This week I corresponded with an author from Johns Creek who writes fantastic crossover stories. One of his recent books titled “Double-Crossing the Bridge” garnered this blurb from Kirkus Reviews: “Sover’s ability to disgust readers is nothing short of heartwarming…Comedy-fantasy fans with strong stomachs will enjoy this book. . »
Sover exposed his inspirations and writing style. Thanks again to her for sharing her time with us.
Question: Tell us about your writing process and how you come up with story ideas.
Sovereign: When my husband and I got married, I had a well-paying job and a house, and he always lived at home when he wasn’t at my house. We made a deal. I supported us while he went to college in software engineering, then once our future children started school, I focused on my writing.
There was only one problem. The word wait is not part of my vocabulary! I wrote my first book during lunch breaks and evenings after work while pregnant with my first child (yes, those are baby-eating trolls!). My second book was written at home with our baby, and the third was written in stolen moments when my two daughters were young. Currently, I still have a child at home and I generally write less than an hour a day, amassing between 300 and 1,000 words per sitting.
Even if the kids weren’t in the equation, I would work pretty much the same way. I’m an ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) writer who always has a million balls in the air at once, and I work in bursts of high productivity. As such, I’m an accomplished pant who would get bored quickly if I knew a story before writing it.
There’s no brainstorming because my brain is a storm. This means I have notebooks half full of details I had forgotten that I have to look back on while I write. It’s not the most efficient process, but it’s mine, and it eventually gets me where I need to be.
I write wherever I can, as I can. I have a dedicated space which I love, but most of my current WIPs (work in progress) have been written on the kitchen table on my laptop.
Q: What is your inspiration for writing?
Sovereign: Writing is one of my many outlets, and as cliché as it sounds, it’s a compulsion. I have so many things inside that if I don’t take them out, I will self-destruct. I see links in everything, and most of my ideas come from links that others might not see or want to explore. “Double-Crossing the Bridge,” for example, is a combination of sitcom, heist, and fantasy. It has Deadpool-style humor, Jim Henson-style characters, and tons of classic Easter eggs.
The idea for the book came from a ridiculous conversation with my husband on a road trip. We had watched “Leverage” and talked about internet trolls, and I started laughing at the thought of real trolls doing a heist. It snowballed from there.
Other ideas come from various places. I developed most of my short stories from individual scenes that came to mind as movies.
Q: Do you believe in writer’s block?
Sovereign: Some days the words flow, and others it’s like pulling teeth. For me, it’s not about getting stuck, it’s more about getting my brain to cooperate when it chews on something unrelated. I’ve found setting low word count goals helps because it doesn’t feel like such a big commitment of energy, and I often overshoot once my head is in the game.
Q: How did you celebrate the release of your first book?
Sovereign: I hosted a launch party at The Lost Druid Brewery and it was fabulous! They made a special troll-centric menu and even named a little beer after the book. We had a photo booth with a police backdrop, troll masks and unicorn horns, and all my friends came out to celebrate. It was perfect.
Q: What other authors are you friends with, how do they help you become a better writer?
Sovereign: The best part of becoming a published author is the community you form in the process. I was part of a group of authors that debuted in 2019 and made some lasting friendships. Boosting each other, talking through tough times and being able to connect on shared experiences is huge, plus we share resources and industry knowledge.
I also have a group of review partners who talk every day on a Slack channel, and I’ve made friends through the two editors I’ve worked with. Plus, participating in panels at conventions with fellow writers is rewarding and fun. If I were to name every writer I’m friends with, everyone would stop reading this interview because it would sound like a graduation program.
Q: If you had the opportunity to form a book club with your all-time favorite authors, which contemporary legends or writers would you want to join the club?
Sovereign: Oh ! In addition to my contemporaries whom I met in the aforementioned groups, we should add Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Mercedes Lackey, Patrick Rothfuss, NK Jemisin, Faith Hunter, Jim Butcher… OK, we are back on the program graduation.
Q: How do you think concepts such as Kindle and e-books have changed the present or future of reading?
Sovereign: They have changed the publishing landscape, creating difficulties in some areas and advantages in others. I think the overall effect has been positive because they make books more accessible to people. They also allow historically marginalized voices to find a platform. There are more self-published authors and small press than ever before, and that’s a really cool thing in my opinion.
Q: What marketing strategies do you find most useful?
Sovereign: For me, making myself known is the most profitable. I love going to conferences, guest blogging, and writing articles for Writer’s Digest magazine, Dan Koboldt’s Putting the Fact in Fantasy book and blog series, and things like that. Marketing is different for a small news writer versus a large writer, and most paid services didn’t do much for my results. But when I have time to devote to content creation, I always see sales upticks.
Q: Can you tell us about your current projects?
Sovereign: “Fairy Godmurder” will be released in March by Falstaff Books. It’s the first in my Fractured Fae series, and it features a fairy godmother with a vendetta and a pair of killer Doc Martens who divert her from her fairy godmother responsibilities in order to hunt down the serial killer who slaughtered her first princess. I am currently working on the second book in this series, and I also owe my publisher a third. “Double-Crossing the Bridge” will be reissued by my new publisher next year, and I’ve also signed on for an equally ridiculous sequel called “Trolled.”
Q: Any advice you would like to give to budding writers?
Sovereign: Yes! Delete any advice you don’t like. Every author is asked for advice, and some are great, but some are terrible. Some tips only work for a small percentage of writers. Write stories your way with any method to get the words on the page. All progress is one more step than you were before. And making writer friends helps with every step of your journey.
• To learn more about this author whose ultimate goal is to create a little bright spot in someone’s world, visit www.sarahjsover.com.
Readers, the Calhoun-Gordon County Public Library is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. No appointment is required. Programming is back; check www.ngrl.org or our social media at www.facebook.com/CalhounGordonCountyLibrary for details. Stay tuned for more soon.