Monday, September 29, 2014

FIRST IMPRESSIONS - Sarah Price - One Free Book

Welcome Sarah. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I suppose there are bits and pieces of me in a lot of my characters. In my upcoming book,
The Matchmaker (an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma), I know that I related to the main character, Emma. She has the best of intentions but sometimes does things that are not so thought out. In An Amish Buggy Ride, Kate Zook was based loosely on some of my own experiences dealing with negative people who enjoy putting others down in order to build up their own self-worth.

But she was more accepting of others flaws in that regard.

I do enjoy writing books where I get to focus on morphing others into the main characters. I’m working on a Young Adult book now, Diehard Fangirl, that is based on my daughter and her antics with the different “celebrities” on social media. Teenage girls and their parents will see themselves in the characters.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Let’s see…in 2012, I bought a baby zebra. I was told that, because we have a horse farm, we didn’t need a permit. That, apparently, was incorrect information. It took MONTHS to buy all of the extra fencing, structures, and other requirements needed to get a permit. My husband was ready to send me to the moon. Unfortunately, Zebby passed away this past May after another pony kicked him. I’m still contemplating whether or not I should look for rescues since we do have the permit now.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’ve always known that I was a writer. I wrote as a small child, first in journals and then, when I was around twelve, my parents purchased a Selectric typewriter for me. Other children wanted toys or games for Christmas; I wanted reams of paper.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I have a passion for religious history and philosophy. My library has shelves and shelves of books about the Old Testament and philosophy, including Socrates, Homer, Aristotle, Josephus. I also read a lot of devotionals and motivation books. As far as fiction books are concerned, I’m expanding my current reading list to include more classics since I love the writing style of Jane Austen, Victor Hugo, and all of those great classic authors. I haven’t been very satisfied with mainstream fiction books within my own genre recently. Too many people are rapidly publishing books, calling them “Amish Christian” and the contents demonstrates very little knowledge of the Amish culture and religion. So outside of my favorite authors in that genre, people I have come to admire and consider friends, I steer clear of my own genre.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
If you were to ask my family that question, they’d probably tell you that I don’t. (ha ha).
When things get very stressful, I am prone to hit “autopilot.” There is no sense whining and complaining about it; just get it done. However, that doesn’t mean I’m the most pleasant person to be around. I have a DO NOT DISTURB sign that I put on my door. Everyone (except the dogs) have learned that I mean business when it’s hanging on the doorknob. Of course, there are those “moments” when you simply need a good vent. I have my inner circle of people that I call or text when I need to be talked off the ledge. Without them, there are days when I’d be chit-chatting to pigeons from a very high vantage point on a skyscraper in New York City.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Believe it or not, this is one of the hardest parts about writing a book! I like to choose names that I feel will fit the character. For the Amish genre, this is hard because, depending on which community you are writing about, there are different sets of names. For example, in Lancaster County, Katie, Lydia, Barbara, and Lizzie are very popular names. The only problem is that almost every family has two or three of them (and that’s not counting extended families). And the last names are regional, too. In Lancaster, you’ll meet a lot of people with the last name of Stoltzfus, Yoder, and Zook while in Holmes County, Hershberger, Petersheim, and Schrock seem popular. There are not a lot to choose from so, at times, heavy research is needed to come up with something unique and authentic.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I suppose my happiest accomplishment was getting signed by two traditional publishers. A lot of authors are moving the other way, from traditionally published to self-publishing. As usual, I’m bucking the trend and headed in the other direction. I am very happy with my publishers and feel safe. That isn’t always the case when you are just self-publishing. There are bad people out there, posing as Christians but really looking to take advantage or hurt unsuspecting people with dreams. I’ve learned far too much about the dark side of self-publishing and much prefer the security and professionalism of the traditional publishers.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I happen to be partial to chipmunks and squirrels. They are fun to watch when they play in the trees. And they have a lot of energy. When the cooler weather comes along, they are very focused on their work: gathering food for the winter. They don’t mess around with their deadlines. So they know when to play, and they know when to work. I like that. Of course, if I were a chipmunk or a squirrel, I would want a no-cat zone in a ten-mile radius for obvious reasons.

