1) Tell us about yourself.
I’m not all that interesting honestly. I write, and I play video games, and I edit. That’s pretty much it. I wish I was more intriguing.
2) What do you do when you are not writing? Day job?
Recently, I left the day job to have a go at editing/writing full time. I don’t think it’s working out, though, so I will probably go back to work. I taught, but I won’t go back to that, and then worked in finance. I would really like to work somewhere where work ends when it ends.
3) How did you choose the genre you write in?
I write YA under another name and I had written some erotica, so New Adult was kind of a natural progression.
4) When did you start writing?
I don’t really remember. I feel like I have always been writing, always telling stories. I started publishing at the beginning of this year. I’m still not sure it’s a move I should have made.
5) Biggest influences as a reader/writer?
Hemingway. All the moderns, really, and the classics. Salinger, too. I love Holden Caulfield.
6) Is anything in your writing based on real life experiences or purely all imagination? Where do your ideas come from?
A lot of it is based in reality although fictionalized. I spent a lot of time in college and grad school and the events that happen all happened, either to me or people I knew. In that order and all at once? No. But they did all happen. Lily of the Valley is closest to my heart, because Jack’s story shares many parallels to my own. I guess I’ll leave it at that.
7) Planner or Panster?
A mix of both. I have a general idea and then I let the characters tell the story.
8) What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
I don’t like when people don’t get the characters, but then again, I don’t socialize well. I have always felt sort of different from the people around me, so it isn’t surprising when people don’t understand characters who come from me, either. It’s mostly just disappointing, because it’s a lot easier to say things about characters, but what people often forget is that their criticism is sometimes personal – and they make it personal at times as well.
The biggest compliment is when someone says they felt engaged in something I read. It’s just awesome.
9) Tell us about your book (s). Favorite thing? Hardest issue to overcome?
Lily of the Valley parallels the events in Forget Me Not, although it can be read alone. Forget Me Not was the story about a regular girl trying to adjust to college and figure out what she wanted. Lily of the Valley is a lot darker. Jack is broken. His past is full of very dark things and he’s definitely not stable. He’s self-destructive and he feels hopeless. This novel is about what it means to hope for something.
My favorite part of this book was Jack. I just really like this character. The hardest part is that I like him so much because he and I share a lot of the same experiences. And I still don’t feel okay with sharing a lot of that. It’s scary to be that vulnerable and know you can’t do a thing about it.
10) Advice for aspiring writers?
This is a hard question to answer, because I’m at a place where I’m personally not sure I want to continue publishing. I won’t stop writing, because I love writing, but I don’t know that it’s something I want to continue sharing. I guess my best advice would be to know what your goals are – and to decide if you can handle disillusionment well. I came into this and was impressed by how nice people were. It faded quickly though and I’ve started to lose some of my passion for stories. And I’m not willing to lose that. So, before you take this route, decide if you’re willing to face the darker side of something you love.
At work, though, the people are real. Both the customers and the staff. During the busy times, we get more douchebags, mostly my classmates who probably should be in the library and not eating a hangover away. Mal is also on this morning. He’s a recovering alcoholic, a total asshole to nearly everyone, and an incredibly shitty employee in a lot of ways. But the dude can cook and when I walk in a couple minutes late with no explanation, Mal just shrugs and hands me an order.
“Big parties last night?”
“Huge party. I spent the night reading Dostoevsky.”
“He a scientist?” Mal flips over the largest slab of ham I have ever seen. For all the sort of dive element of this place, the food is still fucking great.
“Yeah, something like that.”
“Eh. Never cared for all that mumbo jumbo. Don’t know any of it and I’m doing just fine.”
That’s something else I admire about Mal. By no one’s standards is he doing just fine. He has a tendency to fall off the wagon as soon as he approaches his ten month anniversary – which he has been doing for likely longer than I have been alive. He’s been married and divorced five times. He has three kids who don’t speak to him. Finally, he only eats the food from the café and he lives in a motel out by the prison. Oh – and he works as a short order cook in a shitty café. But in his mind, life is just fine. Sometimes, I think I need to get a hold of whatever it is that keeps him from losing his shit.
We settle into our routine, since there is little Mal and I can talk about. I can’t discuss Raskolnikov’s character traits and Mal simply has nothing to say. So we cook in silence, but it’s comfortable. After everything I have been through, I feel a strange affinity for this place. Even thinking about leaving when I eventually get the hell out of town makes me a little sad. I hate that it makes me sad. I want to leave with no connections, with no strings.
I go to stick an order on the counter for Liz when I see her. Strawberries. She’s with some dude, who is basically what I pictured when she mentioned her boyfriend. Broad, tan, blond, and eating like a fucking pig. I don’t know what they’re talking about and I can’t see her face, but he loves her. It’s immediately recognizable and I hate him for it. I don’t even know why I hate him for it, since at least maybe he’s not as much of a dick as I would have expected. If we had been placing bets, I would have gone with the safe assumption he had something else on the side to make up for having such a sweet and pure girlfriend. I wonder if maybe she isn’t as innocent as she looks. The thought makes me horny again. I don’t get what is so damn attractive about this typical girl, but something makes me want to taste every inch of her skin.
Links to purchase book:
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lily-of-the-Valley-ebook/dp/B00F5MN7H6/ref=sr_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1379264310&sr=1-9
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lily-of-the-valley-sarah-daltry/1116282455?ean=2940148601609&itm=1&usri=sarah+daltry
All Romance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-lilyofthevalley-1260170-149.html
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