Author Interview: Sarah Dawson Powell

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Hello friends! Finally, I have brought it back. Author interviews! At least for this month. My end goal is to have at least one a month. Should I find more authors interested, it could be more than just once a month. Fingers crossed friends.

This month, I bring you Sarah Dawson Powell! I found Sarah on the comments section of a blogger that I read. She was talking about how she had just published her first book. I saw an opportunity and jumped on it. Thankfully, Sarah didn’t think I was a crazy person and agreed to let me ask her a few questions. Which brings us to today.

Read the interview, then check out her books. I will add links to what books she has published so far at the end of the interview.

Authorinterview

  1. What inspired The Fragile Line Series?

I’m not sure. The image of Sadie, broken to pieces with a beautiful spirit inside of her, came to me one night when I was trying to fall asleep. My initial image of her was at a turning point in her life that comes a few years after the time period Beautiful takes place in. From that initial moment where I found Sadie, I wove her life together going not only forward, but backwards too. I needed to know how she got to the point I found her, and how she finds her way back to whoever she once was.

  1. Are any of your characters modeled after any celebrities?

Yes. When I introduced Aaron to the story, I needed a physical description that didn’t match any of the male characters I already had. At that moment, my kids were watching Nickelodeon and there was a commercial on for the Teen Choice Awards. Taylor Lautner appeared on the screen, and so that’s who I decided Aaron should resemble (Although, I totally thought Taylor Lautner was Justin Bieber because I was that clueless).

  1. What kind of research did you have to put into your novels?

I did a lot of research on alcoholism and addiction for Sadie’s character, particularly symptoms of withdrawal. The locations in Beautiful are real places that I am personally familiar with (except Sadie’s college and their hometown of Willow Grove is fictitious). There comes a time later in the series where I had to research another location where I’ve never been. For Ryan’s character, I had to research a specific mental illness. For the most part, I write about things I already know. I try to be as accurate as I can.

  1. When did you decide to become a writer?

This is a tough one. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always been a story teller. In junior high and high school, I started to write short stories and some poetry. In high school and college, I worked on the school newspaper, serving as editor-in-chief of my college paper for two semesters. I began writing The Fragile Line series in March of 2010. I shared my beginnings with some friends and they gave me the energy to keep going. At the point I began writing the series, Sadie’s story had been burning in my brain for at least six months. I had to let her out to tell her story.

  1. What made you decide to self-publish as opposed to traditional publishing?

I have sent probably fifty queries to agents for Beautiful. Every single one was rejected. It was discouraging and frustrating. I convinced myself the story was horrible and that I was a bad writer. But I didn’t give up. I kept writing, I just started writing other things. I have a few young adult novels that I will publish at some point. One of them, The Truth About Lauren, actually had interest from an agent. She really liked the story, and suggested some pretty minor changes. Unfortunately, her request for changes came at a time I didn’t want to change it, so I missed that opportunity. After that, I started four different projects, three of which remain unfinished.

Late last year, my family went through a very difficult transition that took a deep financial toll on us. Christmas was fast approaching and I could barely afford to feed my family, let alone put presents under the tree. I prayed. I prayed a lot. And then I knew I needed to sell my books. So I self-published out of desperation with the hope I would be able to save Christmas for my family.

  1. How do you set aside time to write? And do you have a daily word or page goal?

I write when I feel it. Weekends are the best time for me to write. I can pound out 10,000 words in a day if that’s all I do. I don’t have a word or page goal. I have to feel it to write it. I can’t force it. Sometimes a scene will dominate my mind to the point it hurts if I don’t get it out. My family is supportive of my writing, but there are times when I get in so deep where I begin to neglect the rest of my life.

  1. What did you find to be the hardest part about writing?

Honestly, nothing. I love words and the power that they hold. I am lucky that it comes so easy for me. I guess the hardest part is stopping.

  1. How long have you been working on the Fragile Line Series?

I began in March 2010. At that time, I wasn’t thinking about publishing it. I just had to get it out of my head. I finished in October 2010. It was 318,598 words and 681 pages long. Then I began rewriting. I decided to split the full thing up into smaller novels, and Beautiful is the first installment.

