutting it down and editing it to a hair over 300 double-spaced pages, got picked up for publication by my current publisher, WiDo, and is due for release fall 2013).
Mason - Of all the authors (past and present) you enjoy reading, has any one (or more) been an influence in your writing?
Sarah - There are three authors who really inspired me. Stephenie Meyer definitely got my ball rolling, you could say. Before reading Twilight, I had a lot of difficulty with reading a whole book. I’m kind of a go-go person, so if I’m actually going to sit down and read something, it has to hold my attention nonstop, or I won’t come back to it. I got hooked on these books within a couple of chapters, mostly because some of the things said or done by Bella Swan reminded me of myself. And then she meets Edward, this sexy, dangerous vampire that anyone who has read the Twilight series will fall in love with (I’m sorry, but Rob Pattinson is nothing like the Edward in the book in my opinion) so of course I plowed through in about twenty-four hours.
My other two favorite writers are Suzanne Collins and Becca Fitzpatrick. I can almost say that I love The Hunger Games more than Twilight, but it’s a tough call. Then of course I’m terribly in love with the Hush, Hush saga, and I’m dying for the last book to come out!
These three ladies know how to tell a darn good story, and I can only hope to one day be as popular as they are!
Mason - What is an average writing day like for you? Do you write longhand and on the computer, have a favorite place to write, a favorite time to write?
Sarah - I used to write for six hours straight or until my eyes were twitching and dry! My mother used to come downstairs and tell me to get my butt off the computer and go eat something because I would forget to eat or drink water—that’s how crazy obsessed I was. Now days it’s a little harder, as I am out of high school and have work alongside a new and wonderful boyfriend keeping me busy. I don’t really have a favorite place to write—our computer is in the creepy basement, so I can’t say it’s my favorite place. It’s just the only place there is right now. Ha, ha.
Mason - Do you just jump right into a story or do you plan and outline?
Sarah - It depends. Usually I get an idea in my head—God, I feel so bad for people who are with me when I get a new story idea because it can happen at any time in any place and I freak out cause I’m so excited—then I just shoot through the first few chapters. After that I have to pause and think, “Okay, what is the point of this story? Where do I want it to go?” Then I have to draft an outline so I don’t lose ideas or get messy and drawn-out with the plot.
Mason - What is the worst advice you’ve ever received concerning writing?
Sarah - Hmmm, I’m not sure. Most of the information I’ve gotten from people is good. I guess the only bad advice I ever took was using a vanity press for one of my novels a couple years ago. The company was very nice and they are all about getting kids into reading, but my book really needed more help than it got, and the process was much more drawn out than what they told me it would be.
The book got published with a number of errors that I sent revisions for over a year ago that my so called “editor” was supposed to fix. She didn’t. The whole thing broke my heart and discouraged me because that book was my baby, and I wanted it perfect. My friends and family and friends of family etc. had to see it full of mistakes… Lesson learned. I was so grateful when I sold my next finished work, PREDATOR GIRL, to WiDo, who did an amazing and beautiful job!
Mason - How would you encourage someone who has never read your genre to give it a try?
Sarah - If I was going to encourage someone to read young adult, I’d first hand them a copy of my book, PREDATOR GIRL, then copies of The Hunger Games, Twilight, and Hush, Hush, then say, “Read these.” I guarantee you wouldn’t come out the same person. Ha, ha!
Mason - What can readers look forward to next from you?
Sarah - MARKINGS, my very first novel ever written, will be coming out next year—though I have a feeling the name is going to change so check my website frequently. That one is also a paranormal romance for teens. Then I just finished my first teen sci-fi novel, which may have a literary agent interested in it. Not sure yet. I have a couple other projects in the works including a teen paranormal comedy, but my life is shifting a bit, so I don’t know if I’ll finish them this year or not.
Mason - What advice would you give to unpublished/new writers?
Sarah - I would tell them never EVER give up! If you love to write, and you want to write a book, I’m telling you that you can do it. Just don’t stop writing, and don’t start telling yourself your book is worthless and no one would want to read it. Study and read your genre, take your ideas to paper, and you’ll be amazed what can happen. I was barely seventeen when I sat down and told myself that no matter how crappy life got or how busy or wonderful etc., I would finish it and it would be published… and look where I am now. I’m not even twenty-two yet and I’ve got five books written and three in publishing!
Sarah, thanks so much for joining us today and talking about your writing. I especially like the fact that you didn’t give up on your work. That’s good advice for everyone, no matter what they are undertaking.
For more about Sarah and her writing, visit her website at www.theofficialsbboom.yolasite.com or write to her at Diane.firstname.lastname@example.org
PREDATOR GIRL can be purchased through WiDo Publishing’s online bookstore and it will soon be available on Amazon.com, Books-A-Million, and Barnes & Noble as well.
Has there been a book that inspired you to do something - write, cook, travel? Are you a reader of all genres including young adult? Thanks so much for stopping by today. Have a great Monday and share a book with a friend.