Friday, July 30, 2010

Interview with Sara Elizabeth

Available at Untreed Reads Publishing

Briefly describe your journey in writing your first book. 
My first book published is actually a short story.  The journey comes from a very real place, as most of my writing is actually non-fiction.  I’ve found that in writing workshops, people tend to tell stories that are fascinating but never use an interesting mode of doing so.  So, I’ve tried everything – from using an elevator as a container for the story, to writing a fist person narrative in a second person “how-to” voice a la Lorrie Moore.  I try to make new things work!

What genre are your books?  Do you write in more than one genre? 
I write predominantly non-fiction.  I dabble in fiction every now and then, if I become inspired.

Did you query agents and traditional publishers?  Did you receive an offer of representation or a book contract? 
I’ve been trying to get an agent or a traditional publisher since I completed my first short story as a freshman in college.  It’s so difficult.

What factors influenced your decision to sign with Untreed Reads? 
I’m part of the diversity line, and I really loved the pitch for the group of stories.  One story a day for the month of June (which is gay pride month) sounded really cool.

How involved are you during the creative process for your book’s cover? 
I had nothing to do with the design, but I took a lot of time considering the name on it.  I decided upon my own.

Do you have manuscripts that you will publish directly for Kindle? 
Not yet!

How did you feel when you got your first sale? 
Incredible.  It’s like all my hard work finally paid off!

What kinds of social media [twitter, facebook, webpage, blog, writing forums] are you involved with trying to garner attention for your book(s)? 
I am a huge advocate of social media networking.  I’m a Facebook and Twitter gal.  I also have a blog called  I sometimes advertise myself through that every once in a while!

How do you feel about the world of digital publishing?  Do you think it will replace traditional publishing one day? 
I have very mixed feelings.  Coming from a writing program, I was constantly surrounded by people who scoffed at me for owning a Kindle.  I am constantly being told that I (and the Kindle) are going to be the death of books and libraries.  I still purchase books, because nothing beats a beautiful, full bookshelf.  However, I live in NYC and have no room for all of my books, and no way to move them all here.  So until I have my ranch in the mountains with a vast amount of space, a Kindle it is.

What’s next for you? 
I’m working on two or three really long projects.  One is a memoir that I started for my thesis project called “Living Medicated.”  It’s about how my generation, as a whole, is over-medicated and over-therapized, especially in the “upper echelon.”  I’d say it’s the antithesis of Prozac Nation.  I also have a children’s book series I’m working on, a series of essays called “Conversations With My Jewish Mother”, and am looking for a job now that I’m done with grad school.  I guess you could say I’m a busy girl these days…