Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sara Jo Easton - The Zarder

It is our pleasure to have Sara Jo Easton with us, stopping by to promote her novel The Zarder.

Where do you currently live?
I currently live near Atlanta, Georgia, which from what I've discovered so far has an interesting arts and culture scene. I'm new to the area, which can be intimidating, but I have the benefit of being near family.

Tell us a little bit about your life.
I've come face-to-face with a bear, walked on the trail of the spiritual octopus, and somehow managed to survive living in a household with six younger siblings. The stories I tell at parties are often not believed.

When did you first start writing?
My mother has a copy of a "book" I wrote when I was four.

What was your very first story about?
It involved a pumpkin named Halloween who found his girlfriend, a pumpkin with giant eyelashes and a bow. I'm sure it made perfect sense to my four year old self.

Have you written anything that you were too afraid to let anyone read?
I'm ashamed to admit that I've written some love poetry that would give the Vogons a run for their Constructor Fleet. It turned out that it fit the subject matter, though, so I have no regrets. I will never let anyone see that poetry; I'm too embarrassed.

Did you experience anything you’ve written yourself?
I can't say that I've ever had to hide from a fire-breathing dragon-like creature who wanted me dead, but I'd be lying if I said I haven't experienced friendship or a desire to protect those I care about. As far as direct comparisons to my life go, I'm notoriously shy around men I find attractive, and I've noticed that my characters have a tendency to be shy around their crushes as well. It's a subconscious channeling of life into a story, I suppose.

Who are several of your greatest literary inspirations?
My three favorite writers of all time are J.R.R. Tolkien, Anne McCaffrey, and Oscar Wilde. It seems like a strange mix of styles, but that's the truth.

What kind of education have you received, and how has that affected your writing?
I have a college education in journalism, which has given me a focus on meeting deadlines that has greatly improved my writing skills. The most important thing about writing is motivation, and deadlines help with that.

How much research time customarily goes into your projects?
My fantasy world doesn't involve swords or something that could immediately be questioned by experts in the real world, but that doesn't mean I'm not spending time world-building before I write. I spent almost a decade creating the rules of the Sandleyr, making sure that those rules were easily understandable without too much explanation.

Who is your favorite literary character?
Eowyn of Rohan from "Lord of the Rings" is my minor obsession. She gets to slay bad things, and she gets the hot guy in the end.

Who is your favorite character of your own creation?
My favorite character depends on my mood and how troublesome they were in the editing process. Idenno was the first Onizard I ever drew, so he has a special place in my heart. I admire his bravery and the strength of his love.

If you were ever to write an autobiography, what would its title be?
Fact and Fantasy: The Sara Jo Easton Story

Tell us about your featured book.
The Zarder is the story of a human named Jena who accidentally gets her mind telepathically Bonded to the mind of a dragon-like creature, an Onizard named Senraeno. Since the ruler of the Onizards, the Fire Queen, believes humans are inferior beings who need to be "put in their place" through a fiery death, Jena has to fake her own death and go into hiding. The Onizards around her suspect that she may be the key to defeating the Fire Queen once and for all, but there is much to be done (and much to discover) before that happens.

Why did you write that?
It started out as something to do when I was bored, but it quickly grew into something I felt like I had to do. So I worked on the story until it looked like a story and not something an eccentric madwoman threw together haphazardly. It's been a great way to grow personally and creatively.

Is there anything special you would like your potential readers to know?
Thank you for taking a look at my story! I hope you've enjoyed what you've read so far, and I'm honored that you've spent your time on me.

What is your favorite season of the year, and what makes it so?
I love summer, because it brings fond memories of my grandmother's house and playing in the woods.

When you think of the word “Writer” what comes to mind?
Someone who neglects "normal" activities for a keyboard, blank paper and a pen.

If you had to live in another time period, which one would you choose?
I'd chose the 1900s so I could see women fighting for the right to vote and get a first edition of "The Picture of Dorian Gray". Realistically, the people of that time would probably call me an insane spinster and shun me.

What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to try, but never have?
I've always wanted to go hunting for diamonds in Arkansas. I made someone mad when I spent too much time rock-hunting on my last major trip. In my defense, I was finding pieces of petrified wood, and I had permission to take it off the property.

What is your favorite thing to do when you have a day to yourself?
I love reading; I do so whenever I get a spare moment. Since I'm a writer, that hobby should be obvious.

When were you most scared in your life, and why?
A well-meaning relative stole my writing notebook with all of my story notes and threatened to set it on fire for being "trash". Everything I'd worked for was about to turn into ashes, and I wasn't strong enough to stop it. That was the very day my fire-breathing villainess was born.

What is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?
The sunset over Newfoundland is awash with color, and the way the sun hits the water and the coastline as it slowly sinks down cannot be compared with a sunset anywhere else.

First thing you’d do if you were handed a million dollars?
I'd pay off my student loans and buy a house!

What was/is your favorite thing about your childhood home?
There was a laundry chute that went from the second floor to the basement. My brother and I used to tie string to a well-known talking toy and send it bungee-jumping down the chute. Amazingly, we did not get in trouble for this.

What do you most want out of your life? Your ultimate ambition, as it were.
I'd love to own a house and make a living out of writing.

Our thanks Sara Jo Easton for taking the time to participate with us. Her work can be found, just a click away, below.

1 comment:

  1. I google "Spiritual Octopus" to prove to someone that it's a thing, and what do I find but that you've written a book (or did you finish that one from highschool, lo those many moons ago). Anyway,

    congratulations, Albeit late, Alex.