Today my guest is Sarah Anne Crouch, author of the new release, A Summer in Shady Springs. Sarah, it’s great to have you here with me today. Let’s start by telling us a little bit about yourself.
I live in Central Arkansas with my husband and three children (ages 2,4, and 6). My favorite job is being their Mommy, but I’ve also worked as a teacher and have a graduate degree in Library and Information Science. I’ve wanted to be an author ever since I was young and am so happy to be living out that dream!
When I’m not writing or wrangling kids, I love to play piano and watch movies with my husband. We’re big film nerds and have seen every Oscar Best Picture Winner. I also enjoy cooking, but I always try to get someone else to do the dishes.
What is your book about?
The last place Madeleine Mullins wants to be is back in Shady Springs, Arkansas–the town where her whole world fell apart. But when her beloved Aunt Clara begs her for help, Madeleine reluctantly takes a job painting a mural at her aunt’s church. Her plan is to finish quickly and leave her bad memories behind. But the more time she spends with the handsome youth minister and the more she reads her Bible, the more she wonders if she’s been wrong about God and the Church all along.
Do you have a day job? If so, how do you find time in your day to write?
I have three small children, and they are my day and night job. My best time for writing is nap time. I always try to start with my Bible study, then a few minutes of housecleaning, then I settle in to write as long as I’m able. Sometimes I get a couple hours, sometimes I get nothing, but if I keep at it every day, I can eventually finish a manuscript.
Do you reward yourself when a book is finished? If so, what is your favorite treat?
Yes! I love chocolate, so if any particularly large bars of chocolate enter our house, I usually commandeer them as a writing incentive.
How did you come up with the names of your hero and/or heroine?
I named my heroine after my favorite author, Madeleine L’Engle. I’m actually not great at coming up with names for people, places, or books. So, I look around me for inspiration. My characters in this novel come from favorite authors, theologians, and historical figures. Sometimes I’ll mine yearbooks or newspapers for new character names. Having said that, I have no idea where A.J.’s name came from. That one was just floating around in my brain.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a big plotter! I actually find outlining a book to be more freeing. I’ll set myself up with the primary goals and conflicts of the story, then each scene is framed around those essential elements. Plotting keeps me from wasting my time or being paralyzed by indecision, but I still let myself change my mind as I go along if breaking away from what I’ve planned feels right at the time.
Are you part of a writing group?
Yes, and they are the best! Amy R. Anguish (a fellow Anaiah author) and Rachel Herod have helped me out immensely on my writing journey. They spur me on and give me ideas and help me hone my craft.
Who was the first person you allowed to read your completed book?
My mom was the perfect first reader because she was so encouraging. A Summer in Shady Springs is my debut novel, so neither of us knew if I was any good yet. Her actual words were “I think this could be a real book.” And now it is!
Do you experience writer’s block? What do you do to get through it?
I think I get editor’s block more often than writer’s block. When I get notes back from a beta reader or my editor, sometimes it takes me a long time to figure out how to answer their question or fix the problem they found. Usually if I get my hands busy with something like vacuuming or cooking, while I let my mind mull over the issue, I can figure it out eventually. If not, I can always reach out to my writing group or talk it over with my husband.
What’s next for you as an author?
I’m very excited to say I will get to be a part of a novella collection coming out September 2022 with Amy Anguish, Heather Greer, and Regina Merrick. The title is Love in Any Season, and my story is called “A Sweet Dream Come True.” It’s a delicious romance about an ice cream man and a chocolatier. Each story focuses on a Main Street business and seasonal festival, and it’s going to be super cute!
Author Media Links:
My website is SarahAnneCrouch.wordpress.com.
You can find me on Facebook.com/SarahAnneCrouch, Twitter.com/SarahAnneCrouch, and Pinterest.com/SarahAnneCrouch.