Thursday, May 5, 2016

Author Interview with Sarah Weathersby

LaToya: Hi Sarah, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Sarah:  Sarah Gordon Weathersby is a graduate of Drew University in Madison, NJ. She holds an MBA from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC. She is a retired Information Technology professional. Sarah lives in Raleigh with her husband, when they are not traveling from Agadir to Maui, riding camels or bicycles.

LaToya: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Sarah:  I want to write stories that touch people’s heart and soul. I don’t mind having a negative cash flow. I’m retired and living in the gravy.

LaToya: Which writers inspire you?
Sarah: My favorite authors are Tananarive Due, Walter Mosley, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Beverly Jenkins, Bernice McFadden, Octavia Butler, Leonard Pitts and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I am inspired by many different genres.

LaToya: What are you working on at the minute?
Sarah: I’m working on an outline for a family story. The working title is Being of Sound Mind.
I’m also working on a sequel to Tell Them I Died. The working title is The Bodyguard’s Secret.

LaToya: What genre are your books and why?
Sarah:  I have written two memoirs, one is the total truth (Motherless Child – stories from a life), the other is semi-fictional (Adventures in Blackface). I have written one romance that falls in the Boomer-Lit genre, as all the main characters are over fifty years old. The title is Tell Them I Died.

LaToya: In 10 words or less can you create a quote that describes you and your writing?
Sarah: Sarah writes about things that keep her awake at night.

LaToya: Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
Sarah: Angela Bassett and James Pickens.

LaToya: When did you decide to become a writer?
Sarah: I started writing poems when I was eight years old. I wrote them in a notebook that my mother hijacked and sent to Simon & Schuster to publish. Simon & Schuster returned the poems a few months later, with a nice note, which I don’t remember.

LaToya: Do you write full-time or part-time?
Sarah: part-time.

LaToya: Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Sarah:  I used to write late at night, but I’m getting to be too old to stay up like that. Instead I write early in the morning. It’s better now that we’re into springtime.

LaToya: Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
Sarah:  No. I go with the flow, and sometimes the flow is short, sometimes very long.

LaToya: Where do your ideas come from?
Sarah:  I get ideas from real life situations.

LaToya: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you
Sarah:  I start with an outline and characters and a general idea of who my characters are. Then I let the characters take the reins.

LaToya: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Sarah:  I have become fearless. I don’t mind writing some risky pieces that some people might not understand. A story doesn’t have to have a happy ending.

LaToya: What is the hardest thing about writing?
Sarah: Getting started.

LaToya: What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Sarah:   I took a risk and ended with an unresolved ending. I received some 5-star reviews, but OOSA said they were bamboozled, and gave me three stars.

LaToya: What is the easiest thing about writing?
Sarah:  It becomes easy once I know my characters and allow them to do what they do.

LaToya: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Sarah:  My first book took 40 years. The next one took four years. The last one about a year.

LaToya: Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Sarah:  Hopefully above ground.

LaToya: What advice would you give to your younger self?
Sarah:  Stop being afraid of what people think.

LaToya: Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Sarah:  Rachel Maddow. She is smart and fearless.

LaToya: If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
Sarah:  The Black Rose by Tananarive Due, tells the life story of Madame C.J. Walker. Alex Haley did the research for this book, but died before he could write it. Haley’s estate (and his family) selected Ms. Due to take that research and craft it into a book. It’s an amazing story.

LaToya: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Sarah: READ, READ, and READ some more. Find an author whose work you love and while you’re captured by their stories, understand what it is that makes a captivating story. You can’t write unless you read.
Connect with Sarah:

Twitter: @saraphen


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