  1. What made you feel that you needed to write this series?

Sadie’s story needed to be told. There are a million girls out there dealing with the things she deals with. I feel that people like to pretend that these problems don’t exist in our world, and never could a couple of good kids like Sadie and Ryan end up the way they do in Beautiful. But this is reality. It’s happening. I wanted to people to realize that.

  1. Do you know how many books you plan on including in this series?

I do not. I have five completed, and that covers about a third of the original story. I have added stuff and taken stuff out. It’s really hard to say when it will end.

  1. What are your plans after you finish this series?

I’m not sure. I have written a couple of YA novels, as I mentioned above, so I will publish those along the way. I plan to finish my incomplete projects as well.

  1. Do you want to make a career of writing?

Yes. Yes. Yes. And yes. That is my dream.

  1. Since you are self-published, would you go the traditional route if the opportunity arose?

I would. It would be amazing to not have to worry about the cover or marketing. And it would be even more amazing to hold my work in my hand in actual book form.

  1. How long did it take you to write the first book of the series?

When I began rewriting, it went rather quickly. I think it took me about three months to finish it.

  1. Did you have a professional editor polish up your novel? If so, how did you go about finding them?

Nope, all the typos are my own fault. I have had a few friends look things over and give me pointers over the years, but no one I have ever paid.

  1. What kind of books do you read?

I read contemporary fiction for adults and teens. I also like memoirs of people who have overcome obstacles in their lives. I cannot comprehend vampires, werewolves, or anything else that is ‘fake’. Although I did read the Twilight series while I was writing Beautiful.

  1. Do you have a favorite book or series? Favorite author?

My all-time favorite book is Divine by Karen Kingsbury. My two favorite authors are Karen Kingsbury and Ellen Hopkins. And anyone who knows who these two authors, are knows that they are at the complete opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to contemporary fiction.

  1. In the big debate of e-book or traditional hard copy, which do you prefer?

Odd as it may be, I prefer traditional hard copy. I have a Kindle and a Nook, and I use them, but I still love to feel the pages in my hand.

  1. What is your favorite movie?

I have three. Gone With the Wind, My Girl, and Titanic.

  1. Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?

Taylor Swift. Her songs have inspired so much of my writing. The words ‘fragile line’ are actually from one of her songs. She has haters, and I don’t care. I think she’s awesome.

  1. Lastly, what advice would you give aspiring writers?

Just keep writing and reading. Writing gets better with time and practice. Reading lets you see different styles. Think of it like a sport: practice every chance you get and observe how the greats do it.

  1. Anything else that you would like to add that I didn’t ask you about?

I just want to say that I am overwhelmed and humbled at the love I have received from people with regard to my books. When I hear that someone couldn’t put my book down, or that my words made them cry, or made them angry, it means the world to me! Readers need to know how important it is to review a book.

Where can we find you on social media?
Blog: SarahDawsonPowell There are previews to all three books on the blog!
Facebook:  TheFragileLine
Twitter: @sarahpowell8
Instagram: sarah_dawson_powell
Goodreads: Honestly, I kinda forgot about Goodreads. I used to have the app on my phone and deleted it at some point. I will make it a point to get this updated!

endinterview

Thank you again Sarah for allowing me to pick your brain.

To my readers, if you read any books by Sarah, please leave a review. We all know the importance of supporting authors. They need our feedback. Especially the ones that have self published.

As promised, here are the links to the Goodreads pages of the books by Sarah.

28095485 Book one: Beautiful

28355697Book two: Falling

28817109Book three: Pieces

 

Book Review: Beautiful

Beautiful By Sarah Powell

Rating

5 Nerd Girl RatingPlus Mustache

Author: Sarah Dawson Powell

Release Date: December 2, 2015

Series: The Fragile Line

Genre: Fiction

Pages: 290

Publisher: Self-Published

Buy it : Amazon

First Line: Why am I like this? What did I do to deserve this?

