Giveaway Ends 7/24
IR– What does it mean to you to be called an author?
SH– Being a writer means you write. Anything. Everything. On anything and everything. Being an author means you take all those words from envelopes, napkins, journals, and text messages, pile it all together, make it make sense, and put it out there for the world to poke at. – All in hopes that someone out there will play with you and your imaginary friends.
IR– Can you tell us a bit about the story and its main characters?
SH– Burned is book six in the Paranormal Penny Mystery Series. We follow Penny and her semi-paranormal adventures from town to town as she strives to solve murders before they happen. Using her “gift,” Penny gets a 24-hour heads up before death strikes. She then uses musical clues to unravel the mystery and hopefully save a life.
IR– What inspired the idea for your book?
SH– I love cozies and paranormal mysteries- both in print and on-screen. I especially love Pushing Daisies. The dark mixed with the light intrigues me- making that show one of the many inspirations for Paranormal Penny and her backward talent.
IR– What was the most surprising thing you learned in writing this book?
SH– I learned I love writing mysteries but actually need a moment to mourn after killing off a character. Not the best trait for a murder mystery writer.
IR– Tell us about a favorite character from the book.
SH– Penny is always my favorite in the series. She fascinates me. Seeing what she’ll do next keeps me writing her narrative. Other than her, in this book, I love Mark. He’s simple yet so complex.
IR– Do you have any “side stories” about any of the characters?
SH– Titus was born with monocramcy. Meaning can only see in shades of black and white, which I find endearing since he runs a Paranormal Podcast.
IR– Where did you come up with the names in the story?
SH– Spades the cat is based on an IRL cat that passed away. My kids and I brainstormed all the names. Penny Nicols was my son’s idea…
IR– If you were friends with a character in this book, what kinds of things would you do together?
SH– Penny would be nervous about being my buddy. She wouldn’t want to mark me by getting close. I would spend most of my time trying to get her to relax. We’d probably listen to music and color each other’s hair.
But if Penny wasn’t available for hanging out time, I think Scrubb and I would be cool friends. We’d play video games and chat about apologetics and paranormal activity.
IR– How do you define success as an author?
SH– I’d love to say reaching readers, which, YES is a massive chunk of why I write in the first place. It’s what keeps writing on the hard days. But I also write to support my family- my first fans.
IR– Can you share a day in the life of an author?
SH– A day in my life involves waking and playing with the pups, waking the kids, homeschooling, and doing domestic life (poorly, I’m a great homemaker but not a good housekeeper). Once that’s wrapped up, I down a grip of coffee and get writing.
IR– What difference do you see between a writer and an author?
SH– Anyone who writes anything is a writer. Those brave enough to publish (anywhere) are authors. Does that sound stuck up? I hope not. If you’re a writer who wants to be an author… I’d be the first to cheer you on! Go for it!
IR– What made you say to yourself, “Today, I am going to write a book that I will publish.”?
SH– I tackled my very first NaNoWriMo in 2017 and never looked back! That story became my first published novel a year later.
IR– How do you avoid or defeat writer’s block?
SH– HAHAHAHA… oh, writer’s block … such fun. Recently I’ve started embracing my writer’s block as my brain begging for a break. So I give it a break, usually by listening to audiobooks and playing Minecraft.
IR– What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?
SH– Never give up. Never surrender. And don’t be afraid to let your trusted loved ones read it.
IR– What are you working on in the near future?
SH– Currently, I’m working on Book 7 in the Paranormal Penny Mystery Series. I don’t like leaving my readers hanging. So I’m plotting away and getting ready to dive into TWISTED… yup, that’s the title. Shhh.. it’s a secret.
IR– Do you have any quirky writing rituals?
SH– If I’m having trouble switching my domestic brain to my author brain… I paint my nails. Nothing fancy. Think cheap- quick drying polish. By the time my nails are ready to rock- I’m ready to write!
IR– What comes first for you — the plot or the characters?
SH– It’s ALLLL about the characters. They’re my family. They’re my friends. Tossing them into danger and then helping them get out of it is one of my favorite things to do.
IR– As an author what do you think makes a good story?
SH– Characters you’d love to have a coffee chat with make the best stories.
IR– Who is your audience?
SH– Most of my readers are women living their marvelous mid-lives. However, Penny has a strong teen following as well.
IR– What has been your favorite reader feedback?
SH– It tickles my heart when a reader tells me that one of my characters is just like them or their best friend. I love knowing they feel like living, breathing people. It makes me glow when my readers love them as much as I do.
IR– How do you interact with your readers?
SH– My favorite and best way to interact with readers is on my YouTube channel during live streams. They give readers a behind-the-scenes peek at my writing life. Other than that, email and snail mail are great ways to chat with me. I love connecting with my readers.
IR– What is your all-time favorite book?
SH– I love the Narnia series. Since 4th grade, I’ve been hooked on Narnia. I think it feeds my imagination when I’m running dry, but it has very little to do with my mysteries.
IR– What do you look for in a story as a reader?
SH– Quirky characters who use their wits, and snarky humor, to get out of sticky situations.
IR– What is your author spirit animal?
SH– What a fun question!!! Ysma (from emperor’s new groove) but as a cat.
IR– Aside from writing or reading, what are your hobbies or interests?
SH– I love playing games… board games, card games, and video games. Games are so much fun. I also crochet (badly but with love)
IR– Describe yourself in as few words as possible.
SH– I’m a coffee-chugging, scattered mess of a loving mom who does her best at every task she can remember to tackle. Oh yeah, and I write when I can steal a moment and have brain cells to spare.
IR– What would your dream library look like?
SH– It would be hidden behind a secret door and look like a hobbit hole or a star wars escape pod on the inside. Books and snacks would appear on a whim, and the coffee would always be fresh.
IR– If your book were made into a movie, which actors would play your characters?
SH– Titus Church would be played by a younger David Tennant.
IR– Name three fun facts about you or your work.
*There are always personal Easter eggs hidden in my work.
*It’s not unusual for a character I’d slated for death to become a recurring sidekick instead.
*I roast my own coffee beans.
IR– If you had a secret room that opened by pulling a book on a shelf, what book would you choose?
SH– The Magicians Nephew by CS LEWIS
IR– If you went on a road trip with any author who would it be?
SH– Road trips are my JAM!!! To anywhere would be good. I love them!!! I think I’d road trip with CS Lewis. He’d have a lot to talk about, and we’ll stop for a snack when my brain is about to explode.
IR– What is something you can do better than anyone else you know?
SH– I make a killer cup of coffee.
IR– If you knew you could not fail, what would you do?
SH– Precisely what I’m doing now…. I’d write.
About The Book
Burned: Death Plays with Matches (Paranormal Penny Mysteries Book 6)
Stalking an old nemesis…
…she discovers a hidden plot.
As a deceptive advisor is snuffed out.
Penny Nicols brings her “gift” to Billington. Searching for her sister, she’s determined to stand her ground. One woman holds the keys to Penny’s link between her past and the present.
When is history better left buried?
When the Raven is the one telling the story.
Dinah, Penny’s old advocate, is struck down before her eyes.
Penny’s long-distance friend T.C. continues to help her trail the whereabouts of her long-lost sibling and solve the mystery. Musical clues and manic relationships crowd the distracted Penny as T.C. supports her from afar.
Spades, the cat, charms the suspects as Penny untangles her omens.
Dinah may be victim number one, but Penny fears the Raven is just warming up.
You’ll love the sixth book in this binge-worthy paranormal mystery series because Penny and her sleuthing sidekicks dig deep to uncover the Raven’s evil plans.
About the Author
Sarah lives in California, in a home that brings her happiness and hay fever. She loves God, loves her family, and loves freshly brewed coffee. She has a husband who cooks, a son who stop animates, a daughter who loves animals, a dog that follows her everywhere, and a turtle who scowls at her condescendingly.
Her mother raised her on Mary Higgins Clark, Diane Mott Davidson, and Remington Steele. Her grandmother shared True Crime stories with her as they plotted how to get away with the perfect murder. It’s no surprise that Sarah became an award-winning spinner of suspenseful tales brimming with quirky characters. Mysteries are in her blood. Not that she could survive one of her own stories. She confesses, “I’d be snuffed out by chapter two.”
Join Sarah’s Super Sleuth Squad and follow her on YouTube for behind-the-scenes insider info.
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