1) You've published your first (and may I say, excellent) YA novella. How does it feel? In what ways has your life changed? I feel excited, relieved, and awkward at the same time. When I tell people that I'm a published author, their eyes widen and they gush at me as if I've suddenly come up with the formula that will make teleportation possible. Since I don't feel extraordinary and we're still traveling from point A to point B via foot, animal, or motor vehicle, this one is always a bit uncomfortable for me. I've never been good at receiving compliments and becoming published hasn't helped at all with this.
2) Did you have a mantra or routine you'd follow to get into your character's head and voice?
You wouldn't know from reading Lost Haven, but I usually write in a very dark style. My music reflects this. I don't really have a specific song for each book or character, but rather a play list of mellow and sometimes downright dark music. I find that anguished, lonely, and depressing music feeds my muse, making my fingers fly over the keys.
I make character sheets with all a character's details and notes. When I am writing in a certain character's voice, I read over that sheet and sink back into who that character is. If I have any scenes written for that character, I'll usually read one or two of them as well.
3) You use an amazing amount of research AND your own creativity in this book. How long did it take you to research Oklahoma history? And how long did it take you to come up with the innovative spins and twists that add an element of sci-fi/fantasy?
I grew up in SW Oklahoma, so I was already familiar with the type of people and the area. Most of my other works-in-progress are fantasy stories based in other worlds. This is the first one I wrote in the 'real' world, so I chose someplace familiar in which to write it. The Oklahoma research was much faster than the research about the brain and how sight works. I've always thought my preferred super power would be a camilleon/shifting type power a la Mystique from X-Men. When I needed to come up with a Shine power for my main character, Camille, the ability to affect vision fit. Learning so much about how the brain works has been fascinating.
4) What does a typical day look like for you? How do you fit writing into your schedule?
A bit like a day in the life of the mad hatter. *grin* I own a trophy company with my husband, so I work long hours. My writing time is precious and squeezed in whenever I can get it. I usually get up at, write for 2 hours, then go to the gym before starting my work day. I try to also arrange my work load so that I can write a couple afternoons a week, and on Sunday after church. Of course, if my son has any activities, I will move the schedule to accommodate them. The key to my schedule is flexibility and the ability to laugh off things that don't work out, including decent writing time.
5) Where can your readers go to connect with you?
Pick your favorite: Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Google+, Amazon, Blogger, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
6) What would you say is your favorite line in LOST HAVEN? (I know I have several.)
'Nothing is ever easy' is probably my favorite line. It's something I heard as a child, I've read it in some form or another in several books, and have generally kept it in mind throughout my entire life. Generally, if something is easy, we're missing something. In Lost Haven, Camille feels this keenly when she realizes that Mr. Jefferies offer isn't as perfect as she'd hoped. I think too often we look for the easy way out when what we considered the easy way is simply going to make everything harder. If you know going in that nothing is ever easy, you usually can adjust easier and get past the difficult situation quicker.
7) What authors, books, or ideas influence you?
Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn Trilogy is one of the reasons I gathered my courage and starting writing my own stories. I want to make my readers think even while enjoying a complex, interesting story like I did when reading this series.
8) What are you reading in 2014?
Everything! Right now, I'm reading Sanderson's Way of Kings series, the newest book in Nalini Singhs Psy/Changeling series, The Fault in My Stars, Eloisa James Fairytale novels/novellas, Django Wexler's The Shadow Campaigns series, and I'm sure there'll be many others.
9) Finally, what other writing are you working on for all of us hungry fans?
I'm in the final revisions for the sequel to Lost Haven set to come out in the Fall 2014, I'm also working on the first book in paranormal romance series that I'm super excited about, and I'm working on the final revisions for the first of an epic fantasy series.
Thanks SO much to Sabrina for being willing to do this interview! I can't wait for your next book to come out. You better believe I'll rush right out and pick up my copy!
I hope you all enjoyed hearing from this awesome author. If you have questions for Sabrina, leave them here, and I'll be sure she gets them. Look for the book review of RAZE (and later NEVER SAY REVEN) by Tamara Grantham later this month, as well as her author interview. Until next time!