Sarah Jaune is the author of several YA books. Most notably her YA Dystopian Series: After the Flare
“Mia Harper was not prepared for a solar flare to knock out the world’s electricity. No one was, although Mia and her fifteen-month-old sister had a slight advantage: their father, a hardcore doomsday prepper, left them a safe haven to help them survive their new reality.
Andrew Greene is Mia’s childhood friend. On track to graduate college at nineteen years old, his sharp mind gives him an edge against the competition.
How will the trio survive the harsh winters of Pennsylvania? How will they survive attacks from hungry wildlife? What will they do when faced with perhaps their greatest danger: the other survivors”
How did you become involved with the subject of your book?
It happens in a lot of ways, but it’s typically from something that interests me, like a movie, lecture, or something I become fascinated with. I’ve written eight books in the last two years, along with a fanfiction, and they span 3-4 genres.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
I write in a lot of genres because I get bored with stuff and want to shift. Also my interests shift. I don’t really have a formula for balancing them. It just happens.
Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?
I learned to read late (I was ten) but then I took off with it. I liked out away from most of my friends, so often times books were my company. Also, both of my parents are avid readers.
How long have you been writing?
Since I learned to read, but I have been writing full stories for about twelve years.
What kind(s) of writing do you do?
Primarily novels, but sometimes short stories.
What cultural value do you see in writing/reading/storytelling/etc.?
I’m not sure I can come up with a witty reply to this. I haven’t given it a lot of thought.
How does your book relate to your spiritual practice or other life path?
Some of the books I have written talk about faith, such as I have in my own life, but most have not. I do try to stick to a certain moral code, which I would see as a life path.
What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
My goals in all of my books are to either start out with good, strong character that can be role models, or start with someone broken and walk them through the steps towards being whole. I don’t stop until that’s done.
Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?
I haven’t really met anyone. I’m a hermit, so it’s been a lot of online research.
What are some of the references that you used while researching this book?
Google, books, etc. I needed to get paranoid for one series, so I listened to hours of conspiracy youtube.com videos to put myself into the right mood. I put a lot of research in, though, including college lectures, reference books, etc.
What do you think most characterizes your writing?
Strong characters that the reader can learn to love.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
My toddler junking up my writing desk with all the crap he brings me.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
It’s like therapy, but free, and without the annoyance of having to see an actual person and pay them money.
Are there vocabulary words or concepts in your book that may be new to readers? Define some of those.
I don’t dumb my books down, so I imagine there are new words for some readers. I work a lot on motivation, with the goal to challenge the reader to examine themselves.
Are there underrepresented groups or ideas featured if your book? If so, discuss them.
I can’t think of any.
Are there misconceptions that people have about your book? If so, explain.
No, they stand pretty much as I meant them to.
What is the biggest thing that people THINK they know about your subject/genre, that isn’t so?
I have many subjects/genres so that’s difficult to nail down.
What is the most important thing that people DON’T know about your subject/genre, that they need to know?
Same as the previous answer.
What inspires you?
Boredom. When I get bored, I tell myself stories to keep myself still.
How did you get to be where you are in your life today?
Life tried to kill me, but didn’t manage it. From those ashes I rose.
Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What impact have they had on your writing?
Louisa May Alcott, Clive Cussler, Michael Crichton, JK Rowling, Nora Roberts, Maya Angelou, etc. Sometimes they inspire new ideas, but often they inspired me to keep dreaming.
What did you find most useful in learning to write? What was least useful or most destructive?
I wrote fanfiction for a decade before I published anything. That honed a lot of my skills. The least helpful thing are having other people suggest what I should write. If I don’t feel it deep down, I won’t do a good job with it.
Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?
I have three kids, a sewing job, homeschool, volunteer, and write… it means I’m scattered constantly. I write fast, though, so as long as I know where I’m going, I can easily write 100k+ in a month. When I’m lost or bored with a book, it’s torture. But the outside things don’t tend to influence it.
What are some day jobs that you have held? If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.
I haven’t had a lot of jobs. I did day care for a while, and once worked in a book store on my college campus. Currently I make bags. I weave some elements into a story, but it’s not been a major influence.
For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start?
There are too many places to list.
How do you feel about ebooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
I like ebooks. I like printed books. I like audiobooks. I’m okay with any form. I think conventional publishing will die at some point. It’s not keeping up with the times.
What do you think is the future of reading/writing?
I listen to books when I sew, then stop sewing and write other things, so I think we have a long future together.
What process did you go through to get your book published?
I said yes when the publisher asked me to write a book.
What makes your book stand out from the crowd?
Eh, not sure it would.
How do you find or make time to write?
I just do. It just happens as part of my life.
Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Summarize your writing process.
I would so a combination, but I don’t have a good process. The stories are most often not planned ahead, and they just come out fully formed. I think up a beginning and somewhere along the way, the ending comes to me. That’s helpful, right?
What are some ways in which you promote your work? Do you find that these add to or detract from your writing time?
I don’t do a good job of promoting. I sometimes post on facebook/twitter or in forums, but I tend to be terrible about it.
What is your role in the writing community?
I like being by myself. I tend to stay away from communities.
What do you like to read in your free time?
It depends on my book. I vacillate between romance, adventure, suspense, supernatural, educational, or historical.
What projects are you working on at the present?
I just finished the fourth book in a series of five, and have an epic fanfiction still going. That’s somewhere around 200k words and not even close to done. Next up will probably be book five in the series, but I’m itching to start a new project. I like to finish what I start, though, so odds are good I’ll finish the series first… or maybe write all three of those projects at once.
What do your plans for future projects include?
I don’t make a lot of plans. I let them come out of my head when they’re ready. I don’t even cook them, my subconscious does.
And my favorite for dealing with popular authors who’ve already done a lot of interviews:
What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.
I don’t do a lot of interviews. I tend to shy away from that stuff. I’ve refused book signings and all that. But here we go:
Do you want your books to be a major success? No, I don’t. I want to earn enough money to pay me for my time in writing them, but I have a lot of fun in writing them and major success means a lot of pressure. If my books ever took off, I might just quit publishing. The writing is the reward, although the money is nice, too. You couldn’t pay me enough, not even a billion dollars, to trade places with JK Rowling. I like my anonymity too much for that.