Welcome to another Wednesday Scribblers. As you all know this month has been a month of author interviews and I’m very thrilled to share all these amazing writers with you. This way we all are exposed to books we might not have known about otherwise. This week it is my pleasure to share my chat with Sara Codair.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by and talk with us about your writing and about your novel Power Surge. Before we dive in, why don’t you introduce yourself and tell us something that we won’t find in your bio.
A lot of people are surprised to hear this, but I hated reading until I got to high school. Once I outgrew picture books, I only read when forced to, and then I would look for the thinnest books with the biggest letters.
Oh my gosh! I’m not the only one. You just made my day.
I’ve always had a passion for the ocean, the salt marsh, and all the creatures that live in both. When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always said Marine Biologist. When I was 12, if you told me that one day I would be an English teacher, I would not have believed you.
Marine Biologist to English teacher that is a big leap. Now, when I was reading your bio something that caught my eye was that you mention you’re also a photographer. Personally, I love taking pictures, most of them are rubbish but I still enjoy it. What is it about photography you enjoy so much? Are we going to see a photo book at some point?
Photography is another way to tell a story. It’s a visual form of a personal essay and memoir, and they are my way of saying “I was there. I climbed that mountain. I hiked that path out to the secluded lake. I grew that tomato. I live on this lake.”
I’ve liked taking pictures almost as long as I’ve enjoyed writing stories. I took some classes in college, and actually worked as a photographer for a few years. When I freelance wrote for newspapers, I made twice as much money because I did my own photography. After realizing I hated reporting, I worked at two different portrait studios while I went to graduate school. At one point, I had my own business making and selling jewelry, and my ability to take good photos of my products helped me stand out among other online sellers.
That is very cool.
Now, photography is just a hobby. If I get good shots when I hike, I’ll upload some to Unsplash – the free stock photo site I use for making aesthetics for my books.
I’m not sure if you’ll see my photos in my books anytime soon. You won’t with Power Surge, but if my solar punk fantasy WIP gets published, I’d like the cover to be based off of one of my own photos.
That would be excellent. You get the credit for not only writing the book but for the cover as well. Nicely done.
What has it been like since you released Power Surge? Have you been enjoying having it out in the world for all to see? The reviews seem to be very positive so that has to make you feel proud. Overall are you happy with the reception the novel has had?
It’s been equally exciting or stressful.
I’m thrilled that most of the people who have read it like it. Shortly before it came out, I’d seen too many horror stories about reviewers being out right mean on Goodreads and authors being mean to the reviewers.
Sadly, I heard something similar.
I don’t have a lot of reviews yet, but reading the good things people said has been a huge confidence booster. People seem to be reacting to the book how I hoped they would.
I did get my first negative review shortly after you sent me these questions. I probably spent way too much time thinking about it, but I did learn from it.
I’m glad you got a take away from the negative review. That can be helpful in dealing with it.
I worry Power Surge isn’t really reaching enough people, and I haven’t figured out an effective way to change that. It doesn’t help that my brain seems to short circuit every time someone talks to me about the book face to face, and I dissolve into a puddle of awkwardness.
I don’t think you’re the only one. That happens to all of us at one time or another. It would be great if there was a magic marketing pill we could all take.
Tell us about Power Surge without giving away too much?
One thing you don’t get from reading the blurb is that Power Surge is about mental illness as much as it is about family lies and demon hunters.
After having adverse reactions to medication, Erin is trying to manage anxiety, depression, and ADHD without it. They’re barely getting by at the start of the book. At first, Erin doesn’t cope so well when they have to deal with a new boyfriend, a demon stalker, and a possible apocalypse.
Throughout the story, Erin is fighting themself as much as they are fighting demons. Finding a way to manage their mental illness as a key to their survival as defeating the demon that is hunting them.
Wow, that sounds pretty epic.
Tell us, what was it like to write the novel? What about the editing process, for me that is always a bit hard, but it’s also a great way to improve the story. What was it like for you?
Writing a novel is an immersive experience.
When I turn my internet off, set a timer, and empty my mind of everything but my story, I’m living somewhere else as someone else. I’m battling monsters and exploring futures. I’m feeling what my characters feel in all their failures and triumphs.
By the time I finish a first draft, I’m content and exhausted. It’s the same type of feeling that I get after hiking a steep trail up a mountain.
