TN: My featured writer this week is S.T. Sanchez. Welcome Sarah. Why do you write, and what subjects or genre inspire you?
SS: I love to write fantasy. There is no limit to fantasy other than my imagination. I do have a couple of ideas for new books that don’t fall into the fantasy realm, but I’m not ready to divulge any details. I’ll have to see how those go. I have found writing in a different genre to be challenging.
TN: Describe your writing style.
SS: The Sunwalker Trilogy Books and The Portal Keeper are both written in third person. I have a couple of stories that I am working on that are in first person. I couldn’t tell you why some are in first person and some are in third, they just come out that way.
TN: What is your biggest challenge when novel writing? And do you ever get writer’s block?
SS: One of my biggest challenges when writing is simply making the time. I have a day job, a husband and three kids that demand attention. I also serve actively in my church and I am a wolf den leader for the Boy Scouts of America.
TN: How many books have you written, and what inspired you to write your first book?
SS: I currently have three books that are published. The first two in the Sunwalker Trilogy, Sunwalker, and Nightwalker. I also have a Middle Grade Fantasy book called The Portal Keeper, it is the first book in The Keeper Chronicles. The Sunwalker Trilogy is a YA vampire series. I wanted to know where vampires came from. Nothing I had read or watched seemed to really answer that question. In Sunwalker, I answer that question.
TN: Why did you decide to self-publish instead of going through an agent or publisher?
SS: The main draw to self-publishing for me was control. Writing a novel takes hundreds of hours. The idea of handing that over to someone else and letting them make all the calls seemed appalling. I have a phenomenal editor. She keeps me on track, and polishes up all the flaws in my book. Other than that I do it all on my own – from cover designing, to formatting, to marketing. Doing everything on my own makes it so much more rewarding. I have learned so much more that I would have if I had just found an agent. I enjoy doing it on my own.
Since I embarked on this journey I have met many authors who started out traditional and then switched to indie publishing because they felt they lost too much of their choices. I have also met authors who started out self-publishing and went traditional. All are happy with their decisions. So I think that’s the ultimate goal, no matter what you choose, just find what makes you content.
TN: How did you come up with your cover design?
SS: My editor designed the cover to Sunwalker. I fell in love with it, and it gave me the inspiration to create the cover for Nightwalker. I also designed the cover for The Portal Keeper. My first cover wasn’t great. But another benefit of self-publishing is that if you aren’t satisfied you can change it. I really like my new cover. I hope that with each cover I am getting better.
TN: What software do you use for your print version and/or for eBook?
SS: Microsoft Word. It’s widely used so if I can’t figure out how to do something, chances are someone on YouTube has.
TN: What tips would you give to someone who is considering self-publishing the work?
SS: If you aren’t one for hard work, don’t go down this road. But chances are if you have written a book, than that is not the case. Don’t skimp on the editing. When someone publishes a book and doesn’t get it professionally edited, it makes the rest of us look bad. Get beta readers. If everyone is telling you your book is amazing, keep looking for people to read it. I can’t imagine a first draft that doesn’t have a flaw.
TN: Describe the plot for one of your books.
SS: Sunwalker is a vampire dystopian series. Vampires in this series are born through a rare genetic trait making them Sunwalkers – vampires that can move in the daylight and are stronger than vampires that they create. The series follows a Sunwalker named Lilly. She is a vampire living a secret life, pretending to be human in a world that hates her kind. Her one wish is to meet another of her kind. When she finally does it turns her world upside down. There are lots of twists and turns. I hate predictability and try not do the expected.
TN: If you’ve written more than one book, which one is your favorite?
SS: I LOVE all my books. It is hard to choose a favorite. But The Portal Keeper was the most fun to write because I wrote it for my kids. They are a little young for the vampire series, and so my son asked me to write a book with dragons. Seeing their enthusiasm as I finished a chapter was great. It was the best motivation you could ask for. That’s probably why I finished writing the first draft in under a month. The fastest I have finished a book.
TN: Do you have any future projects/novel ideas in mind?
SS: I have an idea about a plague and another about immortals. Presently I just want to focus on finishing the final book in the Sunwalker Trilogy, and finish The Keeper Chronicles. I do have an early children’s chapter book that is ready to go, I just need to find the right illustrator. I am also in the progress of getting Sunwalker translated into Spanish. So I am trying not to add too much onto my plate until some of those projects are finished.
TN: Thank you Sarah for sharing with us and I wish lots of success for your future projects. For more information on Sarah and her books go to:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorstsanchez (Twitter handle @authorstsanchez), and her blog https://authorstsanchez.blogspot.com/.