Monday, August 22, 2011

Interview with Sarah Gilman - August 22, 2011

Please welcome Sarah Gilman to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge Interviews.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Sarah:  Interesting, or crazy? *grin* Writing is often referred to as “socially acceptable schizophrenia.” Not only do my characters tell me their stories, they talk to me. They get grumpy and complain when I don’t make my word count goal for the day. Jett (the hero of book 2) and Wren (the hero of book 1) argue over which book is better. Yeah. *sigh*

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Sarah:  I have many favorite authors. One of my favorite all time authors is Charles Dickens. But of course, I can’t forget Robert L. Stevenson or Bram Stoker! In my own genre, I never miss a book from J.R. Ward, Jeaniene Frost, Michelle Rowen, Lara Adrian…the list goes on! They’ve all influenced my writing in some way, because when I get stuck, the best inspiration is to sit down and read.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Sarah:  I’m a pantser with a plan! I always have an overall goal, motivation, conflict, and resolution in mind before I sit down to write, but the ideas flow best when I’m chin deep in a scene. I tried writing outlines, I honestly tried. I think Out in Blue had seven outlines, but as soon as I started writing, I had a new idea!

TQ:  Describe Out in Blue in 140 characters or less.

Sarah:  A fast-paced, sensual paranormal romance set on the backdrop of a dark, violent world.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Out in Blue?

Sarah:  Apart from Wren moving into my gray-matter and ordering me to? *wink* I set out to write a novel because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but Wren was the epicenter of the story from the very first words I ever typed, and I sat down to write a ghost story! He improved as a character as I developed my craft, but he never changed in my mind’s eye, and he insisted his story be told.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Out in Blue?

Sarah:  Most of the story came from my imagination, but I wanted the wings to have a realistic feel. No disappearing, no hovering, no magic, just wings that will knock over a lamp if the character isn’t careful. I’ve always been interested in birds, so most of my research had already been done. I love to watch how they move. I made a trip to VINS, the Vermont Institute of Natural Science, which is a rehab center for raptors. There, I got to observe large birds up close, learn about the structure of a wing, etc.

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Sarah:  Wren came naturally, as I mentioned above. But I found Ginger to be the biggest challenge. Like many romance readers, I have strong opinions about what makes a good and a bad heroine. A heroine needs to have strengths without being too perfect and flaws without being too unlikable. Creating a balanced heroine is much harder than it looks.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in the novel?

Sarah:  My favorite scene is set at the top of a broadcast tower. Not a setting I get to read or write everyday!

TQ:  Who should play Wren and Ginger if Out in Blue is made into a movie?

Sarah:  I’d love to see a brand new actor and actress get their start.

TQ:  How many books are planned for Return to Sanctuary series?

Sarah:  There are several planned, but I am a debut author, so the future is not set in stone. Keep your fingers crossed!

TQ:  What's next?

Sarah:  My primary goal is finishing book 2, Deep in Crimson, currently in the revision process. I also got that ghost story written, and am revising it as well. Ghost romances are a hard pitch, so wish me luck!

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

About Out in Blue

Out in Blue
Return to Sanctuary 1
(Entangled Publishing, August 2, 2011)

In a violent world where fallen archangels are hunted for their valuable plumage, Wren knows one thing for certain: the human woman who saved him from a poacher attack will die if she stays with him. The demon responsible for his parents’ gruesome deaths two decades ago pines for the chance to rip apart any woman who stands under Wren’s wing.

Wren doesn’t expect Ginger to stay by his side once she discovers his ability to drain life with a mere touch, yet she lingers. When an unusual talent of her own reveals the location of Wren’s father, Wren’s isolated world implodes. With the help of the demon protectors he’s sworn never to trust again, Wren risks everything to rescue his father, confront the demon who stalks his and Ginger’s every step, and claim his eternity with the most courageous woman he’s ever known.

About Sarah

Sarah Gilman started her first novel in third grade. She never finished that story, but never gave up the dream. Her fascination with wings also began at that age, when images of the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis captured her imagination and never let go. Now a paranormal romance writer, she employs her love of writing to bring the allure of winged creatures to the pages of her novels. Sarah lives in Vermont with her supportive husband and two spoiled cats.

Sarah's Links
Entangled Publishing 
Author website


  1. Congratulations on your debut, Sarah. Wishing you much success. I thoroughly enjoyed your interview. It sounds like you love the writing process.

    And best of luck on novel two+!


  2. Congrats on your book. I love your answer - pantser with a plan. Your books looks great!
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  3. Seven outlines, oh my goodness! And, you call yourself a panster!