Blurb from Goodreads: Love, complicated by the darkness of addiction, can be a tricky thing. Things that seem right end up being wrong, and the wrong things seem so right. Some day’s life is perfect; other days are worse than your worst nightmare. Everything is your fault. The heartbreaks, the failures, the betrayals. No one understands. No one has the right answers. There’s a downside for every upside. And no matter what, someone will be hurt, just never more than the addict herself.
Follow Sadie Montgomery through her years of addiction and broken relationships that begin before she even leaves high school in The Fragile Line series.
Beautiful, the first book in the series, takes you through Sadie’s college years when her life truly begins to spin out of control. She falls in love, battles demons in her mind, fights for her sanity, and searches for a God who seems to have disappeared from her life. Her strength is tested when she has to choose between a man from her past whose life seems to have been woven into the fabric of hers, and a man who doesn’t love her for what she once was, but for who she is now. Once she makes her choice, she has to live with it and wonder what life would have been like had she chosen the other man.

 

Review:

**There may be some spoilers in this. So many emotions were left when I finished this book and I just had to get them out. I tried not to let spoilers slip and I think I did pretty well, to be honest. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.**

First, let me get the unprofessional bit out of the way….

OMG!!

Okay, now that I have that out of my system, let’s dive into this review.

I seriously finished this book so heartbroken, frustrated, and just disgusted (in a good way I swear). I loved this book and could not put it down. I read one chapter the first night before bed. The next day I sat down and finished the entire book. With how I read in January, you can see how important this is. I didn’t finish a single book last month, then I start this one and finish in one day. It was so captivating, intriguing, and jaw dropping really.

You have three main characters that I really focused on. Sadie, Ryan, and Aaron. Sadie is an alcoholic who also dabbles in drugs. Ryan is the good boy Sadie has known all her life and loves with all her heart. Aaron is the drug dealer who gives Sadie what she wants, but has fallen in love with Sadie.

Then, Sadie drags Ryan down with her. Well, I say she dragged him down with her, but it was his own choice. She introduces him to drugs. This changes the good boy that Ryan has been all his life. He becomes violent and it ends with him destroying his life, yet blaming it on Sadie. Jerk.

Aaron is the college boy that Sadie spends all of her time with when Ryan is away. A relationship forms and once the violent Ryan shows himself, she seriously debates leaving Ryan for Aaron.

Through most of this book I was rooting for Aaron, because Ryan ends up being such a jerk. I’m sorry, but a guy hitting a girl is never okay! Aaron promises Sadie that he will never hurt her, and you just know deep in your core that you can believe him. I wanted Aaron to save Sadie from the abusive relationship she had developed with her childhood friend.

Then, here is the kicker. Sadie is an alcoholic and a drug addict at this point. Aaron may be a great guy, but he is also a drug dealer. In order for Sadie to get her life together she needs to let go of the alcohol and drugs. If she leaves Ryan and goes running to Aaron, how is she ever going to gain control of her life again.

Of course, at this point we are all thinking, “Hey, Aaron said he would do anything for her. Maybe he would stop selling drugs and make an honest man of himself, help Sadie fight her addictions, and they can live happily ever after.” UGH! I want it to happen that way so bad.

This book is one of those books that as soon as you finish it, you instantly need the next book. Even if you don’t start the next book, there is a comfort in knowing you have it and can dive back into the lives of these characters when you are ready.  I had to put the book away and start another one to calm my mind so that I could get some sleep.

I don’t usually read books like this. I’m not huge into real life situations in my reading. I read to escape, but I feel like this book is so important. It puts you in the mind set of a true addict and all the things that go through their minds. Sadie knows that she is in a dangerous relationship and that her habits are going to kill her. She knows she needs to set the bottle down and get her life straight. But knowing and doing are to totally different things and saying you are going to get clean is so much easier than doing so.

What we find in this book is that no matter what you personally think, alcoholism and addiction are a disease that warrants serious help. When everyone around you is either adding your addiction, or telling you that it’s all your choice and you just need to stop, it’s hard to get out of that life. I have never had a problem with drugs or alcohol, I have always been too afraid of the repercussions. This book put me in Sadie’s shoes and helped open my eyes to the truth behind the abuse. Maybe it’s different for every addict or alcoholic, but this has helped me understand the lies that are being told to oneself through these problems.