What is your favorite food?
Hands down: mashed potatoes. As a child, I grew up on them. At all of our family gatherings, my grandmother would make two batches of mashed potatoes: one for me and one for everyone else. I think if I was stuck on an island with mashed potatoes and different gravies, I’d be just fine. Oh, and plenty of bottled water and coffee. :D

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
It’s amazing what a little praise can do for a person. My husband, Marc, is my greatest champion, supporting my decision to dust off an old 3.5” floppy disk that contained manuscripts that I wrote when I was 19 and 20. A few years earlier, someone else had thrown out my collection of manuscripts, apparently considering them garbage. All that remained of my passion for writing over the years was this little diskette. Marc read it, believed in me and told me to publish the manuscript. He also helped me with editing, proofing, and updating the story so that it was more current. So twenty years after I initially wrote Fields of Corn, I published it. His support was what started the ball rolling. It was great to be writing again, with the backing of a person who truly understood the seriousness of artistic passion.

Tell us about the featured book.
I love the literary style of the classics. Yet I know that many readers shy away from attempting to read them because it can be an intimidating task. Just looking at the size of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables is scary! I liked the idea of introducing my readers to the classics through the adaptation of the storyline into an Amish setting. Additionally, I am aware that many non-Amish fiction readers feel that it is not a genre to be taken seriously from a literary perspective. I’m hoping that my Amish Classics Series bridges that gap for both groups of readers. First Impressions is the first in the series. It is an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. While challenging to re-tell such an amazing story from an Amish setting, I enjoyed writing it very much. I believe that it appeals to many different readers: those who love reading about the Amish, those who love Jane Austen, and those who simply love a good, clean romance!

Please give us the first page of the book.
The reddish-gold rays of the setting sun lit up the sky behind the roofline of the large white barn. The double doors to the hayloft were open and two robins sat on them, singing a song of good night to the rest of the farm. The black and white Holstein cows lazily meandered through the back pasture near the stream, a few pausing to dip their heads and drink from the refreshingly cool water in the fading heat of the late spring day. One of them, a fat one with a white chain around her neck, looked up, her soulful brown eyes scanning the barnyard before giving a deep, investigating “moo.”

A young woman, wearing a rich blue dress and no shoes upon her feet, walked down the lane. Her head was adorned with a white, heart-shaped prayer kapp. A few strands of brown hair had fallen free from the neat bun that was hidden beneath the organdy fabric and clung to the back of her tanned neck. Two white ribbons hung from the kapp, casually resting on her back as she walked. Two brown chickens ran in front of her, a rooster close behind.

When the rooster saw the woman, he stopped and puffed his feathers at her, his neck bulging out as if ready to attack. “Scoot!” she admonished, kicking her foot at the brightly colored rooster to shoo it away.

As she approached the end of the lane, she paused, glancing around for a moment to ensure that no one was on the road before she stepped off the driveway, shaking the cool dust from her bare feet before stepping onto the warm black asphalt of the road that led to town. It was the mailbox that beckoned her, a dented gray mailbox with a single nameplate resting atop: Blank.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I’m all over the Internet. It’s my major distraction! I’m like a teenager at the table with my iPhone! Favorite social media:
Twitter: @SarahPriceAuthr
Instagram: @SarahPriceAuthr
Pinterest: @SarahPriceAuthr sarahpriceauthor

Thank you, Sarah, for sharing this new book with us.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
First Impressions -
First Impressions: An Amish Tale of Pride and Prejudice (The Amish Classics) - Amazon
First Impressions: An Amish Tale of Pride and Prejudice (The Amish Classics) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


Gloria Johnson said...

