I sat down with Sarah Doughty to learn about her writing process, new books and more!
When did you realize or decide you wanted to be a writer?
I think in some ways, I’ve always been a storyteller. I remember, as a kid, acting out these elaborate scenes that ran through my head. Later, when I was old enough to formulate complete sentences, I started writing them down so I could look back at them later. Regrettably, most of those notebooks were lost over the years.
What has been your best experience as an author so far?
Learning and expanding my knowledge in poetry really helped me to compound as much detail and story content into my fiction without all the wordiness. Without it, I’m sure the grueling editing process would take much longer.
What sort of challenges have you faced as a writer? How did you overcome them?
Before my first novel, I never successfully completed anything longer than a short story. All my manuscripts were plagued with questions, like “How does it end?” or “Where do I go from here?” which usually resulted in an abandoned project. I knew that “pantsing” my way through a bigger story wasn’t feasible. So I needed to figure out what would work for me.
How do you research and plan your books? Do you find outlining helps or hinders your process?
I developed a system to create a world so I knew the ins and outs of so-called rules and structures. Like for instance, how the hierarchy of a vampire nest works. And then I detailed the characters, adding information as I plotted the story. I don’t start writing until I know exactly where the story is going from beginning to end. Otherwise I’ll end up derailing the whole thing.
Have you learned anything really cool or interesting while researching your books? What’s been the weirdest research you’ve ever had to do?
I researched ancient Egyptian mythology and other different types of mythical creatures, blending actual lore with my fictional world. On the other hand, I studied martial arts and certain types of weaponry and how to use them correctly.
What advice would you give to new writers in the field?
I cannot stress this enough: new writers need to develop a system they can stick to and create a system that works for them. This includes writing every day. Yes. Every. Day. The longer you go between writing, the further you separate yourself from your world.
Have you made any writing or reading themed New Year’s Resolutions?
After almost five novels and two novellas from the same universe, I’ve reached the point where I don’t feel like the whole project will derail if I don’t write on a daily basis.
Tell us a little about your writing nook! Favorite tea/coffee/writing snack?
My office is a part of my home’s open living space. Separation from my family gets pretty lonely, so I’ve found being near them, with my headphones on when I need to concentrate, works well.
What project are you currently working on?
I’m finishing up the next novel in my Earthen Witch universe, called Safe, which continues Aisling’s story, the main heroine.
What’s next for you?
Once Safe is released, my next project will be the next novel in the universe, Stronger Than Blood. But this time, it’ll follow a new heroine, which will send a fan-favorite vampire on his own journey. I can’t wait to get started on it!
Most Downloaded Author Sarah Doughty conjures words from the ether. It’s like breathing — her weapon — her therapy. It allows her to weed through all the pain, in an effort to find herself again. She’s shared her books online for anyone who wants to read them — for free, to offer someone else hope, or the same, temporary escape as they did for her.
When she’s not writing, she spends time with her husband and peanut butter-loving little boy, or fueling her addiction as an urban fantasy and paranormal romance-reading junkie.