Our first interview is with Sara Marks, one of our authors! By day she’s a librarian, but by night she’s an author, knitter, and Wikipedian. She has been writing as part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) since 2004. Her first novel, Modern Persuasion, was published in May 2017 with Illuminated Myth Publishing. In December 2017 she released A Little More Modern Persuasion, an anthology of short stories and character profiles connected to Modern Persuasion. Her second novel, Phi Alpha Pi, is set for release in May 2018. She also has stories in both issues of Mill Pages. In volume one, she wrote “Where Do All The Lonely People Come From?”. In volume two, she wrote “1000 Things I Saw Before I Died”.
Born in Boston, MA and raised in Miami, FL, Sara attended Florida State University for 3 years before she failed and dropped out. She now lives in Lowell, MA with her dog Cedric and cat Sabine. She managed to not only graduate from college, but earned two Master’s degrees. She’s one of our founding members and a member of the Society of Independent Publishers and Authors (SIPA), a group supporting indie authors and publishers in the Merrimack Valley.
For this series, we’ve asked our authors to answer five questions and share five facts about themselves. Here’s what Sara shared!
How did you get started writing?
I’ve always been a writer, even as a child, but in 2004 I really started focusing on writing because of National Novel Writing Month. I had wanted to participate for years, but graduate school had made it difficult for me to even remember it in November. Once I was working, I finally had the time to write the story that had been in my head for about a year.
What types of stories do you like to write?
I started out writing fantasy, but I have published romance novels. I like to play against romantic tropes, especially those found in Chick Lit novels. It turns out, I’m pretty good at writing romance stories.
Who influenced you most as a writer?
A lot of different authors have influenced me. These days, because I modernize her stories, Jane Austen has been my biggest influence. I’m not trying to write social commentary through romance and I don’t have her subtle sarcasm, but she is a good model for general romance. Also, it helps that many of her themes still apply today.
What’s the first book you remember reading?
My parents are and have always been voracious readers. I don’t recall the stories I specifically loved having them read to me, but I remember learning to read with “Ramona The Pest” by Beverly Cleary. I was in Kindergarten and so was Ramona.
What movie, tv-show, YouTube channel, or blog do you think more people should watch (just pick one) and why?
I spend a lot of time watching YouTube these days. It’s my new way to consume media. I do have one author I watch, Jenna Moreci, who writes fantasy books and has a channel devoted to writing and marketing advice for authors.
5 Things you want us to know about you:
- I was a clown for 3 years in college. I went to birthday parties to paint faces and make balloon animals.
- I am obsessed with unicorns.
- I was a competitive swimmer as a tween and a certified life guard in college. I worked at a Girl Scout camp every summer as a life guard.
- My Disney princess is Leia.
- I have been editing Wikipedia for over 10 years and often speak at conferences about the experience.