Author Sarah Burhman
Sarah is an AuthorGoddess, one who embraces the divine honor of creating worlds with words in the hope of inspiring others. Sarah has been writing for more than 20 years. She lives in the middle of nowhere with two monsters (the kids), an ogre (the hubby), and whatever drama-llama is coming to visit this week. Sarah is the author of Too Wyrd and the Life 101 series. She has short stories and essays in The Witches’ Hour and Dreams Eternal emagazines, and several anthologies, including Twisted: a Horror Anthology, Visions IV: Between the Stars, and The Pop Culture Grimoire: 2.0. You can find her and all her stuff at Authorgoddess.com
- How long have you been writing? I attempted my first story at the age of 8, but I didn’t learn to plot a good tale until around my mid-twenties.
- What kind(s) of writing do you do? I mostly focus on sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal but, within that, I write horror, middle grade, young adult, urban fantasy, and romance/erotica.
- What are your goals as a writer, both small and large? I would like to get up to two full-length novels published each year. I also would like to get enough in one royalty check to take my family out for a nice meal.
- What inspires you? I am always interested in writing types of scenes that I haven’t written before. Getting the approach, the description of a new thing, just right is a challenge, and I love it.
- Have you ever fallen in love with a character? Tell us about this romance. All the time. I spent my entire teen years exploring the intricacies of relationships with various tv and movie characters. It’s my only real romantic side.
- How do you find or make time to write? I am incredibly fortunate in that my husband is my number one fan. He has supported and encouraged my move to part time work and, just this month, quitting altogether to be able to write. Since my kids are in school, I am able to spend most of my days writing and marketing.
- Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Summarize your writing process. I began writing by the seat of my pants, but I found that I wasn’t getting the coherent plots that a book needs. I am now an outliner. I begin with a nine-point outline which I expand as the ideas come to me before and during the actual writing. This allows me to write out of sequence, keep track of big plot ideas, and bring in character development and subplots. It also means that, once I have an outline, even if I can’t get to the writing right away, I can go back and remember what I was working towards.
- Who would play you in your life story? I honestly have no idea.
- What projects are you working on at the moment? Nemesis is a short story that I would like to eventually grow out into a graphic novel. Fluffy Bunny is the second of the Runespells series. The Crystal Wise is a sci-fi/fantasy cross that I’ve been working on. The Wolf God is the first in a paranormal erotica series, and Poly Anna is the first in a polyamory erotica series. Threadreader is the first in the M.A.G.U.S. series, a steampunk/urban fantasy about fay-blood mages in competition for power sources around the world. I also have some children’s books and non-fiction that I work on here and there.
- What process did you go through to get your work published? The first and hardest step is always – finish the book. I took Too Wyrd through two full edits before I sent it out. I was pretty lucky – I was turned down by two editors, but picked up by a small-press publisher really quickly.
- What is the hardest part of writing for you? The story is in my head. It’s done. I know the end, or at least most of it. Getting all that down on paper is time-consuming and harder than it looks. I want it to be faster, but I can only type so fast.
- What do you enjoy most about writing? Share your favorite work. The very best is when a reader tells me they like something I wrote. Period. The second best is when I get the emotional reaction, even while I’m writing – laughing, crying, anger, etc. I know that it’s going to hit the reader, too.
- If you could have any fictional character(s), living or dead, on your survival team after an apocalypse, who would you choose and why? I’m the practical type. I’d have Wolverine – indestructible, long-living, and never without a knife.
- Which actors would you choose to play the main characters in your story? I never really thought about it. I just don’t know.
- What is your favorite escape from day to day living? Reading and netflix, talking plot ideas with my husband.
- What are some ways in which you promote your writing? Do you find that these add or detract from your writing time? I send dozens of requests each month for reviews, interviews, etc. I post hundreds of times a week on Facebook, Twitter, etc. to get the word out that my books exist. I do giveaways a few times a year. Really, I don’t think too much about whether I would be writing if not doing those things. Maybe I would or maybe I’d just be messing around with something else. But part of an author’s job is the frustrating marketing aspects (frustrating because it’s so hard to figure out what works, and it always changes).
- Who are some of your favorite authors? What impact have they had on your writing? Jim Butcher, M.R. Sellars, Alex Bledsoe, Anne MacCaffrey, Christine Feehan, Robert Jordan. Butcher inspired me to write urban fantasy. Sellars inspired me to write realistic-ish Pagan characters. Bledsoe inspired me to follow my wit, no matter what. MacCaffrey helped me explore the possibilities of story. Feehan helped me understand deep, overarching plots in genre writing. Jordan gave me the future aspiration of major world creation and epic plotlines.
- Do you know the secret to originality in writing? Would you share it? I fully subscribe to the idea that there are only seven original plots. But I think that is about what works, not a restriction. My originality is about the characters, the twists on a known idea, and the subtle combination of those seven plots to make a more complex story. It’s those things that give us originality in stories. The hero-quest is a basic plot. The originality comes from what the quest must accomplish, the doubts and obstacles the hero has, the uniqueness of the characters, and combining the plot of the hero-quest with the plot of the tragedy or rebirth.
- What are you currently reading? The Sword-Edged Blond by Alex Bledsoe, The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, and a smattering of paranormal romances.
- What do you think is the future of reading/writing? I think we are going to continue to see a marrying of the new technologies with the classic paper books. In many ways, the physical book will never die, but the way we can add interactive elements to e-books will continue to push the boundaries of what literature means and to help those with reading problems (dyslexia, etc) to be able to partake more. I look forward to what people come up with.
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