Updated: Feb 10
Hi Everyone! Welcome back for the fourth installment in the YA author interview series. This week I'm chatting with S. Breaker, author of the Selfless series. If you're enjoying reading these interviews, be sure to join my newsletter to get updates. Also, a free book in every newsletter! Join here.
Evelina: Hi Sara! Thanks for joining us on the blog today :) Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Sara: Hi! My name is Sara. I live in New Zealand (AKA Middle Earth) with my husband and my five-year-old twin boys. I’m an indie author writing teen/YA sci-fi and fantasy books under my pen name: S. Breaker.
I write easy-reading, feel-good stories for young adults, as well as adults who still feel like they’re young adults. I’m deeply committed to happy endings because I think everyone needs an escape—specifically, one that leaves you feeling so good, you’ll be virtually bulletproof from the harshness of reality for the rest of the day.
Evelina: Lovely! I feel like YA grew a little darker with the dystopian trend, so I am excited to see more feel-good stories coming out to diversify the genre. (Don't get me wrong. I loved the Hunger Games and Divergent, too.) I also love the way you phrased that--"young adults, as well as adults who still feel like they’re young adults." What drew you to writing YA?
Sara: I love reading YA. It’s the first genre I’d ever read in. While I do occasionally read other kinds of books now too, my state of mind always tends to lean toward quirky, offbeat stories and I think to some degree, I just never grew up. I’ve always wanted to write serious sci-fi, but somehow my characters keep being funny on me. I like books that are easy to read, and the language that YA books use appeals to me more than books geared for other audiences. So this has made an impact on my style of writing as well.
Evelina: How many books have you written?
Sara: I’ve written 6 science fiction & fantasy books so far. I have an epic fantasy romance series with heavy mech robots, swords, and magic, entitled “The Secret of the Phoenix”. My recently completed “Selfless” series is a steampunk fantasy/sci-fi trilogy about parallel worlds and mistaken identities. And I’m currently working on a new epic fantasy/fae trilogy. I actually do write contemporary romance as well, so I have another few books under that genre.
Evelina: Awesome. That's a great backlist! When you sit down to write, are you completely digitalized, old school (ink pens, stationary, etc.), or somewhere in between?
Sara: Right now, I’m completely digitalized. I almost cannot write without my laptop. I used to be old school—ballpoints and notebooks. But nowadays, aside from trying to avoid full-on carpal tunnel syndrome, my handwriting speed is nowhere near fast enough to keep up with how fast I come up with words. I still write paper notes sometimes for “emergency” ideas. But when it comes to story notes, I’ve also come to rely on my Samsung Note phone because it has a notepad application and a stylus. And I’d be less likely to lose that note as opposed to if it was written on a Post-it.
Evelina: I hear you on the carpal tunnel. Office ergonomics really matter for those of us at a desk all day! Do you have any writing rituals? Do you like to listen to music, sit at the kitchen table, summon the powers of darkness, etc?
Sara: I should get a desk. Right now, I sit on the couch with my laptop. It’s not the best situation and it’s horrible for my posture. But this is how I’ve been writing. When I’m on a roll, I’ll always have music in the background playing. I almost always will have created a Spotify playlist or a YouTube soundtrack specific for the book I’m writing. The only time I won’t have music on is when I’m trying to figure out a plot hole or a complex problem with the story.
Evelina: Speaking of plot holes and story complexities, how many unpublished and half-finished books do you have? LOL
Sara: I think every author out there will have a dozen or more half-finished books stashed somewhere. Right now, I’m in the middle of about four substantially half-finished books that I’m hoping to get published in the next year. Some authors have schedules and a strict process. I’m still new enough to this that I can only so far write what I feel like writing at the time so I’ll hop from one project to the next. I’m trying to get better at focusing. Fingers crossed!
Evelina: Out of all your characters, which is your favorite?
Sara: In my “Selfless” series, I have a character called Eleanor. She’s the notorious genius scientist that my main character Laney (her parallel world look-alike) is mistaken to be. Eleanor basically drives most of the conflict by making sweeping decisions that trigger the cascade of consequences everyone else must survive through. But she’s the sort of genius who will do both bad things and good things—all in the name of science. She’s both a hero and a villain.
Evelina: Since you're a sci-fi author, I've gotta ask...If you had to choose, Doctor Who, Star Trek, or Star Wars?
Sara: It’s so hard to choose! Haha. But if I must choose, I pick Star Trek (though not the more recent ones). I enjoy the original, TNG, and Voyager series. Star Trek for me is a very idealistic and positive view of the future and the world. And I like happy endings! Star Trek basically manages to tackle even the most complex issues with an almost guaranteed satisfactory conclusion. I feel like it’s a stark contrast to the real world especially now and it always keeps me hopeful. It’s a great escape!
Evelina: TNG is one of my favorites, too. They tackle so many big philosophical questions while still maintaining humor and an uplifting vibe. When you're not watching Star Trek, what are you reading?
Sara: I’ve only just finished reading Sarah J. Maas’ ACOTAR series. It’s quite dark. Definitely darker than I would ever write, but her world building and storylines are amazing!
Evelina: I've actually never read the ACOTAR series, but I've heard great things in YA fan circles. Gotta add it to my TBR.
Before we wrap up, can you tell our readers about your upcoming book/series?
Sara: Here’s a short blurb: “Mistaken for her imperiled, notorious genius alternate self, Laney's accidental trip to a parallel world could very quickly turn very deadly.”
I recently completed my YA Steampunk Fantasy/Sci-fi series "Selfless." The series is about a teenage girl who goes to a parallel world and gets mistaken for her genius scientist “alternate self” whose life is in danger.
I think it’s a bit different from anything already out there because of its tone. I wanted to create a compelling dystopian world with conflict and danger while maintaining an overarching atmosphere of levity and hope. It’s a fast-paced adventure with some steampunk influences and a bit of romance, fun and quirky, but is still packed with substance.
My goal was to write a science fiction book series that’s entertaining and easy to read. If people get that, they’ll love this.
A preview e-book of my series starter Book 1: “Save Yourself” is FREE to download here:
Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3gJjkyk
Thanks so much to S. Breaker for joining us today! Check out her links above to purchase the Selfless series. If you enjoyed this blog post, join my newsletter and be the first to learn about new interviews. Also, get a free book in every newsletter! Just click here. No spam. Ever.