top of page
  • Anna P.

Indie Support Sunday: Sara Elisabeth

As an indie author, you’re always hoping to connect with and make friends with fellow indies. It’s not as easy as one would think. But, when I put a call out for indie authors who would like to be a part of this series on Threads, I was lucky to connect with so many incredible humans. 


Sara was one of those authors and at the time, she hadn’t started promoting her debut Someday Away, but I was beyond excited for her. In the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about marketing and the headache of making reels and how exciting and stressful it is to put a book out there.


I am beyond excited for Sara’s debut—which is out now!—and for all the other magic she’s going to introduce into our lives. Not only that, Sara and a friend are also now providing editing services to fellow indies, so make sure that you check out Two Girls, One Book!


BEING AN AUTHOR

Who or what inspired you to write?

I’ve wanted to be a writer my whole life–I was six years old when I wrote a sequel to Ursula K. LeGuin’s Catwings series, and I was in love with writing after that.


What’s the best and worst part about being an indie author? 

The best part is the freedom–there’s no deadline looming, and I don’t have to censor my writing to fit a publisher’s definition of who they believe my audience to be. 


The worst part is by far the marketing aspect. Marketing yourself is hard–so hard. And if your marketing strategy flops, it’s so defeating. It’s hard to not feel like a failure sometimes.


Why did you choose to self-publish instead of going the traditional route?

When I was younger in the early 2000s, it was my dream to publish a book, but the only option was to essentially send out your manuscript via snail mail to hundreds of publishers and hope that one stuck. I didn’t think my skin was thick enough for all the rejection I knew I would face–it was, to be frank, terrifying.


I still feel this even though I’m not that insecure 20-something writer anymore. I know I’ll probably deal with poor reviews or unhappy readers going the self-publishing route, but at least my book will be out there on my terms, and someone will love it.


When you’re not writing, what do you do to get the creative juices flowing?

I listen to sad music. My writing tends to have a lot of heartache and angst, so I have a few playlists that really evoke those feelings.


If you were to recommend books to me (in any genre), what would they be?

Anything by CE Ricci–she’s such a good writer, and her characters are delightfully flawed. My other favorite romance authors are Tate James, SJ Sylvis, Rina Kent, Becca Steele, and Nyla K. They’re all amazing women who inspired me to take this journey.


I also loved fantasy as a kid, and my favorite author is Terry Brooks. He was my idol growing up, and I met him at signings three times throughout my life–he remembered me every time. The guy is a legend. I always recommend his Shannara series–old school epic fantasy at its finest.


What are your top 5 tips or pieces of advice for aspiring authors?

Don’t give up. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to write your book or who scoffs at your dreams to publish–do it anyway. I wish I had taken this journey a long time ago, but I was so afraid to fail, and now that I’m on track to publish, I’m so happy I never stopped wanting this. Even if I change one person’s life with my book, that’s enough for me. 


ROMANCE AS A GENRE

Why did you choose romance as the genre to write in? What is your favorite thing about the genre?

I live for the HEAs. Seriously, my anxiety is sky high half the time, and the world is so fucked up. I need the premise of a happy ending as a reader and a writer, or I would lose all my optimism. 


If not romance/subgenres of romance, what genre would you like to write in?

I would write fantasy, and I hope to one day. The idea of world-building to that level is a bit intimidating, but I’d certainly love to try.


What are your most and least favorite tropes?

I adore enemies-to-lovers/grumpy-sunshine and found family–ever since I watched Star Wars as a kid and saw that electric love/hate energy between Han and Leia coupled with the fuzzy found family feelings, well, I was a goner. 😮‍💨


I’m not a fan of accidental pregnancy and mafia tropes. That being said, if they’re done by a trusted author, I’ll give the book a shot. The cheating or love triangle tropes are generally a hard no for me.


What are some tropes you want to write in the future?

I think a good forced proximity trope would be fun to write (not just as a few chapters, but possibly the whole book), and I’ve considered doing a stepbrothers trope if I do a MM relationship dynamic in the future.


What are some topics (sensitive and otherwise) that you think should exist more in romance?

More LGBTQ+ and BIPOC representation, for sure. As a cis white female, I don’t always feel as qualified to write those diverse characters (though I do have gay and bi characters in Someday Away), but I would love to partner with another author to write something meaningful along those lines.


