I recently had the privilege of speaking to this amazing lady. She has written some amazing books that I absolutely love! If you haven’t read anything by her you are missing out.
1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?
a. Seven or eight, I think. I wrote a ‘newspaper’ for a school project, and it was loaded with articles and features. Mostly about cats. After that it was all bad poetry for a while, some short stories, then a lot of academic and professional stuff…and a good deal of angry journaling, but that’s another story.
2. How many books have you written?
a. One novel myself, one co-written with David Owain Hughes. The third is in process. There’s a short story floating out there that’s due out this summer, and another in process for a Romance anthology.
3. Anything you won’t write about?
a. Sure. Lots of stuff. I’m not interested in writing anything that doesn’t have purpose or use. Titillation for its own sake isn’t my speed. Now, that said, if there is a compelling reason to write about a touchy or taboo subject, then I would do it. I would do it carefully and thoughtfully and as responsibly as at all possible.
4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
a. Just turned 47 on 4/7 (whee!) Married, one bio-kid, four step-kids, one step-grand. I’ve worked for my local public library system for the last fifteen years, 12+ of that in public service, primarily working with teens, and now I’ve shifted to the administrative arm of things, balancing the books in the accounting dept. as opposed to checking them out.
5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
a. My first two out are so vastly different, it’s not even a fair comparison. My favorite feminist-earth-power-shifter-fantasy book is “We Could Be Heroes.” My favorite action-adventure-thriller-shoot-em-up book is “Collision Course.” Does that work? 😀
6. Who or what inspired you to write?
a. The two people who motivated me to finish the manuscript of Heroes are my friend Steve Winfrey who emailed me and asked me to help him beta read and edit his first novel, “That Others May Live” and he encouraged both me and my daughter, Ellie, to finish and submit our work to Burning Willow Press. Steve brought all the pieces together and Ellie made me see, first hand, how to bring it to life. They’re both pretty amazing humans. I edited for both of them. Steve’s book is in a revision process right now, and Ellie’s book, “Mysterium Excelsum Unum” is available on Amazon, and her second title, “In Obscura Silvae” is due out from Burning Willow in October of this year.
7. What do you like to do for fun?
a. Hiking with my pack at Wilderness Park – up to 10 people and 20+ dogs at times, going on adventures with my husband (and yes, that includes the grocery store,) coffee with friends, hanging out with the kids, sometimes cooking, and the occasional Netflix binge.
8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
a. I should figure some out, really. I get way too practical most times and forget to be ceremonial. You can sure tweet me suggestions at @sarahdaleauthor if you think of anything fun!
9. Where do you write? Quiet or music?
a. My favorite place to write is in my attic. I have a couple of nice chairs, and a tiny bit of privacy. If there is music, it’s usually classical, or at least wordless. I don’t like competition for words when I’m writing. That said, it does depend on the scene. When I was writing battle scenes for Collision Course, the classical wasn’t cutting the mustard. I went all girl-power 90’s punk on those scenes. Bikini Kill is amazing.
10. Anything you would change about your writing?
a. I want to become better at creating complexity through simplicity. I want my writing to be elegant and immersive, but layered. Accessible without being simplistic. I realize that’s a pretty lofty goal, and yes, I fully expect it to be a lifetime process. I’m looking forward to it immensely.
11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
a. Nah, I don’t want to be famous. I’d like to be successful, I’d like to be able to retire and just write. I think I would be ill-suited to fame.
12. Where do you live?
a. Nebraska. I’ve lived a lot of places, but the Midwest, particularly Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas, the plains, this is my home. And I hope that shows in my writing. Place is important to me.
a. Heavens yes. The pack, at the moment, consists of three dogs and two cats. The big dogs, Junior and Indiana, are all ours. The little guy, Benny, is here while my mother in law recuperates from a broken leg. The current cat contingent is Captain (big and sassy) and Serafina Pekkala (little and sassy.) We just lost our Angel, he’d been Ellie’s since she was four. His presence is profoundly missed, as are all that have gone before him. We’re all more or less allergic to each other, but it’s worth it. They’re good for the soul.
14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
a. For me, it’s that sense of creation, of nurturing something until it’s ready to fly. Well, that and it’s really REALLY fun 😀
Anything else you would like me to include please feel free to tell me!
One of the things that Ellie has focused on with her stories, is the idea of being your own hero. It may be that she got that from her early experiences with me and her dad, and I’m grateful that this is the way our path has turned. It could have been very different for us.
Getting to the point in my life where I’m in good enough shape to write, to create, it’s been a long journey. I spent a lot of years drunk, and a lot of years making bad decisions. That’s life, though. Just like with the writing, continually striving to become a better person, more sane, more healthy, more capable, more wise, all of those things are part and parcel of truly living this life, and man alive, it’s a grand ride. So it would be that.
Be your own hero. You’ve got this.
Thank you for taking the time to let us get to know you better! I look forward to reading much more from you in the future! Best wishes on continued success!