Tamara Carrington always felt different. One event in high school left her wondering if maybe she really was a freak, although she’d managed to leave that experience in the past-buried deep within her psyche.
With the arrival of exchange students from the planet of Azelle to her college, Tamara’s long-buried memories threaten to erupt. As Tamara’s emotions build and her friendship with the Azellians grows, so does the knowledge of secrets within her own family.
With the deterioration of her mother’s health, Tamara doesn’t know where to turn for answers or solace. What has her family been hiding? Why does she feel inexplicably drawn to the Azellians? What will happen if she unleashes her long-suppressed passion? Will, she survive or even recognize herself afterwards?
Wanting answers, yet being afraid of what she might find, Tamara wonders if it would be better to remain asleep.
Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author Sara L. Daigle whose book Alawahea captivated and thrilled me from beginning to end. I personally would recommend this book to all of those that love science fiction but really the book can be read by anybody as it is flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight for Sara, a biography of the author and an interview between me and Sara will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful Sara L. Daigle!
Sara L Daigle has been creating stories since she first forayed into the world of writing at the age of eight. As an avid reader, growing up in a small town without much access to a library, and before the birth of the Internet, Sara devoured her mother’s extensive stack of science fiction and romance novels to keep her literary thirst quenched. Soon afterwards, she began writing her own stories and entertaining her friends by composing plays for them to act out.
A passionate interest in astronomy, anthropology, and linguistics, coupled with this early background in science fiction and romance, led Sara to merge the two fields and create a series of interlinked stories built around a fictional planet’s culture and its interaction with ours.
Sara currently lives in Denver, Colorado, with her husband and three very loving, but energetic dogs.
Now, how wonderful does Sara sound?! Sara is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of Sara’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between me and Sara, I hope that you enjoy Sara’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!
Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write your book?
Alawahea: Book One of the Azellian Affairs is about a young college student who meets a group of aliens who have come to study on Earth for the first time. She falls in love, uncovers long held family secrets and discovers her own inner strength and hidden depths through her interactions with an alien culture.
The book was born out of hours and hours of reading old sci-fi and fantasy masters: Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Ursula LeGuin, Piers Anthony, Alan Dean Foster, Katherine Kurtz (to name a few) as a teenager and has developed over the years from there. My passion is to build a world, an utterly believable world, in which we explore different possibilities from the way things are now. “What if?” is one of my favorite questions—and my writing is designed to play there, to encourage us to imagine what else is possible and maybe even bring more joy, love and acceptance into our own lives. The book (and the series to follow) revolves around character development and character interactions. It has a romance element to it: people living their lives, struggling with everyday problems and—of course—falling in love, but there is also a sci-fi/fantastical element of aliens and psychic abilities. I believe strongly in the triumph of the human soul and the enduring strength of love, and those themes overlay the narrative.
What would your advice be for aspiring writers?
Persist, persist, persist. If you haven’t written a book, write one. Even if it’s short and you think it stinks, get your thoughts, imagination, dreams on paper (or into the computer or dictated into your phone). You have a voice—it deserves to be heard! Polishing and fixing can always happen later. If you have written a book, find an editor. Remember that most publishing houses are looking for something that will make them money quickly. If you have something truly original, it may take more effort on your part to get it accepted by the publishers. If you have the drive and the determination, self-publishing can be an option, although I still advise getting an editor on board to help polish the details and bring the shine in your story out. No matter what option you choose, the publishing industry is challenging. There is a learning curve—it takes time to learn to navigate it. Persistence—and patience!—is a requirement.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book?
Books are food for our souls. Each book is a window into not just the author, but ourselves. They inspire us, excite us, frustrate us, challenge us. There is something about reading a book that is incredibly fulfilling and in my opinion, I wouldn’t want to live without them.
What is your writing process like?
