Teaser: “Only three things in life are guaranteed: you’re born, you die, and somewhere in between, if you keep playing the odds, you’ll get lucky. What makes me such an expert? Nothing really. My name is Bam Matthews, I’m an FBI agent, and in forty-eight hours, give or take, I’ll either be damn lucky or stone-cold dead. Guaranteed.”
I got the chance to get a little crazy with author Sarah Jayne Carr and this is what happens when we’re both lacking caffeine or sleep… or both. She’s an awesome chick, a fantastic author, and a good friend of mine. Give it up for the sensational Sarah!
Sarah Jayne Carr is a novelist who can be found most evenings with a cup of tea in-hand and her imagination racing from plot to plot. When away from her work, part of her mind is constantly brainstorming her next story and she always has writing paraphernalia within reach.
She wrote stories as a child, but became more serious about her passion during her twenties. In her spare time, she likes to read, splash in mud puddles, smell bookstores and eat Honeycrisp apples. Yearly, she participates in NaNoWriMo and has mentored others through the program. Due to her dedication to National Novel Writing Month, she is part of an amazing writing group.
Born and raised in Washington State, Sarah still resides in the area. Her life is richly filled with her supportive, yet swashbuckling husband and their golden Nugget.
Sarah Jayne Carr
Tell me something you want people to know about you: I have an abnormally long tongue. Oh? Not a fact that random? I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo and I’m a six-time champion. My muse wears the diamond-crusted medals to prove it. It’s too bad she lives inside my imagination; the value decreases drastically when compared to tangible diamond-crusted medals. 😉 My NaNo stories from 2005 and 2009 have been published: Revealing Hamilton and Embracing Hamilton.
Tell us how you live or walk us through a normal day for you: How do I live? Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. 😉
A day only feels “normal” to me if I’m able to squeeze in time to write. If I don’t write, I feel “off”. My schedule differs each day, so it includes juggling…chainsaws. A lot of chainsaws.
Are you a full-time writer? If not, tell us about your day job: Oh, to dream! By day, I work in radiology billing. By night, I’m a novelist (that’s when I put on the spandex and the cape). Watch out, Washington. Kidding. My day job is very number-oriented–much different from the writing world. In a sense, I achieve a balance this way and that allows the world to remain on its axis. You’re welcome.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? The “theme” of my stories doesn’t manifest until after I’ve written them. I don’t go into a story with an elaborately mapped out plan for what the reader should come away with. I go into a story thinking about how I can punish Amelia. Then, I think about what can make her life ten times worse. It’s sad, but true. In all honesty, reading is a personal experience and everyone interprets messages and envisions characters/scenery within stories in their own way. If I asked you to imagine a fire-eating clown juggling miniature unicorns while singing Spanish opera, I’ll bet they’d all appear differently. (When I’m sleepy, I become random. Yes, I’m tired. How could you tell?) Readers have all led different lives with different experiences. With that said, they may pull different “messages” from my stories so I don’t aim to pinpoint a certain one as I’m writing.
How much of the book is based off personal experiences? Within my stories, there are many real-life experiences woven throughout the pages. I’m usually pretty quiet regarding which parts are reality and which parts are pure fiction. One instance of a personal experience? Within the pages of Embracing Hamilton, there’s a morgue scene. For the sake of research, I visited a morgue. I needed to see/smell/hear/touch (not taste, that would just be wrong) everything to write the scene accurately. From the metallic sound of the garbage disposal to the salty smell of the body cooler (yes, there were bodies within), I was able to put Amelia in the necessary situation.
What are your current projects? I’m working on the third full-length novel in the JackRabbit7 series. It’s called Hunting Hamilton. Additionally, I’m working on the third JackRabbit7 prequel. It’s called Concealing Torres. I have a few other stories marinating inside my head—not JackRabbit7-related. Whenever those characters try to emerge, Amelia puts them in a headlock and knees them in the face. Right now, she’s still in the spotlight and isn’t ready to give it up yet.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? My cousins and I used to write short stories when we were kids. Throughout my teenage years, I didn’t give writing a second thought (outside of school). When I hit my mid-twenties, I was wandering around a local bookstore. Unable to find the book I wanted to read, I realized it hadn’t been written yet. However, I wasn’t sure where to begin. Shortly thereafter, I learned of a program called National Novel Writing Month. I heard marvelous stories of people who wrote 50,000-words in a month. I wanted to be one of those people and I made it happen. The rest is history.
