Tell me a little about yourself, personally.
My name is Sarah Mae Sutton (and one of those isn’t my true name 😉) and I’m from this really, really small town in Michigan. So small that you can drive through it in under two minutes. Since it’s such a quiet area, there isn’t much else to do other than read and write. Maybe that’s why I love both of those so much!
What is the name of the book or books you have published?
My debut YA Romance, WHAT ARE FRIENDS FOR?, released on January 14, 2020!
Where can they be found?
Right now, they’re available on Amazon, B&N.com, and Apple Books. But—look at that! I’ve got a universal link right here. Just click it, and it’ll open a page where you can choose your desired purchasing platform! Nifty, right? The Goodreads link is here too, in case you want to add it to your TBR!
Do you have any current WIPs?
I actually have two right now! I wouldn’t say I’m the kind of person that works on two projects at once, because I usually alternate between them. Edit one, let that one sit while I edit another.
How are they going?
They’re actually going quite well! They’re both YA Romances (because that’s my favorite genre EVER), one being called TELLING THE PERFECT LIE and IF THE BROOM FITS. The latter is a Halloween love story—think Christmas love stories but just substitute the holiday with Halloween. It’s set to publish toward the end of September (no links yet) which is super exciting!
What got you into writing?
The first thing I ever wrote was fanfiction, which you may say “okay, that’s cool” but I started writing when I was six years old. What sort of fanfiction does a six year old write, you may ask? Gingerbread Man fanfiction. There was a little picture book that I loved so much that I brought it to my mom’s dial-up computer, opened a little text document, and basically plagiarized the entire thing. I printed it out and showed Mom, who pretended to be excited for me, and encouraged me to go write another story. Since then, I’ve never stopped.
What keeps you focused?
I’ll be honest—focus and I are not chums. In fact, if focus comes into the room, my brain wants to immediately leave. I’m not much of a person that can pinpoint all of their attention and energy into one thing. If I’m writing, I’ll usually have a YouTube video opened up on the other half of my computer screen. If I’m reading, I’ll have my earbuds in. But I’ve found that being comfortable really helps my attention. Get cozy, get some sweats on, and you may not find me lifting my gaze from my keyboard for hours. It’s totally happened.
What gives you inspiration?
So many things! Quite honestly, I’m not much of a person who can read a book and garner inspiration from that. In fact, reading the same genre that I’m writing in while I’m writing can actually slow my progress. So for inspiration, I turn to music, movies, music videos, long car rides at night. Music is a huge one for me, because the stories that songs carry can be so deep and thought-provoking. Music videos are also fun, because while the song may be singing one thing, the video could take the context of the song differently. It teaches me to look at things from multiple perspectives, and sometimes the urge to write comes from that! Also storms—I love me a good thunderstorm!
How do you battle writer’s block?
Oof. The dreaded WB. It creeps up on me when I’m not looking, when my back is turned and progress is going good. That’s how it happens, isn’t it? You’re going great and then—BAM! Brick wall of death. If it’s a minor sort of block, like a scene isn’t quite working how I’m wanting it to, I’ll switch from writing on my laptop to writing on paper. Just that switch alone switches something in my brain and gets my creative juices flowing again. If that doesn’t help (and it’s rare that it doesn’t for me), I’ll put what I want in the scene that I’m writing in brackets. [BLAIRE NEEDS TO TALK TO LUCAS. DONNIE STOPS HER FROM DOING SO] Doing this helps me remember what I want to put here later, but allows me to move on without stalling out completely.
But there’ll be times where I have an editing block—I literally cannot edit to save my life. I usually take a break, maybe brainstorm my characters a bit more, detail my outline a bit more, and just take some time to marinate on the story. Is it going in the direction I want? Do I like how it’s been flowing? If not, then that’s usually where I need to go back and fix, and then I’m back up and chugging along!
Did you decide on traditional or self publishing?
I did! I decided to self-publish my debut, WHAT ARE FRIENDS FOR?!
What made you make that choice?
I’d just come off a year-long negotiation with a medium-sized publishing company. I hadn’t been querying WAFF?, but a different manuscript. Not going into too much detail, but we’d been going back and forth doing final fixes on this manuscript before ultimately they decided that they were going to pass. I was devastated. A whole year, gone. This was something I thought for sure was going to happen, and my dreams were just crushed. And I couldn’t stop thinking “what, this is it? I have to do all of this over again?” I always told myself I could always self-publish, but it was never in a positive way. Self-publishing to me (before I threw myself into researching it and learning everything I could about it) felt like defeat. And GOODNESS, I was so wrong! This is a major success, and I couldn’t be any more excited for my exciting future in self-publishing! I’ve already got my publishing line-up done through the year 2022. It’s going to be epic!
How does it feel to be considered an author?
Wild. I mean, yeah, I write, but I’m an author? It’s so wild to think about. It’s wild to think that I’m a published author. Publishing a book of mine has been a dream ever since I was a little girl, so it’s just so crazy that it came true. This feels like a fairytale moment for me.
What’s your social media platforms for people to find you?
I’m on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook—all with the username @SarahMaeSutton (but I’ll add links too to make it easy)! I also have an author website where one could sign up for my newsletter. They’d get all the info on new books, giveaways, beta reading opportunities (I’m looking for betas for my Halloween book in January so keep an eye out!), and so much more!