Interview with Sarah D. Silvey

Describe your desk
My desk is my lap. Supple, with just a touch of cellulite. I'm sorry, we'll have to move on, as this question is unexpectedly inappropriate.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in rural Missouri where the trees are all over the place and the rednecks abound. We had very few neighbors and were homeschooled, so I spent a lot of time alone, and I spent a lot of time in my head.
I've found that the woods of Missouri live in my fingertips. When I am searching for landscapes, the trickling cold creeks and sharp quartzy rocks of my father's property spring easily to mind.
When did you first start writing?
I've been writing off and on for ages. I wrote a great deal of terrible poetry when I was six, and attempted a Nancy-Drew type suspense novel when I was nine. I only wrote about ten pages before I gave up. For as long as I can remember I've been starting and abandoning stories. The thing is, I never really took writing seriously enough to complete anything until I was an adult. I began my first novel, the Turning, when I was seventeen, and worked on it sporadically. I am a different person now than I was when I began the story, which has called for some major revisions.
When I was 25, I read Vein of Gold by Julia Cameron, which she wrote to help people get past their creative blocks, and it was only then that I really started to think of myself as a writer and accept my creations without judgment. All of the sudden writing was fun and I didn't have to be perfect, and I was able to finish the novel I started.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I was annoyed by all the fantasy I was reading because I felt like I was wasting brain space with all the made-up words. Fantasy readers will know exactly what I mean about made-up words. Writers will flesh out their stories with entire languages, and by the end of the series you have acquired a working knowledge of that language which will be useful... never.
Boldly I decided to write my own fantasy novel and not make up any new words, but I soon learned why fantasy authors create alternate languages for their worlds. But by the time I figured it out, I was already elbow-deep in the novel and had new reasons for writing it.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Simple. Writing is fun, and I'm too lazy to deal with publishers or marketing. I'm not expecting to make a million dollars. I just want to make someone stay up too late even though they have to work in the morning, or to make them rush through preparing a snack so they can get back to the story. If I can make someone else feel half the thrill that I get from a good book, I consider my time well spent.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
You know that feeling when you finish reading a book and you go, "Oh, I wish it wasn't over?" When you're writing the book, you get just as wrapped up in the story, and you get to know each character through and through and through. And if you don't want the book to end, it doesn't have to.
There is also the joy of discovery. I had no idea what kind of book I would write until I wrote it. Now that I'm working on my second, I'm beginning to see what kind of writer I am. And that's fun.
Who are your favorite authors?
J.R.R. Tolkien, Stephen King, Fyodor Dostoevsky, William Golding, Ray Bradbury, R.A. Salvatore, Richard Matheson, Zora Neale Hurston, Chuck Palahniuk, Anne Rice, Mary Roach... just off the top of my head.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Well, the problem with this question is that it implies that I am inspired to get out of bed each day. I am not. I absolutely loathe getting out of bed each day. The world outside of my bed is cold and full of work. If the urge to urinate doesn't get me out of bed, then the threat of being fired does. My morning attitude could use some improvement.
But if we're talking about the weekends, then breakfast is my inspiration to get out of bed each day. Homemade French toast with real maple syrup or an omelet with cheese and peppers and a glass of crisp orange juice? I'd get out of bed for that.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Drawing, learning, cooking, yukking it up with my friends. I make a mean homemade loaf of bread. I also make a mean babysitter. Wait... that didn't come out right.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was called "The Bump Under the Rug." I can't remember whether a sibling or a parent suggested it, but it started out a scary story and it ended up silly. This man found a bump under his carpet, and at first he didn't mind it. Then it started moving all over the house and getting bigger, and then he minded it. Finally it got so big that he either cut it free of the carpet or it broke free. Turns out it was a huge dragon, and it stole his jewelry. I don't recall the ending; there may not have been a proper one.
What is your writing process?
Suspend judgment and just go for it, get it all out on paper. Revise. Revise again. Revise until you can't stand to read the story anymore. Put it away for a year or two, come back to it, revise it several more times.
What do you read for pleasure?
Classics, horror, fantasy, suspense. Anything I can get my hands on really. Does the Internet count as reading for pleasure? Because there is nothing more entertaining than the patchwork coalescence of all of mankind's madness in one hellish miasma. With kitties.
It'd be easier to say what I don't read. I don't particularly care for harlequin romance novels or dry economics treatises.
What are you working on next?
I am working on a graphic novel. I am excited about this one, because it's more true to who I am today. It's got very silly and very dark elements all mixed together in one absurd thing.
I have a webcomic: www.awkwardmancomics.com.
The novel stems from it. There will be a stark, post-apocalyptic world with monsters and battles and the most awkward man in the world. I'm thinking of calling it Awkward Man Ruins a Graphic Novel.
The only problem is that I have to learn to draw. Crosshatching is a bitch.
Published 2015-12-10.
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Books by This Author

The Turning
You set the price! Words: 203,920. Language: English. Published: March 4, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Dark, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
(5.00 from 1 review)
Innocence lost. Strength forged. Death dealt. A young woman with psychic powers is thrust into a world where her sole companion is a cold assassin. Surrounded by enemies, she struggles to survive. But the power she carries has a price: her greatest trial will be defending herself from possession by her own inner demon.