Today I am interviewing the wonderful Sarah White, author of Dear Bailey. Before we get started with the questions, here’s a little bit more about her and her book!
Sarah White was born and raised in California. Graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles and California State University, Long Beach, she has a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Counseling. She spends her days as a therapist and her nights and weekends reading and writing stories. She is a winner of the 2013 Harlequin and Wattpad So You Think You Can Write Contest. Her stories include Rookie in Love, Rookie Playing for Keeps, Saving Hope, Falling into Trouble, Letting Go, Full Out and Touch. Her most recent series includes Dear Bailey, Seven Letter Words, Lean on Me, and When it’s Over. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram @SarahWhiteWrite, Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SarahWhiteWrite, www.SarahLWhite.com and Wattpad @SarahLWhite. She is currently represented by Christine Witthohn at Book Cents Literary Agency.
Bailey is taking her yearly flight to her father’s house in Florida for the summer. When her plane gets delayed, she’s forced to spend a few hours at an airport in the middle of nowhere. As a teenager traveling alone, she knows it’s best not to talk to strangers-but what if he’s in uniform and really cute?
Lucas is traveling alone to Florida to report for duty. His decision to join the Marines might have been impulsive, but he’s learning really fast his career with the Marines will involve a lot of “hurry up and wait.” He’s not interested in making small talk with any other tired travelers-but what if he just can’t help but learn her name?
When Bailey agrees to give Lucas her email address after a few hours together in an airport in the middle of nowhere, they’ll learn that a lot can happen between “Dear Baily” and “Love, Lucas.”
What are some of your favourite books on Wattpad?
I love Jo Watson’s Burning Moon. I’ve also been reading Too Late by Colleen Hoover.
What are some of your favourite books off Wattpad?
I read a lot of books off Wattpad. When I’m not writing, I’m reading. Usually around 200 a year! My favorite authors include Colleen Hoover (Slammed), Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster), Abbi Glines (The Vincent Boys), Kendall Ryan (Unravel Me), John Green (Looking for Alaska, The Fault in our Stars) and Jennifer Niven (All the Bright Places). I also love Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor and Park) and Caroline Kepnes (You).
How long have you been writing/ on Wattpad?
I wrote my first story (Rookie in Love) on Wattpad for the Harlequin contest in 2013. I have posted a few more stories since then, but recently I signed a contract to be traditionally published so my work on there is slowing down.
Why do you like Wattpad?
I like the immediate feedback and how thoughtful and encouraging the readers can be. It’s fun to watch the read counts grow and to see what chapters people like the most. I also really love it when I see the same reader commenting on all the chapters and reading all of my stories because then I get to know a little bit about them through our interaction.
How do you get ideas for your stories?
I get ideas from everywhere. Usually I start with one story idea and then branch out the rest in the series by making secondary characters in one story the main character in another.
Why did you decide to write about Marines?
I am married to a former Marine. I wanted to write a story about young love and of course my first thought is how easy it was to be in love with him. Readers really felt connected to the characters and the storyline, which is why I wrote more stories in the series.
Which scene from your books did you enjoy writing the most?
I love the scenes when you first get the feeling that there is going to be a spark between the characters. Building the love story is always the best part. If I had to pick a favorite I’d choose the first chapter of Rookie in Love. It’s where it all started.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
READ. Read anything and everything. Don’t just read in the genre you want to write in. It’s important to see how words flow together and what works and what doesn’t. I’ve learned more by reading other author’s stories than I have by creating my own.
What is your favourite thing about writing?
The end. I love when I pull a story together and all the pieces start to fit. It feels really good to resolve the conflict and give my characters the happy ever after we all want them to have.
How has your writing developed/ how do you think Wattpad has helped you improve as a writer?
I think reading reader comments has helped me to see what everyone is interested in. It also was the way I broke into being a professional author.
Have you had any criticism/unkindness and if so how did you deal with that?
I have occasionally had readers not like the way I did something, but for the most part everyone has been very kind. There was a time a few summers ago when Wattpad was having glitches and I had to move my story to another platform. I had a lot of negativity from readers who felt entitled to read my work only for free. I don’t really worry about those readers because they are few in number compared to the readers who understood my actions and continued to support me.
Would you recommend Wattpad?
I would recommend Wattpad to readers if they want to read stories for free. As an author, I have a few concerns that I’m not going to discuss.
How did you go about being published?
I won the Harlequin/Wattpad SYTYCW contest in 2013. I was published with Harlequin the following year. Now I have an agent who is awesome and works really hard to get me traditional contracts for my other stories.
Anything else you would like to add?
Thanks a lot, Emily!
No problem Sarah, thank you so much for letting me interview you!