Please Welcome Author Sarah M. Ross!

| Tuesday, August 7, 2012
I'm pleased to welcome author Sara Ross to my blog today! Sara has graciously answered interview questions for me and my pals over at Never Too Old for YA Books on Goodreads and Facebook! You may know Sara's books:

Published: January 27, 2012
Purchase Awaken here:
Blurb from Goodreads:
Lucy Donovan was supposed to have a weekend of fun in the sun, celebrating her upcoming graduation from college. In a split second, everything changed. A drunk driver ended Lucy’s mortal life.

Lucy opens her eyes to a world she never imagined possible and a new destiny: as a Patronus, a guardian of spirits. Adjusting to her new role and abilities while negotiating this confusing realm will test her limits and push her further than she ever dreamed she would go. From wayward spirits who don’t want her help to soul stealing vampires, and even a stuck-up British royal, Lucy must brave them all to save one spirit she can’t bear to lose.

Further complicating her life is an inexplicable yet growing connection she feels to a member of her team, Max, whose mysterious behavior leaves her both confused and intrigued.

Waking up dead was just the beginning of her problems. Lucy’s death is about to become the greatest adventure of her life

Published: June 2012
Purchase Echo of An Earth Angel here:
Blurb from Goodreads:

18 year old Tessa Copeland barely survived the worst year of her life—in fact, it was a miracle. After making it through the tragedy that killed both of her parents, she’s left to pick up the pieces of her life. Combating the holes in her memory and the concern of her friends was hard enough, but a new talent threatens to destroy everything she’s trying to reclaim. 
David Allegri didn’t mean to ruin Tessa’s life. She was the brightest soul he’d seen in centuries and he couldn’t let her die, so the fallen angel used his abilities to heal her—only he took it too far and changed Tessa forever. Now, he has to figure out a way to explain what’s happening to Tessa and somehow protect both of them from the consequences.

My Review of Echo of An Earth Angel
(**SPOILER ALERT** so skip if you don't want to know)
** spoiler alert ** Finally finsihed! Review to come later.
I was given an ARC of Echo of An Earth Angel by the author, Sarah Ross, in exchange for an honest review.
Tessa barely survived a horrifying shooting which claimed the lives of her mother and father. After 9 long months in the hospital and a miraculous she finally gets to go home. Only her recovery is more miraculous than she would have ever imagined. Soon she meets David, a rogue angel, who reveals to her the truth behind her recovery and her new found abilities which make her a target for Hunters.
I love the theme behind this story. A young woman has a near death experience and is saved by an angel only to become an angel herself.
Tessa is spunky and bright, and confused about why she can suddenly heal people with the touch of her hands. You watch her come into her powers and fall in love, when she thought love was dead.
David is a sweet, well meaning angel who took things too far. He falls hard for Tessa and believes she has the brightest soul he has ever seen. He doesn't mean to change her into an angel, but he accidentally take his healing too far and transfers the powers he has to her.
I like the attraction between the two main characters. It is insta-love, but it's hard to deny that such love does exist. It's hard to deny that love can transcend knowing someone for a long time.
The supporting cast of characters is only ok, in my opinion. Those you thought were good, turn out bad. Those who are bad are really bad, and sort of crazy at the same time. Those who are good are really good, and you see the depth of their caring.
Things that I had issues with in this book were the use of British colloquialisms for characters who live and were born in America and the fact that there is very limited narrative. The paragraphs are quite long, even when there is dialogue between characters. And I found that there was a lot of repetition. I understood the need for the characters to reflect upon what was happening, but the relationships started to become unbelievable because you rarely saw the characters interacting with each other. Instead, the interactions were described in long narratives that could have been broken up with more action.
All in all the story was interesting and I can see where the characters have room for growth. The end was very abrupt, but you can see how a sequel will definitely help the reader to work out the holes that were left by the sudden ending.

A litte about Sarah:
His choice made them targets for the Hunters, who will use any means necessary to capture their prey. Only a desperate plan can help them escape, and sacrifices will be made. Time is ticking. Will they make it, or will they be lost to the echoes of fate?

I started my obsession with reading at an early age, getting in trouble for sneaking BabySitter Club and Nancy Drew books into math class in elementary school. I would read any fiction book I could get my hands on. I knew it was an addiction when instead of grounding me from TV or music, my mom would take away my books as punishment (The Horror!). My love of all things paranormal was inspired by my good friend Laurie, who convinced me that books with vampires, witches, and all things shifter were amazing. After a little reluctance, I gave it a shot with the Sookie Stackhouse books, realized she was right, and the rest was history. 
I grew up in Pittsburgh, graduated from The University of Pittsburgh with my degree in English, and taught 8th graders to love reading as much as I do for several years. I will always be a proud member of the Steelers Nation, but I couldn’t take the cold and moved my frozen tush to Florida where I now live with my family and two cats. You will find me now with my trusty Kindle in hand and toes in the sand!

When I'm not writing or reading, I am probably partaking in my favorite vice: sunbathing. I know it's wrong, but I love the feeling on the hot sun on my skin and could lay in it for hours. I do live in Florida for a reason!

I also enjoy traveling, baking, movies, and playing with my adorable fur babies

And now without further ado, here's Sarah!

1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always been a writer, writing little plays or skits for my younger sister and I to perform. In college, I began writing seriously, but I was trying to write mysteries and I never fell into a groove with the stories. It wasn’t until I started reading, then writing paranormal that my muse clicked on and said, “now you’re talking!”

2. How long does it take you to write a book?
For me, it takes about 6 months to write and edit a book. Now that I’m a full time author, I’m hoping to cut the time a little more.

3. What do you think makes a great story?
This story was playing around in my head for a while—since I started writing Awaken. I just love the way that a tragedy can turn out to be an amazing gift. And I loved playing with the idea of Angels having free will and not always working for good. Plus, who wouldn’t fall for the hunky angel that saved your life?

4. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I’m a full time writer, so I can write whenever the mood strikes. I do, however, tend to be most productive in the early morning (before noon) or late at night (after 10). The house—and my mind—are quieter then and I can focus. Though I do get very easily distracted by Facebook way too much!

5. How do you balance family and writing?
I’m very lucky that I’m writing at a time that I don’t have children, so balancing is pretty easy. My hubby and I don’t have family that’s close by, so all I have to worry about is him.

6. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I have no idea where these crazy ideas come from, they just seem to be rattling around in my head. I do a lot of research for my books if I’m throwing in anything historical, so I’ll spend a few hours on the web gathering info on what I might need to use when the situation calls for it. It’s nice, kinda like being in college again—minus the all-nighters!

7. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
It surprised me how long it takes to publish after the book is written! I finished Awaken in late October, but it wasn’t published until mid-January. And that’s with a small publisher—the big ones will hold a story a lot longer than that! I’m a control freak, so putting it in someone else’s hands (even very capable hands), makes me squirm a bit.

8. How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
Echo of an Earth Angel is my second full/published novel. It is the first in the Earth Angel Trilogy. My first novel, Awaken, was published in January and is the first in the Patronus series. Both are my babies, I can’t choose which one I love more, but Echo does hold a special place in my heart. 

9. Are your characters based on anyone you know?
There are a few characters I threw in that are based on real people. The biggest one is my baby sister, Jessica in Awaken.

10. Do you have a favourite place you love to write?
I actually switch all around the house: office, living room, in bed. It depends on how long I’ve been sitting in a chair! LOL. I’d love to write on the beach (It’s across the street), but my hubby is afraid it’ll ruin the laptop.

11. How hard is is to get published?
I got very lucky. I knew some of the people at the publishing house, so when I asked if they were taking submissions, they accepted mine right away. I know this is not the normal process and it’s usually much more difficult, with rejections and queries, but I am happy I didn’t have to go through all that.

12. What do your family and friends think about your books?
Everyone has been super supportive. Not a lot of people in my family read YA or Paranormal, but they all bought my books and have become my street team, selling it and passing out my cards to everyone they meet!

13. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I am a beach girl! I love the Florida sunshine and digging my toes in the sand. I recently started taking surfing lessons too, and that is a lot a fun. I am also an avid reader and will suck myself into a book and not look up. That happens a lot!

14. Do you have any suggestions to help aspiring writers better themselves and their craft? If so, what are they?
Read On Writing by Stephen King. Amazing advice in that book. Get a good writing thesaurus. Also, surround yourself with others who understand and are also following their dreams. Join a writing group, or a critique group—anyone who will help encourage you in your journey. There are so many people out there who are going to tell you “you can’t do it”, it’s important to have people in the background saying, “yes, you can!”

15. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I had my heart sent on becoming a pediatric oncologist when I was a kid. I even went into college pre-med. It was funny, I was struggling to get C’s in my advanced chemistry classes, and taking Shakespeare as an elective and acing it. Everyone kept telling me to switch majors, but I was a bit stubborn back then…

16. What are your favourite books and which authors inspire you?
I read so much, I don’t know if I could pick just a few authors or books. Amanda Hawking is a big inspiration and I hope I can be half—a quarter—as successful as her one day. I also have a big girl-crush on Charlaine Harris. The Sookie books were the first paranormal books I ever read, and when I met her last month at her book signing she was the sweetest woman in the world.
I also read a lot of fabulous YA indie authors who continue to amaze me with their brilliance. People like Nichole Chase, Liz Reinhardt, Tiffany King, CA Kunz, M. Leighton, Elizabeth Sharp, Tawdra Kandle, and Lacey Weatherford.

17. For an aspiring writer what do you feel are certain do's and don’ts for getting their material published?
Do: Hire a professional cover artist and editor. If you want your work to be taken seriously, you need to hire professionals.
Don’t: Send unedited drafts to publishers. They’ll never accept it that way.
Do: Have a thick skin. It’s hard, cause it’s your baby and you love it. But not every book will please every person. Bad reviews and harsh criticism is a part of the industry. You just gotta suck it up.
Don’t: GIVE UP! Even if you’ve been rejected over 100 times, keep trying! JK Rowling and Charlaine Harris were both rejected multiple times before getting picked up.

18. What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on book 2 of each series. Simultaneously. Yes, it’s nuts. Avenge will be out next (book 2 of the Patronus series.) I’m hoping to have it out by September.
I’ll have book 2 of the Earth Angel Trilogy out this winter.

Thanks so much for stopping by Sarah! Feel free to follow Sarah at the following sites:
The Scribblings of Sarah


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