Monday, May 14, 2012


Posted by Kimberly Packard Walton
Recently I had the opportunity to chat with Sara Flower about writing her first novel.Sara started writing stories when she was five and always wanted to publish books, but as a teen she says she thought it would be more of a part time hobby.She believed adults who sometimes made anything to do with the arts sound like it wouldn't be a feasible career for her. It was not until she graduated with a college diploma in Hotel Management that she finally decided to take the steps to write full time.
Sara will be back Friday with an excerpt of her book. She has graciously offered to give one e-book copy of By The Sword to one lucky reader who comments today and Friday.
Firstly, I want to thank you for hosting me on your blog today!

You're quite welcome. So tell us a bit about your first novel, By the Sword, and its characters.
By the Sword is an epic fantasy surrounding two opposing nations – The Malinorian Empire and Sanctus. The main characters are Talya and Jalarn. Talya is a young bloodthirsty knight who gets herself into all kinds of trouble, especially when she crosses paths with Jalarn, Malinor’s new prodigy general.

What inspired you to write this book?
I have always enjoyed fantasy books and movies. I read a book by Wayne Thomas Batson and it really moved me to write a young adult fantasy story of my own – one that told of adventure and intrigue with complex characters. I listened to the band Red a lot while writing the first draft which helped fuel the inspiration.

Who is your favorite character and why?
It actually turns out to be Chrissa (As much as I love Talya), the Malinorian ruler’s daughter. She is emotionally broken, yet very brave. I admire her strength to do what is necessary to break free of those that want to suppress her.

What was your experience in creating Talya’s world?
It was a lot of fun thinking up the names of the countries and characters, and imagining the various settings of another world.

Tell us about your writing process. Do you outline or are you a “pantser”?
For By the Sword, I did have an outline. It was the first book that I ever completed so I wanted to ensure that I finished it within a certain time frame. With other books, I tend to use a very casual outline and allow the story to flow more.

You Indie published By the Sword, tell us about that experience.
It was an amazing learning experience. To be honest, it helped me grow up. All of the research and responsibility is on you as a self-publisher. I thrived on the challenge. Really, it is easier than it sounds. My favorite parts were thinking up a cover design and corresponding with my editor, Shelley Holloway. She even did the formatting for my Ebook which was a huge bonus. I published through Amazon, which is a very user-friendly service for indie writers and you can control the price and where your book can be distributed through.

Are you working on a follow up novel?
I have started a book that is not a direct sequel to By the Sword, but it will have many of the key characters along with some new ones. I plan to have it available next year.

Thank you for appearing on our blog and good luck with your book.
Sara's question for readers. 
If you read fantasy which elements do you most want to read, well developed characters, the well defined worlds they inhabit, or a combination of both?


Ruby Johnson said...

I think I like the idea of characters who are flawed but not so much that they are unlikeable, who when they make mistakes learn from them. And I want to be swept away to another time and place where the writing is lyrical and doesn't make me stop to notice it.
Most of the time authors can't or don't accomplish all three, but I keep hoping.
Thank you so much for coming to this blog. Really nice interview.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Characters are most important to me in whatever I read. To pull me into the story, I have to identify with and visualize the characters.

Thorne said...

It's characters all the way for me.Setting just adds to it.

Matthew Bryant said...

Thanks so much for coming by! If I may I had a few questions. What are the key differences between the two nations and what was the process for creating their societies?

Also, if you don't mind, how did you find your editor and what roles did she play in your eventual publication?

C. A. Szarek said...

WOW. Thank you for sharing your book and your thoughts with us. I also write epic fantasy and I am so excited for this book. The cover is awesome and it sounds so good! I can't wait for the excerpt! :)

kimberlypackard said...

Thank you, Sara! I love my characters flawed, but humble and wanting to become better people. I think it makes them much more real that way. Can't wait to read it!

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