top of page
  • Anna P.

Indie Support Sunday: Sarah Dressler

Let me start this by saying that Sarah Dressler’s five tips for aspiring (and established authors, really) is really awesome and my favorite point? About the Oxford Comma. The well thought out points and explanations are honestly making me very happy.

Which would make sense since Sarah’s writing journey began with a blog while she was working as a wardrobe stylist. That blog is what started her on this indie author adventure. While Christmas Cove (released last November) might be her first published work, she wrote three dystopian thrillers (that Sarah says might not see the light of day, but I hope she changes her mind). Those three books might be open door, but Sarah wanted to write stories that her teenagers and grandmother alike could read and enjoy, so her published stories are closed door!

Both her published books—Christmas Cove and Spring Showers—are out now and available in Kindle Unlimited!


Who or what inspired you to write?

I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember. In my youth, I would spend my time writing little poems, song lyrics, or more first-chapters than I can count, but I never considered myself a real writer. In 2014, I was already working as a wardrobe stylist and decided to reach a wider audience with a blog. I didn't realize at the time that this fashion blog would spark the fire in me that would eventually lead me to today, with my debut novel and series of the same title, Christmas Cove.

I have one person to credit the most for helping me believe that I could write more than just a blog. In 2018, Jaimie K. found my fashion blog and encouraged me to write more. She challenged me to a thirty minute writing sprint wherein we had to draft a complete scene in under thirty minutes. Weeks went by with evermore interesting writing prompts and in depth critiques until one day when I wrote a scene that would ignite an entire world inside my mind. 

This was it, my first real attempt at writing a whole book. It took about a year, but I did complete that first draft. And like so many first time writers, I believed I was about to get my big break. I enthusiastically submitted the manuscript to dozens of agents and publishers, only to receive rejection after rejection.

This setback didn’'t slow me down. I had more stories to tell, and tell them I did. Christmas Cove is the fourth novel that I've written, but the first I’ve published. I’ve now completed seven books, and some might be on their way to reader’s hands soon.

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

Sometimes, being saddled with so many stories in my head is a curse. Putting the scenes on paper, or computer screen, is a daunting task. But seeing the stories come to life, knowing that strangers will read something that I created, is the best gift. I always say that the story must be told, and I believe deep down that all the stories in my mind were put there for a reason, to share with you. 

I knew I never wanted to publish on my own, and I'm happy to have a team working on my behalf and filling in my knowledge gaps. Publishing isn't for the weak, and I love that we live in a time with so many options available for authors to share their stories with the world.

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

I’m a creative person by nature and crave various outlets. When I'm not writing, I can often be found singing on the Smule app, painting something, DIYing something, or sewing. One of my most beloved activities is making giant sand sculptures at the beach. Seeing as how I currently live in the mountains, beaches are hard to come by, but snow is a suitable, yet decidedly chillier, alternative material. On a more regular basis, my husband and I go for sunset walks nearly every day, no matter where we are in the world.

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

One of the best books I’ve ever read, mostly because I learned so much, is Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger. This book, though thorough, led me to do countless hours of historical research about a topic I was wholly unaware of prior to picking up this book. I like books that challenge me.

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

When I began my writing career, I mistakenly believed that asking for help, or getting advice meant I was failing, or incapable of doing it by myself. Oh, how wrong I was! As I reflect on the past five years of my writing career, I find it more important than ever to give back to the community that has been so gracious and supportive. There are some things that might be helpful to new, or struggling writers. Things that I wish I would have known, or been less prideful about utilizing, from the start. 


  1. Have a plan: This doesn't have to be too fancy or include an elaborate storyboard with every single scene mapped out to within an inch of its life, though it can be if that’s what works for you. It can also be anything from some notes jotted down on scrap paper to a simple outline that includes the major plot points like the beginning, the middle, and the end. You’ll want to include the main character’s personal growth arc, or you’ll have to go back and figure it out later anyway, so save yourself from future trouble.


