Tell us your name and then a bit about yourself.
My name is Sarah Zolton Arthur and this will be my second year at WOTR. I’m looking forward to seeing familiar faces after getting to meet so many wonderful people this year. I live in Michigan where I’m constantly busy writing steamy romance with sass and always an HEA. I love to go on adventures. Trips are planned. Adventures are spontaneous. Since I work from home, it’s not uncommon for me to pack up my laptop and just go to see what kind of trouble I can get into. Typically I would bring one or both of my sons with me, but my baby is away at college now so now it’s me and my older son who keeps his mama company. It’s a pretty great life.
When you are writing a book, which is harder? The first book in the series or the others after it?
I think for me it’s the consecutive books in a series. The first book is a free-for-all. I’m building the world and the characters, but in consecutive books I have to be mindful of time lapses, character descriptions, world descriptions and that I didn’t already use specific elements in the book before. No one wants to read the same book over and over again just with different character names.
When writing a series how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?
I step away from that series. I finish one book, and then I start a book from a different series to cleanse my mind. Then I can go back to that other series fresh. This method might not work for every author, but it works for me.
Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?
Yes. Step back when you need to, but don’t quit. And please don’t ever compare your career to other authors. You are not them and they are not you. You are walking your own path. Comparing yourself to others will only make you sad when you don’t feel like you’ve acheived enough. I get imposter syndrome. We all suffer from it. But you decided to walk this path because most likely you were drawn into it. I like to say, I didn’t choose the writer life, the writer life chose me. And you will read other authors who are brilliant storytellers and write the most beautiful prose. Remember, they most likely didn’t start out as brilliant storytellers writing beautiful prose. They honed their skills by writing. You’ll get there too!
On a typical day, how much time do you spend writing?
I don’t have a PA so my 8-10 hour work day I spend 3-4 hours doing the non-writing aspects of the job and the rest of the time I spend writing. I try to keep it to 8 hours a day, but sometimes you get in the zone and have to finish.
Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.
That’s like asking me to choose my favorite child. Each one of my characters is my favorite from one day to the next for different reasons. Right now, I guess it’s Gloria Parker from Marriage (Red, White, and) Blues. She’s smart, sassy and has a good sense of humor, but she feels invisible a lot of times and I can relate to that. But next week my answer might change.
What is your definition of success?
Success isn’t material for me. Success is feeling content in my home and in my work. It’s knowing my family is happy because I’ve done all I could to help them acheive that. It’s feeling proud of the books I’ve put out. It’s getting feedback from a reader telling me how much they enjoyed a story I wrote. Success is looking at the catalog of books I’ve published and thinking, “Wow! I seriously wrote all these!” A lot of people say they want to write a book but not many of us actually do it, when you think about it.
Do you have anything you want to share that didn’t fit on one of these questions?
If I’ve learned anything, it’s that we need to not get so caught up in the day-to-day of life that we forget to enjoy it. I tell my loved ones that I love them every single day. You might think they know it, they don’t always know. Tell them. And lastly, when you have a chance to be kind, take it. You never know how your words might change someone’s day.
What are your social links?
Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1549815968397766
What are your buy links? (Provide links to your Amazon/iBook’s/Koko/etc Author Home Page if you have quite a few. Also include audible links if applicable.)
Want tickets to Writers on the River #2024?
They are available starting November 6th at Writersontheriver.com
$75 VIP Plus – 11-12 Lunch with the Authors , 12-1 VIP hour, 1-4 General Admission time. You get a filled VIP bag and admission to the after party is included. *Limited Quantity expected to sell out first day*
$50 VIP -12-1 VIP hour, 1-4 General Admission time. You get a filled VIP bag and admission to the after party is included. *Expected to sell out first day*
$25 Early Access – 12-1 VIP house, 1-4 General Admission time. You also get a filled VIP bag but NO admission to the after party. *Expected to sell out opening day*
$10 General Admission – 1-4 General Admission time. You can purchase a bag but it is not filled with VIP swag. There is no admission to the after party included.
$35 After party – 7-11 After Party with food and cash bar. Dj with a photobooth is also included in the fun.