Earlier today I posted an overview of the five books in the Misjudged Series, a suspenseful erotic romance series by author Sarah Elizabeth. I had an opportunity to ask Sarah a few questions about her writing process and what’s next for her as an author. Here are her responses.
What one piece of advice would you offer a debut author writing his or her first book for publication?
Follow your heart and let the characters tell their story, even if their version is different to how you had it mapped out in your mind to begin with. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past 18 months, then it’s that you have to do what’s right for you and your story. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that there are many expectations, especially within the romance genre, but don’t be afraid to tell the story how you and your characters want it to be told. Don’t write something different just because you feel the readers would want it a certain way. They’re your characters, it’s your story to share, and the readers will see just how much you put your heart and soul into your writing by doing what felt right for you.
A friend of mine told me just recently, ‘Write the book YOU want to read, not the one you think other people want. You’ve got to love it. If other people do it’s a bonus. Stick with your gut instinct.’
How do you celebrate a good writing day?
I eat cake. Lots and lots of cake!
How do you overcome a not-so-good writing day?
Again, I eat cake, but copious amounts! Apart from that, though, I walk away and do something that’s not involved with writing. It tends to be while I’m doing something else that I have what I call a ‘boom’ moment, and then go back to it again with a clear mind. And wine. Wine is always good.
When did you first realize you wanted to write, and what inspired you to do it?
It was in March 2013 when I first started writing. I’d never considered it before then, but at the time I was on maternity leave from work and reading a book a day. An idea popped into my head and I thought, ‘Maybe?’, and it all started from there. Rachael Wade, though at the time she wasn’t aware, was a huge inspiration to me. She and Jennifer Probst are two of my favourite authors.
What’s next for you – another new series? A standalone? A break?
I have a contemporary romance titled Bliss releasing by the end of November. It’s a standalone and very different to the Misjudged Series. I also have another one releasing by the end of the year called Upping the Ante, which is a mix of romance and angst, but covers some sensitive issues. I’m releasing a novella on Christmas Eve which involves some of the characters from Misjudged, though it isn’t a continuation. It will be free and available for five days only to say thank you to all of the readers who enjoyed my previous work. I also have another two standalones releasing by spring 2015. I might then take a week off before starting on a new series. I can’t be away from my laptop too long or I shake!