If you write open door romance, why did you choose that and what inspires your sex scenes?

Open door sex scenes are so emotionally charged. In some ways they have more character development than the slow burn moments and the snarky banter.


Open door also gave me a chance to write a female character who was very open with her needs and sex positive, which I think is really important. Sex is awesome, and no one should feel ashamed to ask for what they want.


Most of my inspiration comes from other romance authors. I’ve been obsessed with indie author dark romances since I got back into reading in 2020, and some of the sex scenes these talented women write just blow my mind–especially in the why choose and throuple relationship dynamics. 


YOUR BOOKS

What inspired your published stories? How and when did you come up with these stories and plots?

I’ve been writing Someday Away in my head for a long time. When I was younger, I would conjure up new scenes in my book to help me fall asleep. The story has obviously evolved over the years–it was a fantasy book when I was a teen and then became a romance as I grew older. But the primary plot points have always stayed pretty steady.


Plus, I’m a pantser, so I didn’t need a lot of direction to connect those important scenes together once I got started. 😆


Can you briefly tell me about your debut?

Someday Away is a MFM dark romance. It’s about three characters who struggle to overcome past family trauma, and they find that they’re connected in unexpected and heartbreaking ways. 


And, of course, there’s a villain who’s a sociopath (think serial killer vibes) and out for revenge.


It all sounds a bit cliché, I suppose, but I add a lot of my own unique touches to the story–there’s plenty of pop culture references and a lot of banter. Charlie, Lincoln, and Trey are essentially reflections of their parents, who are Gen Xers. They’re latch-key kids who grew up immersed in the escapism of movies and books.


This may not seem entirely realistic for a group of Gen Z babies, but I wanted this story to take place in the present and yet still have that romantic feel of the 80s and 90s (and even early 2000s), and I think I accomplished that.


Do you already have a favorite character from the stories you’ve written?

I love all my characters, but Lincoln holds a special place for me. He’s based on one of my first loves–a boy I met in an Internet chat room in the late 90s, which was obviously unusual at the time.


He was beautiful, honest, and outspoken, and I adored him. Once you were his friend, he was loyal to a fault and fiercely protective. He was also one of the first people who encouraged me to write what I wanted (including smut) without shame.


We never got to meet in person but did keep in touch over the years through socials. In 2018 he died suddenly–he was only 36. Lincoln has so much of his personality.


How much of yourself do you put into these characters?

There are bits of me in every character I write. One of my alpha readers is a very good friend of mine who has known me since college, and her first comment was that most readers will be missing out because they won’t notice “Sara-isms” in my book. That may be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on who you ask. 😆


What is a story/stories that you really want to tell?

I’d like to write a YA novel someday. As a tween and teen, I really struggled with body image and bullying, and I think I’d like to get something out there so that girls going through these issues feel seen.


Is there one common element that readers can find in all your stories?

Probably the enemies-to-lovers vibe–it’s pretty much a requirement for all my writing because I love it so much. 😉 


What’s next on the bookshelf for you? Anything you can tell us about a future project?

I have two more PNW boys novels planned with side characters from Someday Away. I don’t have a lot of plot ideas yet, but I do plan on one being either a MF or a MFM and one being a MM.


When you write these stories, what are you hoping your readers will feel?

Anger, sadness, empathy, and most importantly acceptance and love.


AUTHOR’S CHOICE


  • Paperbacks, hardbacks, ebooks or audiobooks—ebooks to read, paperbacks to collect

  • Contemporary, fantasy, historical or romantic suspense

  • Single or Dual POV

  • Standalones, series or standalones in a series—I love them all

  • Open door, ajar door or closed door romances

  • Music or silence when writing

  • Plotter, pantser or plantser

  • Water, tea, coffee or….wine?—and McDonald’s Diet Coke (IYKYK)

  • Cold or warm weather

  • Write better in the morning, afternoon or night?—Whenever life allows

  • Illustrated or photo cover?—Photo for the original, illustrated for the special edition


Check out Sara on Instagram, Threads and Facebook. Make sure you visit her website and look into her editing services—Two Girls, One Book Editing.

Comments


bottom of page