Today, we have the beautiful and talented Sarah Mallery in the laboratory, ready for a dissection.
Welcome, Sarah! Thank you for being my guest today. Why don’t we start by telling the folks a little about you?
I have worn various hats in my life. Starting out as a classical/pop singer/composer, I worked in small clubs/churches and composed for educational filmstrips. From there, I moved on to having my own calligraphy company, a twenty-year quilting and craft business, and teaching ESL/Reading. Finally, I tried my hand at fiction writing and it was like an all-consuming drug. I’ve been happily writing ever since.
I have had eleven short fiction pieces published in descant 2008, Snowy Egret, Transcendent Visions, The Storyteller, and Down In The Dirt. Several of my stories have appeared in different anthologies through Scars Publications. Before that, I had articles published in Traditional Quiltworks by Chitra Publications, and Quilt World by House of White Birches when I was a professional quilt designer/quilt teacher.
Wow, how do you keep track of all of those hats? You must have a hat rack the size of the state of Texas! When and why did you start writing?
I didn’t start writing until I was a mature wife and mother. Growing up, I had been surrounded by writers––my father was a television writer during the Golden Age of Television as well as the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s; my grandfather and great uncle, Pulitzer Prize winners, and my mother, aunts, uncles, and cousins, writers and journalists. Needless to say, I was too intimidated to even attempt writing! Still, I was curiously drawn to writers and when I started my first short story, I was hooked. Big time.
Color me shocked! I can’t believe all of the amazing things your family has done! I’m even more honored to have you as my guest today! With that much intimidation, it must be hard to pinpoint a favorite author, but… Who is your favorite author and why?
Without a doubt, Harper Lee. I have always loved her lyrical simplicity, her pathos towards her characters, and her ability to infer so much by actions and heartfelt dialogues rather than overblown exposition.
Do you feel that Harper Lee inspired your writing? Do you feel that your writing is modeled after her?
I don’t know about that. I do know she’s had an influence, but I wouldn’t say my work is directly ‘modeled’ after her.
What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?
Being an historical fiction writer, I hope that people will become interested in the various U.S. time periods I’m presenting––think about them, perhaps look them up on Google for further research. I also hope that not only will they get wrapped up in my story, they will also be affected by my characters enough to want to discuss them.
If you have a book discussion in the future, online, let me know and I will be happy to participate. Traditional or self-publishing and why?
I suppose traditional publishing due to my family’s background; once I had written my books (my collection of short stories will be coming out later this year), I had assumed that was the only way I would want to go. However, I am fast learning that with self-publishing the profit margins are greater and how completely acceptable it has become.
Self-publishing is fantastic! Not only the aspect itself, but the people! The community of Indie Authors are some of the greatest and nicest people I’ve ever met. Tell us about your most recent book and why we should love or hate your characters.
First of all, I hope readers will get into the fact that ancestors do matter. In other words, if we all were privy to their lives, we might very well be influenced by them––sometimes in a good way, sometimes not so good.
I hope my main character, Sonia, in her search for clarity in her own life, shows the reader a certain vulnerability; her war-damaged father, sympathy; her current boyfriend, a reminder of an egocentric great grandfather; her grandmother, an obsessed side of her; a new potential interest, a gentle Native American who exemplified caring and gentleness; her great-great aunt, strength in the face of adversity; and her great grandmother, a poetic view of life.
Amazon Author’s Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/www.srmallery.com
If your book had a soundtrack, what would be the first five songs you would include?
Since my publisher has already created a book trailer, it’s difficult for me to list songs per se—I’ve been spoiled by some of the songs already used. However, if I had to do it myself, it would have to be a compilation of time periods––songs from the late 1990’s, like the Back Street Boys; Vietnam/Woodstock groups; Jack Jones early 60’s; Frank Sinatra, the 50’s; Happy Days are Here Again for the Roosevelt years; Irish music for the Irish relatives; 1915 American music for Sonia’s Suffragist great-great aunt.
Aside from writing or reading, which is your favorite pastime?
Probably watching films on TV––classics, new films, Indie films, BBC series, American series, you name it! I get a lot of ideas for my books by watching the plots and character development.
What is the one thing you want to do, or the one place you want to go, that you would put at #1 on your bucket list?
I would love to spend a long summer in the British Isles with my husband, going from one cottage to another in England, Scotland, and Ireland.
Gotta love Ireland! Finally, what else would you like readers to know?
Hmmmm. I guess it would be to proclaim that it’s never too late to pick up a new career and be passionate about it. When I first started writing, I was extremely insecure. I was far too scared to go to any writing workshop or class. Instead, I devoured Anne La Motte’s Bird by Bird and at the time, it was a godsend. Her funny, realistic no-nonsense, encouraging manner was exactly what I needed and it fared far better with me than all the books out there teaching you ‘what to do’ and ‘what not to do’.
Very well said! Thank you again for being my fantastic guest! I hope you have a lot of success!