Thursday, November 5, 2020

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Back Sarah Hamaker

 Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Back Sarah Hamaker

LINDA: Thanks for joining me today. Happy book birthday! Your Love Inspired Suspense Dangerous Christmas Memories came out this month last year. What is it that draws you to writing romantic suspense? 

SARAH: I love mixing romance with a mystery coupled with the hero/heroine in danger. It adds a little spice to the story! It’s a genre I enjoy reading, so I figured why not write it as well. 

LM: Where do you get your story ideas? 

SARAH: Everywhere. For Dangerous Christmas Memories, it was a news article about a celebrity couple who got married in Las Vegas, but didn’t realize the marriage was legal until years later. That started me thinking, “What if that happened but one of them forgot they were married and disappeared?” For Illusion of Love, a friend’s story of her online romance gone horribly wrong (she’s okay now!) sounded more like a plot line than real life—I couldn’t resist using that as the basis but adding my own twists and turns. 

LM: Have you ever based a character on yourself or someone you know? 

SARAH: Not exactly. Illusion of Love’s storyline is loosely based on a friend’s experience but the characters are not even close to who she really is. I prefer to use some characteristics of people I know but create entirely new “people” for my stories. 

LM: In addition to writing fiction, you are a freelance editor. How do you turn off your internal editor when you are drafting a story? 

SARAH: That was hard at first, but since I’ve written and edited hundreds, probably thousands, of
articles over the years, I’ve disciplined myself to not editing the first draft. For my fiction writing, it’s all about getting the story down on paper. To that end, I rarely stop to name all of my characters apart from the hero and heroine (and sometimes a few important secondary characters if the names come to me as I’m writing). Instead, I call them Best Friend Hero, then replace those words with the real name as I’m editing it. Completing the manuscript is a huge hurdle, and I don’t “need” to know secondary character names as I’m writing. 

LM: You also host a “The Romantic Side of Suspense” podcast. How did that come about, and how do you balance writing, editing, and podcasting and manage to have a personal life? 

SARAH: I started with a parenting podcast (100 episodes), and loved interviewing people and talking about raising kids. When I tried to find a Christian romantic suspense podcast, there wasn’t any—and romantic suspense is one of the top genres in Christian publishing. I thought there might be an audience for such a podcast. But I wanted to do it a little bit differently, so the format is an interview I do with the author, then an audio excerpt of their latest book read by a narrator I found on Fivvr. I record the interviews a few times a year, then upload them all at once to help manage my time. For fitting everything in, I’ve been getting up a little earlier so I can have some writing time before my “mom” and freelance writing/editing duties kick in. That’s been very productive to helping me write every weekday, and also take care of the other things on my plate. I also stop working around 5 to cook dinner/visit with the family, and only do a little work in the early evening before winding down. 

LM: Here are some quickies: 

Favorite go-to snack: Fruit! Bananas, grapes, apple slices 
Favorite season: Fall. There’s something invigorating about the crisp air and the leaves falling that makes me happy. 

LM: What is your next project? 

SARAH: While I’m waiting to hear back from a few publishers on some proposals my agent sent in recently, I’m working on revising/rewriting book 2 in a series I hope to start indie publishing in the spring of 2021. 
LM: Where can folks find you on the web? 

Twitter: @parentcoachnova 

About Illusion of Love

A suspicious online romance reconnects an agoraphobe and an old friend. Nursing a hurt leg, psychiatrist Jared Quinby arrives in Culpeper, Virginia, on a case for the FBI. The investigation leads him to the doorstep of his childhood best friend, Mary Divers. Meeting Mary again is the one bright spot in his life. Suffering from agoraphobia, Mary has at last found love with online beau David Kline and dares to dream of a future with him. Then David reveals he will be leaving the United States to become a missionary in Peru. Determined to stop living in fear, she accepts David’s marriage proposal, even though she’s never met him face-to-face. As Jared’s case intersects Mary’s online relationship, the more he uncovers, the more he fears for her safety. Jared tries to convince Mary not all is right with David, but she refuses to believe him. When tragedy strikes, Mary pushes Jared even farther away. Will Jared convince Mary of the truth—and of his love for her—before it’s too late?

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