Interview with Sara Marks

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I took a chance with this book and submitted it to a small publisher. I expected the typical rejection, but was thrilled when they offered me a contract. Fast forward to nearly a year later and a month before their anticipated release date, they decided to shut down. I realized, I could do this myself. I had a network of other indie authors that had been giving me advice. They were happy to step up and get me to the well publicized release date. One of my friends had a micro-publishing company and offered me the chance to work with them.
What I liked was that I had more control over the entire process. I could see the impact of my work rather than waiting for others to share it with me. I could directly connect with my readers, instead of my publisher controlling that connection. Plus, if I was going to do most of the work to promote the book then I wanted to learn all aspects of the process.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I have lived with stories in my head all my life. I started writing as a way to get them out of my head. For me, writing has been the process of taking the story out of my head and crafting it into something other people want to read. Some are really easy for me to do, but others have taken years to polish just right. I love getting feedback from my fellow writers and sharing elements with them. They always give me new ideas to consider and some had a huge impact on the direction of the story.
What do your fans mean to you?
This is all about my fans. For me, there are two reasons I write the story. One is to get it out of my head and, two, is to share it with people. There is a rush of excitement when people get the story and love things just as much as I do. It's like finding my people.
What are you working on next?
Next is a modernization of Pride and Prejudice set in a university's Greek system. I have 4 planned Austen modernizations, which also include Northanger Abby and Emma. Plus, I have this large, low fantasy universe that I have been working on for nearly 15 years. I am a few years away from it, but I can't wait to share that with readers.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
These days, writing and promoting the book feel like a second full time job. My other job is as a librarian at the local university. I also love knitting and playing with my dog Cedric Doggory (yep, named for Cedric Diggory). We go to the dog park almost daily and I have written a lot of short fiction about things that happen at the dog park.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I love discovering all my books through my local public library. I have a large collection of print books, but I often buy or check out the ebook copy first. If I love it, then I buy the book. Overdrive, the app for libraries, is my obsession!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I have been writing fiction since I was in Middle School, but I really only remember the poetry and essays from that phase in my life. The first story that I remember writing was a short story about a girl who discovers a letter to the Beatles among her mother's childhood stuff. I eventually re-wrote it a few years ago and my writing group published it in an anthology of our writing.
What is your writing process?
I know all the sources tell you to write everyday, but I save my writing for 3 months of the year: April, July, and November. These are the months with National Novel Writing Month events. I have been doing it for over 12 years. Modern Persuasion was the product of the July 2014 event. I write a complete first draft in November and spend the other two events editing, re-writing, and producing smaller projects. In between those months I focus on publishing and promoting the next project.
How do you approach cover design?
I got lucky with this book, the work was started by my publisher. We had done one round of designs and I had given some feedback. When they shut down, I considered what I wanted to say with the cover. I didn't want to assign a face to my main characters, but I wanted to convey both intimacy and distance. I fleshed out some ideas with friends and worked with other authors who had designed their covers. Next time I plan on working with a cover designer who will think from a different perspective.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read almost anything and everything, I have always been a big reader. One thing I started doing, to read things outside of my favorites, was to look to books like Book Lust for ideas on lesser know, but great books to read. I have discovered some amazing books that way.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle that I take when I know I am going to be outside, like on the beach. Most of the time I read on my iPad through the Kindle app. As a librarian, I get a lot of books right from publishers. Most of them have books already formatted for Kindle, so it makes it a lot easier to read through that device and app.
Published 2017-07-04.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Phi Alpha Pi
Pre-release—available May 28, 2018. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 57,800. Language: English. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
This modernization of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is set in a university sorority. Phi Alpha Pi is the oldest and largest sorority on campus and new president Lizbeth has a busy senior year ahead of her. The last thing Lizbeth expects is her anger when Wil, a new member of the Alpha Pi fraternity, pushes every one of her buttons. How will this man cause her to reconsider her entire world?
A Little More Modern Persuasion
Price: $0.99 USD. (Free until Dec. 31!) Words: 15,820. Language: English. Published: November 19, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
(4.00)
You don't have to stop enjoying Emma and Fredrick just yet. Author Sara Marks wrote short stories while she waited for the released of her novel Modern Persuasion. You can now enjoy all four short stories that expand on the story and give alternative versions. You even get the chance to read expanded character profiles for each character.
Modern Persuasion
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 41,210. Language: English. Published: July 4, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Which would you pick: the person you love or your own dreams? What would you do if given a second chance at that decision?