Editing is something different. It’s where I figure out if I actually managed to convey the experience I envisioned, and it’s where I trim the excess. The later is my favorite part. Sometimes I’m reluctant to let things go, but once I do? Deleting them is cathartic. Of course, I never actually delete anything. Save-as is my friend. I have a document for each WIP called “The File of Misfit Lines,” (inspired by “The Island of Misfit Toys” from Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer).
My least favorite part of editing is finding the typos. I think my apostrophe key has a tractor been that draws my fingers to it when ever I end a word with s. This is troubling because when I am reading, my eyes and brain just don’t focus enough to see every apostrophe. I have to use the word processor’s search feature for “’s” and that gets tedious when it’s a 300 page novel.
People tell me to read out loud, but that doesn’t always work for me unless someone else is looking over my shoulder to tell me when the words I say don’t actually match the ones that are on page.
In general, I catch the most errors when I look at things in different mediums: my computer, paper, and my kindle. When I’m proof reading on my kindle, I make the font big so I can only look at a couple sentences at a time. This forces me to see and think about word choice, structure, and punctuation.
I wish I had that much discipline when it came to editing. I try, and I’m getting better, but still. Editors are my friend.
I know you have a short story coming out Weird West Anthology, care to give us a heads up? What is it about? When can we expect to see that story?
Red Tide Rising is a classic western set on Mars: there are sheriffs, outlaws, and a dwindling supply of food and water. The blurb from the anthology sums it up nicely: “Two Martian sheriffs must stop a gang of outlaws from stealing a settlement's precious water, if they can keep their marriage together long enough to do it...”
The e-book release date is March 15.
Right now, there is a kickstarter running to raise money for print book formatting, distribution through Ingram, marketing, and to pay the authors professional rates as opposed to just royalties. There are some unique rewards for backers. If you’re interested, click here.
Thanks for sharing all that. Sounds unique and the kickstarter campaign is something to check out.
Clearly, you have a lot going on so what else do you have coming out? What’s up next for you?
I just sent Power Surge’s sequel to beta readers. I don’t have an official release date yet, but the editor and I are aiming for some time in November 2019.
While I wait for feedback, I’m working on a handful of short stories. I don’t say too much about them as they are early drafts, but I can give a few hints: magic robots, under cover police in a steam punk world, and werewolves.
Oh, all that sounds fun. You’ll have to tell us more when you can.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I’ve published dozens of short stories and micro fictions, many of which tend to be dark, political, and/or pulpy. If that’s your thing, check out some of my shorts.
Half Breeds (click here for more information) is a stand alone short m/m paranormal romance about a half-demon boy and a half-angel who boy finding their place in a new high school. It's in the same universe as Power Surge but not part of the Evanstar series.
A Curious Case in the Deep (click here for more information), published in Broadswords and Blasters, is a pulpy adventure about two women on a deep-sea expedition.
Ink and Ash, (click here for more information) published in The Society of Misfit Stories, is about siblings who find themselves on opposite sides of the law when the government bans the use of magic wands.
Keep up your writing and thank you so much for taking the time to swing by my Scribbles Page and chat with me.
Well Scribblers, that’s it for this week. If you have questions for Sara leave them in the comments below and I’ll make sure they stop by and answer. Remember if you know anyone who might be into a supernatural creature story with a bit on the darkside, share this and let them know. For now have a great week and we’ll see you next time.
About Power Surge:
Erin has just realized that for the entirety of their life, their family has lied to them. Their Sight has been masked for years, so Erin thought the Pixies and Mermaids were hallucinations. Not only are the supernatural creatures they see daily real, but their grandmother is an Elf, meaning Erin isn’t fully human. On top of that, the dreams Erin thought were nightmares are actually prophecies.
While dealing with the anger they have over all of the lies, they are getting used to their new boyfriend, their boyfriend's bullying ex, and the fact that they come from a family of Demon Hunters. As Erin struggles through everything weighing on them, they uncover a Demon plot to take over the world.
Erin just wants some time to work through it all on their own terms, but that's going to have to wait until after they help save the world.
Buy Power Surge here.
About Sara Codair:
Sara Codair teaches and tutors writing at a community college and has published over fifty short stories and poems. Their cat, Goose, edits their work by deleting entire pages. Sara’s stories appear in Broadswords and Blasters, Vulture Bones, Alternative Truths, and Drabbledark. Sara's first novel, Power Surge, was published on Oct. 1, 2018. Find Sara online at https://saracodair.com/ or @shatteredsmooth.
Contact Sara here:
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