You learn to love Sadie, the part of her that is not an addict. You want nothing but the best for her, and you may get confused as to what is best for her, because you become her and think you know what is best. (Aaron!!) But when you put the book away and really think about it, you want to shake every character and tell them to wake up.

Dead serious, there were a few times I wanted to throw my Kindle across the room because I was so frustrated with these characters. I think I came close to breaking my poor little Kindle in half from gripping it so hard.

Please, check this book out. It is a wonderful read and also an important read.

**Check It Out!** Sunday I will post an interview with the author of this book. Stay tuned!**

 

What Are You Reading?

Too Much to read

Hello! I finally (FINALLY) moved on from what I was reading all of January. Thank goodness! They were really good books, don’t get me wrong. It’s just…I was ready to move on!

Speaking of moving on, let’s get on with this crazy list of books I am reading at the moment…

First the book I am listening too is The Rule of Thoughts by James Dashner

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The first book was so good and I was excited to get started on the next. It’s such an intriguing idea. Let’s hope that the third book in this series doesn’t take a nose dive like the third book in the Maze Runner series. Look for the review of Eye of Minds this week!

The next two books I am reading on my Kindle

Beautiful  by Sarah Dawson Powell. The author that I will be interviewing this month.

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So far I am interested in the book. Though I was really tired the first night I started reading it. My goal is to finish this one this week so I can get my questions ready for the author.

Mosterland by Michael Phillip Cash

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This book was suggested to me by a friend on Goodreads. I found it on Netgalley and requested to read it.

Lastly is Armada by Ernest Cline

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I have been looking forward to this book since I finished Ready Player One. I love Ernest Cline’s writing and I can’t wait to really dig into this book.

 

I know it’s a lot to take on at one time. But I am hoping to really push myself to finish at least one book a week. I realize that it would be easier to finish a book if I would focus on one book…but I have this thing were I do too much at one time and burn myself out. It’s just what I do.

What are you reading this week??

What Are You Reading?

Matilda Quote

**Late Post today because I had some kind of issue and set the schedule for posting wrong…**

 

I have a confession to make. I have not been reading much! WAIT! Don’t throw your stones yet! I have been dealing with a lot of stress this month and…well, I sleep more than anything. I know, sorry excuse, but it happens!

What that being said, what I am reading isn’t much different from what I was reading the last “What are you Reading” post. Yep…same ol’ stuff.

I’m almost done with The Eye of Minds by James Dashner.

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It’s such a good book. I’m listening to it, so I only listen when I am driving to work. I have like 20 minutes left of the book.I know I could have sat down for a few minutes and finished it already, but I have a ritual…I listen when I drive to work. It helps me get through the work day. So I try to drag out the books I am listening to for as long as possible. Especially seeing as I only listen to one book a month.

You’re Never Weird on the Internet(Almost) by Felicia Day…

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This book kind of took a back seat when I started reading another book. I was trying to power through as many books as possible and I just killed myself or something and haven’t been able to finish anything. Ugh! And this book is so good! I just need to sit down one day and finish it!

Lastly, I am reading Turn Coat by Jim Butcher.

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Again, this is a really good book! I don’t know what my problem has been this past month, but I plan on finishing all of these books this week and moving on to my next pile of books that I want to read.

Since I am reading the same stuff, I thought I might add a little extra this week and let you know what is next on my TBR list!

First is Armada by Ernest Cline.

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I have been so excited for this book and I have been taking my sweet time getting to it.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.

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The next book in the series comes out February 9th. I wanted to have it re-read before the book came out, but I may be a little late finishing it to read the next book. Don’t worry, I plan to finish both in the month of February.

Monsterland by Michael Phillip Cash.

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This was suggested to me on Goodreads and I got it free on Netgalley, so I want to read this this month and put up a review!

Beautiful by Sarah Dawson Powell

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Sarah is my author of the month and I need to read her book so I can get to interview her. Yep, I am a little behind in all my stuff for this blog! I sometimes hate myself, but I am getting back on track!

 

That is what is to come and what is…what are you reading? What is your TBR for February? Let me know in the comments.