There are distinct phases to the process of being an author: the creative phase, the editorial phase, the production phase and the marketing phase (yes, marketing. Depending on your end goal, all authors will need to put some thought into marketing, even if they don’t have to do it all themselves). These phases can overlap, or happen simultaneously, but there is a certain linear (ish) progression when I’m writing a book. It is art, so producing a book can be very unpredictable, but this is usually how it goes:
I jot down ideas for a new book as I do other things in life. I might write some “test” chapters, character vignettes, or short stories not really designed to go anywhere in the main canon of the story, but are developing back story for future ideas or characters. This happens all the time, during any of the rest of the phases, or even when I’m doing nothing else related to a particular book.
As my editor and I finish up the editing on one story, I carve out time in my schedule to write the next one. If the muse is talking and I’m mentally ready, it will take roughly five to seven full days to write the first draft of a 350 page story (it takes three weeks to a month if I can’t take that much time in a row). For that period of time, it is critical that I write every day, even if it is only two hours a day, so I don’t lose momentum and direction. If I don’t write every day, I will lose the thread of the story and have to start over.
What I call the editorial phase comes after the first draft is completed and is almost as critical as the creative one. The story in first draft form is far from finished. I will usually take months to re-read and re-tool the story, smoothing out details, adding or taking away scenes that don’t work. The story lives in my head, and I’ll find myself thinking about it almost all the time, testing the themes, the characters, the plot and flow of the story, although I might only work on it once a week, or even only a couple of times a month. This “fallow” period is critical because I need some distance from the story to make sure everything flows correctly. In this phase, I don’t need a dedicated chunk of time; I can leave it, come back to it, work on it for a short period of time or work on it for an entire day.
After I’ve worked the story for several months in my own editing process, I hand it over to the editor to go through and tweak more. Together, she and I distill the story out further, come up with new scenes (if necessary), or polish existing ones.
Once the editing phase is over, we move into production and I hand it to my publisher, while I think about ways to market the new book with my marketing team.
When I first started, I had no idea how involved it was—but as you can see, it’s pretty involved and very time consuming. But I find it so much fun! Many authors hate the editing phase (they prefer the creative phase), but I love the editing almost as much as I love the first time writing. To me it’s actually relaxing and somewhat easier, and so incredibly amazing to see the editor’s input and how the story changes with her suggestions—a good editor is worth his or her weight in gold! The production phase is more technical and much less creative, but my team is awesome and they do most of the work: I just ask for things and pest my publisher about details (haha). The marketing phase has been the place I’ve had the most learning curve, but again, having a team in place to support and help me is critical. No one can do it alone. As a matter of fact, all successful authors have a dedicated team behind them, making everything come together and bringing the story to life.
Do you have a set schedule for writing, or do you only write when you feel inspired?
It depends on the phase. When the muse is talking in my creative phase, if I’m trying to write the next book, I pretty much have a set schedule every day to write. Typically I start in the mornings and write the whole day through, if I can, or just take a few hours every morning to write. When editing the book (either by myself or with my editor), it is a little more flexible and I can skip around and edit at different times of the day, or skip days in between. I always write when I feel inspired though! No matter what phase, mornings are the most creative time of the day for me, so whatever it is, it usually happens in the morning.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I read all the time! I am an avid reader of almost anything from historical fiction, to history, to urban fantasy, to current best selling authors. Currently, I love the urban fantasy writers Karen Chance, Kim Harrison, Laurell K Hamilton, Diana Gabaldon, Keri Arthur, and the history/historical fiction writer Alison Weir.
Lastly, when can we readers expect to read more wonderful books from you?
Book 2, Triangle, has gone through the above process and is scheduled for release in the late summer/early fall 2018. Book 3 (no title yet) is written and with the editor, so I’m hoping to have it out in 2019. I have ideas for lots more books in this series, so as long as we can, we’ll keep the stories rolling out—as fast as we can!
Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with Sara! If you have liked what you have read about Sara and are interested in learning more about Sara and reading Sara’s work, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.
Goodbye for now book lovers,