S. T. Sanchez is a mother, boy scouts den leader, multitasker and author of a young adult novel featuring vampires. Sarah spends her days running a house hold, working at a part time job, writing and promoting her work. In this interview we chatted about her favourite books, daily routine, fitting the writing into her day, her future works and advice for aspiring writers.
For those readers who haven’t picked up Sunwalker can you please give us a brief description of what it’s about?
Absolutely, thanks so much for having me on. Sunwalker is a YA vampire novel, with a little bit of suspense, action, and romance. Lilly is a sunwalker—a vampire born from human parents, able to walk in the daylight. She lives life as a human, hiding her true identity from all those around her. One evening, she comes to the rescue of her best friend, Lex, as a vampire is about to make a meal out of her. Lilly is drawn to the vampire, despite her desire to loathe him for almost murdering Lex, as he is the first of her kind she has ever met. As the vampire, Tread, begins to open Lilly’s eyes to a world she has never known, Lilly must decide where she belongs. After she is betrayed by the person she loves most, Lilly is forced to submerge herself entirely in the vampire world, only to discover that Tread has a secret so shocking it could destroy them all.
Sunwalker is my debut novel. It took about a year to write. Then another year between finding good beta readers to give me feedback, and then time for my editor to make revisions. After that I sent some cover ideas to my editor, who ended up becoming my cover designer as well. She looked at my ideas and sent me back some amazing choices. It was hard to pick between them.
Do you think it benefited you to have your editor as the cover designer?
Absolutely! I definitely think someone who has read the book is able to have more insight when it comes to designing the cover. I also love just having one person to go to. I like to keep things simple.
What does your average day look like?
Oh, where to begin! I am an early riser. I am typically up by 5:30am. I normally check email and pay a few bills, then I wake up my three kids for school. After getting them all ready for class and dropping them off, I normally have an hour and a half. I pull out something for dinner, pick up a few things, maybe throw in a load of laundry. Then, finally I pull out my laptop and get to work. I typically try to do some advertising on different Facebook groups for about twenty minutes. I work on my blog authorstsanchez.blogspot.com I post two author interviews a week, every Monday and Wednesday. So, they take some time to set up and format. Then I write! Sometimes I get fifteen minutes or a half hour. After that I go to my part time job and work until it’s time to pick up kids. After school it’s time for activities, homework, and preparing everything for the next day. I am also a den leader for boy scouts, so some afternoons I am with my wolves. Finally, it’s dinner and family time. If I am lucky I get another hour in the evening, to write, edit or do research for a new book. It can get a little crazy! I just try and squeeze in time when I can find it.
Would that be advice you’d give to others about finding the time? Squeezing it in?
Yes, I think you have to take advantage of the time when you can find it. I am blessed to work for a school district as my day job so I get summer off. I do a lot of my writing then.
If you could plan your ultimate daily schedule what would it look like?
Someday I hope to write full time. So, my ultimate schedule would be to have six to seven glorious hours to write and promote, uninterrupted!
Do you read other books whilst writing a draft and editing? Or do you go through separate stints of working on a manuscript and then having a break and reading for days?
I typically don’t mix reading and writing. Normally if there is a book I want to read I take a break from everything else. I read for a day or two straight. I get lost in a good book, so I have to space them out.
What are some of your favourite books?
There are so many, Fablehaven, The Beyonders, really anything by Brandon Mull, The Count of Monte Cristo. I am also a huge Harry Potter fan. I love Fantasy!
Are you an e-reader or physical book person?
I prefer the physical book when I am home, but an eBook when I am traveling. I love seeing how much more of a story I have left. Sometimes I will slow down and leave a little for one more day, if I am not ready for the book to end. E-readers are great for traveling because I can bring lots of stories with me in a small amount of space.
Where is your writing space and what is it like?
Someday I will make myself an office and sit at a proper desk, but for now I use my laptop everywhere. Sometimes I am in the car, at the kitchen table or on my bed. I will write wherever I can find the time.
How is work going on the Sunwalker sequel?
Nightwalker the sequel to Sunwalker is coming along great. It is currently in the hands of my beta readers. After they are done and I have gone over all their critiques it will go to my editor. The draft of the cover looks amazing, and I can’t wait to see the final version. It looks like I will have a Spring release.
Are you going to delve into other areas of fantasy aside from vampires?
Absolutely! I just finished the first draft to a fantasy novel called The Portal Keeper. Sadly, my vampire fans will have to wait for Nightwalker to get their fix. The Portal Keeper is a YA fantasy novel.
A mysterious portal, which opens at dawn and closes again at dusk, is located deep in the woods and kept secret from the vast majority of the people who inhabit the kingdom of Rastella. Only a few are aware of its existence and fewer understand the confusing prophecy that accompanies it.
Now, Ajax Maxwell, who is approaching his 17th birthday and has been in training for the past 4 years, is preparing to fulfil his family’s legacy by becoming the next keeper.
But Ajax is afraid. He’s worried that he won’t live up to the expectations placed upon him and will let down his family, like his brother Axel did when he took over from their father and then promptly disappeared.
When the prince of Rastella comes to visit for the first time, accompanied by Ajax’s childhood friend Nivara, it doesn’t take long for things to go wrong. In an accident, the prince falls into the portal and Ajax knows that it’s up to him to go and get him back.
With the knowledge that nobody who has entered it has ever returned, Ajax and Nivara go through the portal to try to save the prince. But what Ajax finds inside, and what he discovers about the prophecy, will test him to his limits.
I am hoping for a December release but that may be a little optimistic.
Don’t be afraid to rewrite. Find good beta readers who will find the flaws in your story. Chances are if there are no flaws found, then you need to find new readers. Don’t quit, this isn’t an easy career choice. It is a lot of work, especially after the book is finished. I never really believed that until I lived it.
Did you have moments where you considering quiting? What made you keep going?
I have never considered quitting. I do have highs and lows with writing, but during the lows I just keep pushing through. I remember that were many publishing companies that took a pass on Harry Potter. Success isn’t typically overnight. Sometimes I will go to amazon and read a review a reader posted just to remind myself that there are people who enjoy what I have written. The readers are what keep me going.
Please take the time to post reviews when you read a book. It means the world to the author and helps readers to know if a book is worth their time and money. Thank you for all your support. Jo, I appreciate the interview. Happy Reading!!