Thursday, September 23, 2021

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome SaraBeth Williams

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome SaraBeth Williams

Linda: Welcome to my blog. It’s a pleasure to have you? Let’s chat about your debut novel, When Hearts Collide. What made you decide to write the novel, and what is the inspiration for the plot? 

Sara Beth: Thank you! I’m glad to be here. I had been writing stories for years, since 5th or 6th grade. Upon graduating high school (in ’04), I knew I wanted to publish something someday, and I knew I liked romance, but I knew I didn’t want to write general market romance. Christian Fiction was really just becoming a new thing and I didn’t know anything about it. But I knew I wanted to write something for that kind of market. I wrote early drafts of what would become When Hearts Collide ten years prior – then I later on, I began reading Christian romance. The more Christian Fiction I devoured, the more I thought to myself – I can totally do this! So, in 2014, I picked up my old drafts and wrote the entire (rough) first draft of When Hearts Collide in 4 months. I’ve only written one other manuscript that quickly since then haha! 
The story idea for When Hearts Collide is loosely based off of a few YA books I read in high school - as well as the death of a classmate who died in a tragic car accident. That unfortunate death was the catalyst for the story’s main premise, and then I gleaned from the books I was reading at the time. (This of course being the very early drafts from ’04) 

LM: How did you come up with your characters? Are any of them based upon people you know, including yourself? 
Sara Beth: Yes. Lacey embodies many of my personality traits. Tara’s physical appearance is similar to mine, and her personality is similar to that of one of my best friends. Joel, Lacey’s brother, incorporates personality traits from both my husband and my younger brother. And Jay – while his personality and background is nothing like my younger brother’s, in my head he looks like my brother LOL. A little taller and more intimidating maybe, but a lot of the physical traits were based off my brother. 
LM: Research is an important aspect of writing. How did you go about researching When Hearts Collide? 
Sara Beth: Lots of internet research regarding prison life as well as research into length of jail sentences
etc in California. I did talk to a lawyer at one point just to run by him whether the length of the sentence I gave my character matched the crime he committed. I watched a couple documentaries on prison life. Very early drafts incorporated more of that aspect but I chose to cut all that out and focus on the romance aspect instead of Jay’s prison sentence. 
LM: What do you do to prepare yourself for writing (e.g. listen to music, set up in a certain place, etc.), and how do you juggle it with your other responsibilities? 

Sara Beth: I prefer to be totally alone and work in complete silence, but that rarely happens anymore. These days I typically play some kind of instrumental worship music, or background ambiance sounds. I do my best writing at night after everyone is asleep. Even if I’m home alone during the day for some reason, I still end up doing my best writing at night. 
LM: What is one thing you wish you knew how to do? 

Sara Beth: I’ve always wanted to learn how to fence and horseback ride well. I’m a little lot obsessed with swashbuckling movies. I’ve only been horseback riding twice, and it was really fun. 
LM: Now that you have several books published, what advice can you give to fledgling writers? 

Sara Beth: Sometimes inspiration will knock you over and you’ll bust out a book in a snap. Other times, finding inspiration is like mining for gold in the middle of a desert. It feels impossible and exhausting and time-consuming and dragging all the words out on your project seems too daunting. My advice is to not give up and keep pushing at it. Some stories take a long time to germinate. After I wrote my first book so quickly, I was discouraged that the next 2 took so long, but the inspiration for all of the books I’ve written since then came intermittently through life experiences, sermons, my own studying of the bible, etc. It is worth it to take the time needed to finish a story and finish it well. Also, if you prefer pantsing, don’t be afraid to plot. If you prefer plotting, don’t be afraid to be a pantser once in a while. 

LM: What is your next project? 
Sara Beth: I am currently working on the third book in a small town beachy romance series set on the west coast of California called the Song of Grace series. As I’m still plotting book 3, the release of this entire series is yet to be determined. If you love beachy romances, you can definitely subscribe to my newsletter to keep tabs on what’s coming up in the future. Newsletter link: newsletter 

LM: Where can folks find you on the web? 

Sara Beth: 

About When Hearts Collide

One unforgivable secret could destroy their future: A reckless mistake landed Jacob “Jay” Mathews behind bars, but it was his inescapable guilt that led him to God. Upon his release, with the help of a spiritual mentor and friend, he strives to move forward with his life. Determined to graduate college, get a job, and follow God’s word, the last thing Jay needs or wants is a girlfriend. Until he meets Lacey Bennett. 
When fervent prayers for reconciliation between her divorced parents go unanswered, and her older sister tragically dies, Lacey questions how God could allow such tragedies to befall her family. Turning her back on her past and God, she focuses on her future. College and theater are her ultimate goals; falling for the one type of guy she swore to avoid—a Christian—is not. No matter how much she wants to resist, Jay is irresistible. 

As their relationship deepens, Jay struggles with Lacey’s unresolved anger and her unwillingness to even discuss faith. All he wants to do is reveal how God changed his life, but doing so would mean revealing his status as an ex-convict. Finally, as she begins to rekindle her faith, past secrets collide, threatening to destroy everything they’ve built. Now, Jay must rely on his faith more than he ever has before. Can they learn to forgive—or is their relationship fractured beyond repair?

1 comment:

  1. Sara Beth, I can relate to a lot of what you say, especially "sometimes a book takes a long time to germinate." Like my current WIP. My other books poured out of me.
    I love the idea of a prisoner finding Christ. It takes courage to tackle that angle.
    Kathy Bailey