Writer of contemporary general fiction that highlights inspirational character transformations
Join us for a chatwith Sarah Soon, author of CHRISTMAS AT SONSHINE BARN and its upcoming sequel, LOVE AT THE MAYO.
Tell us a little about yourself — a brief bio, if you will.
I didn’t marry until my late forties, but fortunately my husband’s a story nerd. And we share an interest in learning about different cultures and getting involved with refugees.
What led you to start writing fiction? And how did you end up choosing your genre?
I got into fiction reading through an Advanced English Comp course in college. The professor encouraged me to write, so a few years after I graduated, I took an online creative writing class at the local community college. And that’s when I fell in love with fiction writing.
I selected contemporary general fiction because I enjoy reading and writing about characters who undergo transformation to find love, renew their faith, and receive inner healing. My faith is central in my life, which is why I write “inspirational” fiction.
What’s your most recent book? What’s it about?
Christmas at Sonshine Barn is a contemporary fiction story about Garrett Bettencourt, a wedding photographer engaged to Presleigh Vassar. The night of their engagement, Garrett has a vision of a woman in red. Assuming this woman represents Pres, he pushes to get married soon. But as they plan their wedding, their picture-perfect relationship begins to crack. Now, Garrett must decide if he wants to fight for the relationship or pursue a vision of a mysterious woman in red.
What has been the most challenging part of being an indie author? How have you tackled that challenge?
Wearing so many hats with book publishing, especially marketing. But consulting with experienced writers is a lifeline. They’ve connected me to vast resources that help indie authors. The marketing consultation service with Lauren Smith that Two Birds Author Services provides is a must-have resource for new indie authors!
And Michele is a terrific editor who helps share what is helpful for marketing the book and making sure the content appeals to my target readers.
What has been the most delightful or fulfilling part of being an author?
Creating worlds and stories for people to enjoy. The daily regime of interacting with my characters, their worlds, and their problems is fun.
Tell us a bit about your process. Do you write every day? Where do you like to write? What’s your routine?
I write every morning at home. I prefer the convenience of my home office where I have everything around me and it’s quiet.
I also participate in a writing cohort group where we meet on Zoom twice a week. We write independently but check in at the top of the hour, turn off our microphones and video for about 45-50 minutes at a time, for a three-hour session. This serves as accountability and helps us to not feel “alone.”
I don’t follow a strict words-per-day regime, but I try to log so many hours of writing a day. I input my writing goals in a daily planner and work hard to meet them.
What tips do you have for other authors working on their books?
Consistency is key. To stay connected to my story and grow as a writer, I write at least six days a week.
Take creative breaks throughout the day to brainstorm, meditate, or just clear the mind.
Join a writing group to bounce ideas, learning marketing tips, and critique your writing. Don’t isolate yourself but stay connected with fellow writers.
Focus on your weaknesses. Read master works and study areas you’re weaker in to strengthen those skills.
What was it like working with the team at Two Birds Author Services?
Michele is your advocate who supports you as an author, not just for your project. She is invested in helping you in other areas than just editing such as marketing. AND she’s so timely, getting back with you within the deadline, working throughout the editing process, answering questions, suggesting ideas, and brainstorming. She goes above and beyond to serve you as the author.
What is the most helpful tip you can offer to authors who, like you, want to find the right editor for their books?
Find someone who’s not only competent but someone you’re comfortable interacting with. Editing is an intimate process for the writer because the editor is dissecting your work and making edits that can be tough to accept. If you don’t have a good relationship with your editor, you may tend to not reach out and ask questions, follow up on their feedback, and inquire about a direction they might’ve suggested or you realized later in the process.
Stick with that editor because they know your style, quirks, and tendencies, which is especially pertinent if you’re working on a series. They’ve already tracked the story and characters, so they have a deeper understanding for the next book(s) from the get-go.
Where can authors and readers connect with you, and find your books?
You can find me here:
Have questions about the editing process? We’d love to chat with you and help you figure out your next steps. Contact us to set up a free sample edit.
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