  1. Be consistent: The worst piece of advice I see thrown around like candy that will heal all your writing ailments is that a writer should write every day. The reality of life is that you probably can't meet that bar no matter how hard you try and will only cause yourself to feel angry or guilty when you don't.


  1. Give yourself grace with your goals: While drafting a story, I don't want to lose momentum, so I set time aside each day to sit down and work on my book. This doesn't mean I'm writing every day. I have a list of other things I can do, especially when the words aren't flowing. I connect with other writers, do research, and make social media posts to promote my project. Being an author is demanding work, and being consistent will help you to move forward with your writing career each day.


  1. Decide where you stand with an Oxford Comma: Love it or hate it, readers like an oxford comma. When listing items, each one should have a comma between, as in, “I ate bread, olive oil, and cheese for dinner” not “I ate bread, olive oil and cheese for dinner”. Did you read the difference? Both ways are correct, so whichever you choose, just stick with it. This will save you much time during the editing phase.


  1. Most importantly, know that you can do it. It won't be easy–cue the support team–but it will be worth it when you hold the finished book in your hands for the first time. 


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

I just love a good love story. I think love is the most universal emotion. Oftentimes, it leads to other emotions, like anger, jealousy, and betrayal. Love can be so beautiful, but its flip side shouldn't be ignored. I find that writing about romance allows me to explore the full depths of the human heart, for better or worse.

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

My first three novels, that might never see the light of day, were dystopian thrillers with a heavy emphasis on how love can make people do stupid things. I think I'll write in this genre again in the future.

If you write closed door romance, why did you choose that and what are your favorite ways to build tension between the characters?

I love this question. I have written both open and closed door novels. And I believe each has its place and time. The story must warrant the spice, if not, I think it can be a distraction from what the characters are attempting to accomplish. 

After I completed my first three novels, very open door, I wanted to write something that my young teenagers, or my 96 year old grandma could read and not be grossed out by the thought of me having actually created it. I wanted to tell a story that everyone could enjoy. Even though Christmas Cove is an adult novel, it is accessible and heartwarming, something the world could use a bit more of.


Can you briefly tell me about your books?

Christmas Cove is a heartwarming holiday romance story of a town, known for its Christmas festivals, losing its cheer. It’s up to a spunky travel writer and the town’s eligible mayor to bring it back before time runs out. When their passion for one another causes them to lose sight of the task, they must learn that Christmas is more than just a place on the map. 

The sequel, Spring Showers is a story of forbidden love blooming in the heart of Spring. Two people, running from their pasts, find renewal in the most unlikely place, a rain storm.

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

I’m thrilled to share the news that my next novel, A Winter’s Wedding, will be released November 12th, 2024. A Winter’s Wedding is the highly anticipated third installment of the Christmas Cove series. Christmas Cove is a buzz in wedding preparations when a winter storm threatens to derail the whole event. America and Leo hatch a plan that will allow them to have their wedding cake and eat it too, but they must hide the truth until the last I-Do’s are said.

In addition to my novels, I’m releasing a craft book in 2024 for beginning writers. It includes all the things I wish I would have known when I first began my writing career. This book will be a foundational text that allows writers to build their own career from, while avoiding some time-sucking mistakes.


  • Paperbacks, hardbacks, ebooks or audiobooks

  • Contemporary, fantasy, historical or romantic suspense

  • Single or Dual POV

  • Standalones, series or standalones in a series

  • Open door, ajar door or closed door romances—All of the above

  • Music or silence when writing

  • Plotter, pantser or plantser?

  • Water, tea, coffee or….wine?

  • Cold or warm weather—Warm weather, unless it’s Christmas time, then cold.

  • Write better in the morning, afternoon or night?

  • Illustrated or photo cover?—Illustrated is more romantic

Find Sarah on Instagram, Facebook, Threads and Goodreads and on her website/blog!


bottom of page