I loved your interview of Sarah Price! It was very in-depth and informative. I love all of Sarah's books and enjoyed finding out more about one of my favorite authors. Thank you! I'm from southwestern Ohio.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for interviewing - I am a big Sarah Price fan- love to read about her and her work!

Mary Ellen Ashenfelder said...

Wonderful interview -- I am a big fan of Sarah Price and would be thrilled to add this to my collection of her books. I am from central Pennsylvania. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

My sister loves Amish fiction and my other sister and I love Jane Austen and the classics, so I'm thinking this should satisfy the lot of us. Thanks for the great interview! Hope to read this!
J.C. -Indiana-

Maureen Timerman said...

Loved this interview, and felt so sorry about the zebra.

rubynreba said...

Looking forward to a new Amish book series. By the way, I love mashed potatoes too!
Beth from IA

Sarah Price said...

Thanks for having me on your blog, Lena! <3

Amada Chavez said...

WHOO HOOO! :D Yes PLEASE enter me! I have been dying to read and review First Impressions! Pride and Prejudice meets Amish...there are only a few things I can think of better than this combo! :D

And yes I can believe that names are the hardest part! LOL! Names are SO hard to come up with. I have the problem with loving one name and trying to remember that I can't name all my heroins and heroes the same name! LOL!

Blessings, Amada (pronounced: NM

Deanna Stevens said...

interesting! Zebras are so pretty & south of my town the fellow has a Zonkey.. Zebra & donkey, quite an odd fellow :) DKStevens from NEBR

Britney Adams said...

I am eager to read this Amish tale of Pride and Prejudice! Thank you for sharing a great interview!

Britney Adams, TX

Heidi Robbins said...

I love Amish fiction and Jane Austen... a combination sounds fabulous!

Heidi, CA

debbie curto said...

I loved this interview! Sarah is a great author and a nice person!

Emma said...

good interview.I am looking forward to reading First Impressions.Thank you for the opportunity to win.I enjoy reading your books.

Mary Preston said...

Amish and Jane Austen - sold!!

Mary P


Patty said...

Sarah is right about the classics being intimidating! I have several on my shelves, but always hesitate to pick them up... Would love to read her adaptation.

Patty in SC

Patsy said...

Love the story about the zebra. That would just my luck too! Looking forward to reading this book.
From MS

Melanie Backus said...

Thank you for a great post! This book sounds very interesting.

Melanie Backus, TX

Jan Hall said...

Great interview. You are the first person I have heard of that has had a zebra. I am sorry that he died. I bet it is hard to find names to use in your books. I am in sunny West Texas where it is going to be 92 today.

Unknown said...

Oh my, this looks like a lovely read! Amish P&P?! Ahhh... a must read! Thank you for the chance to win!
Kelly Y, central Virginia

Cindi A said...

Great interview. I don't write but do understand about the security of having a publisher versus self publishing. I would probably feel the same way if I were in your shoes.

Thanks for the chance to win a copy of First Impressions

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway, SC.

alisa king said...

Love the interview with Sarah Price. Love her books. Enter me to win.

sm said...

I would like to read the Amish version of Pride and Prejudice. sm, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Cheryl Baranski said...

Love your books Sarah Price.
Keep up the wonder writing.
Would so love to win your book.

Anonymous said...

I hope to win a free book.
Karen Clinton
Lake Charles, LA

Cynthia said...

Loved this interview! I am from Yuma, AZ.

Ellie said...

275Sarah has achieved the highest literary level in her career with the writing of this book. I have read every book she ever wrote and see the tremendous professional growth. She is to be acclaimed. She has remained the same nice and kind and generous person even with all this success. Congratulations, Sarah. Keep on writing for us!

Anonymous said...

love to win Sarah's book! shelia from MS

Library Lady said...

Our church library readers love Amish books.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to win Sarah's book.
Janet E.

Diana Gardner said...

Portsmouth, VA

kec200 said...

I love books set in Amish country.

Kathy from Wendell, NC