July 2015's Featured Novel Lady: Sara Letourneau, Blogger and Fantasy Writer
Happy July, everyone!
A new month here at She's Novel means one thing in particular: a new featured novel lady!
Every month, I pick one spectacular novel lady or gent to feature on the blog, someone whose passion for writing is clear and inspiring. They may be a published author, a hobby writer, a creative-writing blogger, a writer of fan-fiction, or something altogether new and exciting!
No matter the case, this person has left me seriously impressed with their love of the craft.
This month, my featured Novel Lady is the delightful Sara Letourneau, fantasy writer and blogger extraordinaire. Sara has been such an inspiration to me ever since I discovered her blog a few months ago. We also became fast friends on Twitter and often chat through our pesky writing problems as we both face our second drafts.
Want to get to know Sara better? You're in luck. We've put together a little interview for you, so let's hear from Sara herself!
So you've been blogging for several years now, right? Tell me about your site.
Sure! SaraLetourneauWriter.com is a combination craft-of-writing and personal blog.
On the craft side, you'll find writing worksheets available for free download, author interviews, and a "writing journey and advice" series called Chronicling The Craft. As for the personal side, I share book reviews, music tributes, and other topics that inspire me. In other words, you'll get a chance to know me as well as my stories.
Also, two additions are coming to the site very soon. Starting in July, I'm launching a monthly column called the Character Evolution Files, where I'll cover the importance of character arcs and growth in our stories. And later this summer, I'll start accepting pitches for guest posts! I'm still working on a policy for this, so check the site in August or September if you're interested.
You're also a novelist. Tell us a little about that.
I write fantasy stories that balance plot with character growth. If a protagonist is striving for a goal and will have to overcome (or struggle against) any obstacles in her way, why not allow her to learn from that experience and evolve from it?
Some of my favorite stories have achieved that feat, and I hope I can help my stories do the same. As for subgenre and age group, my current project is a YA epic fantasy. But I also have glimmers of ideas for other YA and adult fantasy stories: historical, epic, contemporary, dark... In other words, I'll be busy for a while!
Besides the novels, I'm also a columnist for two blogs. At DIY MFA, I host Theme: A Story's Soul, which discusses literary themes and the importance of theme in our writing. This project has been an incredible opportunity and has taught me more than that I'd ever expected about the craft of writing. And at A Bibliophile's Reverie, you can find me twice a month for Tea Time at Reverie, tea reviews that end with book pairings. I absolutely love tea, so Tea Time has been an awesome way to "indulge" in my favorite beverage and learn more about it.
Can you give us a sneak peak into your current WIP?
I'm currently revising Draft #2 of The Keeper's Curse, the YA epic fantasy I'd hinted at above. It's a quest story that follows a 17-year-old Faerie diplomat named Eva. When a group of foreigners known as the Mountain Folk are captured in her homeland, it reawakens Eva's desire to avenge the deaths of her parents, who were killed by Mountain Folk when she was 5 years old.
Can Eva learn to let go of her past so she can help restore a long-broken alliance between Fae and the Mountain Folk - or will she risk her career, friendships, and life for the sake of vengeance? If you like adventure, magic, and a slow-burn romance that doesn't push the plot aside, maybe you'll like The Keeper's Curse! Once it's out, of course.
How did you get started writing?
Gosh... I've been writing since I was 7 years old. I remember sitting at the kitchen table, crayons and colored pencils in hand, making up stories about talking animals and faraway places, and drawing pictures to go along with those stories. Writing has always been with me in one way or another (journalism, poetry, etc.), but I've always come back to novel-writing in the end. And honestly, I can't think of a time when I was NOT writing! *lol*
Best piece of writing advice?
"Don’t compare your journey to others." I read this advice in Heather Webb's recent article at Writers In The Storm, and it resonated with me. I'm one of those writers who struggles to write 1000+ words within a few hours, no matter how focused I am. And when you're a turtle-writer and you read Tweets from other writers about nailing 1000+ words in an hour, you often beat yourself up about it.
Heather's advice reminded me to be patient with myself. Everyone's writing process is as unique as their fingerprint, and it's more important that we honor our differences, encourage one another, and (if necessary) alter our methods if something does need improving. It makes the writing process so much more enjoyable for ourselves in the end.
If you could only read one book or series for the rest of your life, what would it be?
No! I refuse to choose! *lol* I'm not much of a re-reader, because there are SO many books I still haven't read yet. I want to see what other writers have done and what twists and surprises they're adding to the literary world, especially in fantasy.
But... if push came to shove, I'd choose J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. It wasn't my gateway into fantasy (that would be Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings Trilogy), but between the characters, the visual quality of the magic, and how brilliantly the plot threads are woven throughout all seven books, it truly defines what a book series should be.