Do you ever experience writer’s block and how do you overcome it? Pffft. I eat writer’s block for breakfast. Two lumps of sugar and cream, please. Okay, the real answer is…<pause for dramatic effect> I don’t believe in writer’s block. If there’s a block, something is wrong with the story. In these times, I treat these “hurdles” like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” story. If there’s a stumbling block in front of Amelia that I can’t figure out, I try to take a detour with the scene. It works. In the past, I’ve also tried writing the scene from the perspective of a supporting character. It’s helped too. To date, I haven’t had to use my flare gun to signal for help so I must be doing something right for my muse.
What project are you working on now? Is this déjà vu from three questions ago? You know I’m going to be snarky. Right now? I’m working on this interview. What are you working on right now? 😉 Coey: Nothing… 🙁
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers? Write. Everyday. If you wait for inspiration to strike, you’ll be waiting a long time. The more you practice the craft, the deeper you’ll be involved with your characters.
Before we get to the crazy questions, check out the trailer for Revealing Hamilton by Sarah Jayne Carr.
Sarah, The Zombie Apocalypse is a scientific possibility. What’s your plan when it happens? I’m headed to the cemetery with mallet to play Whack-A-Mole.
If you wrong someone, how do you apologize? With a singing telegram, of course. By the way, Coey? I’m sorry I stole your unicorn. Make sure you’re home tomorrow between 11 and 2. A man in a lobster suit is going to stop by and sing a rousing rendition of Crossfade’s “Cold” to you. Creepy, isn’t it? Coey: You always know exactly the right thing to give a person. 🙂
If you get cheated by the Better Business Bureau, who do you complain to? There’s no need to work my way any higher up the chain. Instead, I’ll just write them into my next novel. Then, there aren’t any repercussions for my actions. <insert maniacal laugh here> Coey: If you insist…
If a word is misspelled in the dictionary, how will anyone ever know? No one will…except for Merriam-Webster. As I hop in my time machine, I envision Noah Webster, George Merriam, and Charles Merriam sitting back in leather armchairs. The setting is an office with oak furniture and crushed red velvet curtains. It’s late in the evening. They’re smoking cigars and laughing as they screw with the population by altering snippets of dictionary. Did I mention they’ve had too much to drink? I can’t see this ending well…
If you were stranded in the remote wilderness would you eat one of your dead traveling companions to survive? Is one of my dead traveling companions a cow livestock? If so, bring it on.
Would you volunteer to be one of the first colonists on Mars if it meant you could never return to earth? I need clarification here. Are we talking about Mars (the planet) or Mars (the candy bar)? Right now, I’m distracted as I think about chocolate so I’m willing to take you up on your offer of caramel and nougat.
If it is after midnight and you do not want to go home yet, where do you go? Coey, you’re so funny! I have a two-year old. I turn into a pumpkin at midnight. Then, I can’t fit through the door, I spend the night out in the cold, and I get cranky. No one likes a cranky Sarah.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? I understand you’re an author, so I’m going to forgive your Internet browser history.
I swallowed and shook my head as tears slid down my cheeks. “Dane, don’t.” I gulped. “Gasoline. He has a gun. Matches.” —Engaging Kennewick
Molly Kennewick is involved in a long-distance relationship with a secretive IA employee named Dane Pascall. A prior breakup gone wrong with a resident bad boy leaves a bad taste in Molly’s mouth and also leaves her on edge. A significant amount of time has passed since Axel vanished from her life, but he’s been reminding her of his presence in peculiar ways. A weekend getaway is what Molly believes she needs to clear her head, but history is waiting with bated breath to repeat itself. Can Molly resolve her past and present before her future goes up in flames?