S. D. Grimm’s first love in writing is young adult speculative fiction—everything from urban fantasy to epic fantasy and space operas to superheroes. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency, and her debut novel, Scarlet Moon, releases October 2016 through Enclave Publishing (an imprint of Gilead Publishing). Her office is anywhere she can curl up with her laptop and at least one large-sized dog. When she’s not writing or freelance editing, Sarah enjoys reading, kickboxing and Brazilian jiu jitsu, fencing, and Netflix bingeing. You can learn more about her and her upcoming books at www.sdgrimm.com
Connect with Sarah...
Website, blog, and newsletter: http://sdgrimm.com
Purchase: Scarlet Moon
Get to know Sarah...
You and Writing
Tell us a little bit about you and writing...
I started writing when I was in elementary school. I wrote short stories all the time, just for fun. When I played with friends, I would often set the stage with this elaborate story world and ultimate goal and then ask them what character they were playing. If they needed character backstory, I could totally help with that. And then I got my first computer. While all my friends were getting better at online chess and paint, I started writing a book.
I wrote through middle school, high school, majored in English in college because I wanted to be a writer, and just kept writing. After I had my first child and left the work force, I decided to find out what it took to get published. That’s when I started a brand new story: Scarlet Moon.
Tell us a little bit about your book...
What’s the theme?
Love always protects, no matter the cost. How did you come up with it? 1 Corinthians 13:7 says “[Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” I loved this idea of love being protective. I loved exploring how love protects. And I wanted that to be a big part of the trilogy. While perseverance plays a huge role in this book—and trust and hope in others—the idea of protecting others in love is a pretty big theme through all three books.
Did you get to do any fun research for the book?
Yes! I started a fencing class to learn more about sword fighting. I visited wolf park in Indiana to see wolves at a research park (and howl with them!). And I took some archery lessons from my husband and father.
Let’s talk about your writing life...
Is there something else that helped you?
You know how you hear that many stories need a main hero, a mentor, a sidekick, a love interest, and a villain? Well, if you haven’t heard that, I have—no, it’s not gospel truth, but there’s a lot of merit to these archetypes. J Anyway, think of your writing journey as one such story. You are the hero. You know where you want the story to go. You know what you’re overcoming and you’re learning as you go. You’re persevering through the awful parts toward your end goal. Fight for the win. The writers further along on the journey who give you advice are your mentors. They aren’t always right, but oftentimes they’re wiser than you give them credit for. ;) They want to help you. They want to see you succeed. So at least listen to what they have to say. Your trusted critique partners are your sidekicks. You need them. They help and strengthen you along this journey. You learn from one another. Treat them like gold. Sometimes you’ll disagree, and that’s okay. The love interest? That’s your passion for writing. You need this passion to succeed in your mission. She (just play out the metaphor) is on your team. She sees the good in your writing. Your passion is so important when you face those obstacles that make you feel like you’ve failed. Don’t push her away. The villain? Well that’s anything that tries to stop you, right? There could be so many. Rejections. Bad reviews. Critiques that don’t build you up. Procrastination. Discouragement. Fight them. Persevere. And if you’re missing one of these, find them. I mean, don’t seek out villains … :D
Are you a Panster or Plotter?
Haha. Both. I like to think of myself as a plotter with pantser tendencies. I plot out where the story will start and what big thing will happen and how the whole thing will end. Everything else just comes organically (sometimes after much digging or re-planting) because I don’t want to be stifled by a too detailed outline.
What is your favorite and least favorite part of the writing process?
My favorite part is reading the finished product. I love writing and brainstorming and editing. I am not a huge fan of revising. Don’t get me wrong! I get so excited about the idea of revising this and that. But when I actually sit down to make the revisions and see how much work it is, I procrastinate. A lot.
What did you learn along the path to publishing that you’d care to share as encouragement? Persevere. There will always be rejection—even after you’re published. Work through the brokenness and feelings of failure. Hold your head up, stand tall, and remember why you write. That passion is your fuel. Feed it. Grow it. Take care of it. Then, when you need it, it’ll be there. If you can’t find it, remember that you’re not alone. We’ve all felt that way.
Do you listen to music when you write? If so, have a favorite artist or playlist to share?
YES! I have a playlist of songs I specifically listened to while writing Scarlet Moon. :D
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In honor of the fall, what’s your favorite fall treat?
Pumpkin spice doughnuts. I wait all year for these!
When you were a child, what did you dream of growing up to be?
A baseball player. I can’t catch, though. It’s not my thing.
Will you participate in National Novel Writing Month?
If so, what’s your plan to keep your writing on track? YES! I am currently researching Feudal Japan, building a story world, and getting to know my characters. It’s going to be so fun. I may not “win” because I know I’ll have edits for Children of the Blood Moon book three; however, I still plan to participate and show up to write every day.
What are you currently reading?
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon