Name: Sarah M. Cradit
Age: A lady never reveals her age. 😉
Where are you from: I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, but spent most of my twenties moving around the country for my other career. My husband and I lived all over, from Michigan to Georgia to Tennessee to Maine. We’ve been back in Oregon for some time, but never know where our next adventure might take us.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
2016 is going to be a big year for new projects! I have two full-length House of Crimson & Clover books releasing this year, as well as several short stories from the series. Most of the series will also be available in audio before the year is over, too, which I’m excited about. As well, I am partnering on a brand new series with author Becket called The Text Message Serials. We just finished our first book, The Bee in the Golden Spiral.
Outside of that, I have several other projects in the works that I’ll hopefully be announcing soon.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I was born with an imagination that couldn’t be contained. I was around seven when I wrote my first story, a school assignment, and it was pretty much decided from that moment.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
My answer for this is very similar to the last answer. As soon as I began to write, I was a writer. No matter how much time passed between projects, that designation never changed for me.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I suppose there are two answers for this. First, I knew I wanted to write a book set in New Orleans. But as to content, I’d been thinking a lot about big, sprawling family sagas, rich in history and intrigue. And then, a single line came to me while I was watching TV: ‘I was raining the day I buried my wife.’ From that moment, St. Charles at Dusk, my first book, began to have life.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Others have described it as lyrical, and evocative. My use of words, every single one, is intentional. Sometimes the way words work together on a page can be as essential to the reading experience as the message they send in a more literal sense. I make it a personal goal to incite all the senses in a reader.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The title for my first novel, St. Charles at Dusk, came from a personal experience in New Orleans. My husband and I were walking through the Garden District, and the sky had just faded to the purpled hues of dusk. The air came alive; every step of our walk felt magical, and was definitive of how I saw New Orleans as a whole. I wrote a scene in the book based on that memory, and when I was struggling for the right name, I kept coming back to that one scene and memory.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In all my books, I aim to show the ambiguous nature of morality and the human condition. Is there really such a thing as wholly right or wholly wrong? Maybe in rare cases. But great people do terrible things sometimes.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
My series is set in modern day, so anything related to setting is something a reader can relate to, or see for themselves. But seeing as the series is paranormal, the suspension of reality stops and ends with the abilities they have.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Sometimes you’ll find experiences sprinkled in here and there, such as with the scene in Dusk. I’m careful not to cut and drop them from my life, however. I always make them personal and fit with the story. As for characters, I don’t ever base them on anyone I know. I find it much harder for me to truly get into my book world if I’m comparing a character to someone in my everyday world.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I can think of three that have had the biggest impact on me, as a writer. Anne Rice’s Mayfair Trilogy, Tolstoy’s War and Peace, and Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m reading through all of Richard Matheson’s books at the moment. Currently on A Stir of Echoes.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
He’s not brand new, but Joe Hill. When I heard Stephen King’s son had emerged in the writing world, I jumped in as a matter of curiosity. But Hill has a tremendous talent, and he’s quickly become an author on my “I’ll buy whatever they’re selling” list.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m wrapping up final edits on The House of Crimson & Clover Volume 7, The Hinterland Veil, and then I’ll begin the first draft of Volume 7, The Secrets Amongst the Cypress. Also in edits is the project with Becket I mentioned earlier, The Bee in the Golden Spiral. Finally, I’m also working on two short stories for anthologies coming soon, one within the Crimson & Clover universe, and one outside of it.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I have so many fantastic friends and readers that I wouldn’t know where to start listing them. I’m very fortunate.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not that I can think of. I’m sure if I looked back on my earlier works, though, a handful of things would come to mind.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I was a precocious, imaginative child who needed an outlet for those things. Writing presented itself early in my development, so I learned to channel it there.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
The murder mystery series I co-wrote with Becket is going to be a very different experience for readers. We’ve taken cozy mysteries and turned them on their head. The format of the book uses only technological mediums (text messaging, as an example), and the story, while set in modern day, has ancient roots.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I write for a long, complex series so keeping things organized can sometimes be a challenge. But I have a comprehensive system for tracking all the details within the Crimson & Clover world.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Anne Rice comes to mind, from a very short list of favorites. What strikes me most about her work, other than the way it transports me every single time, is how fearless she is in her words and presentation.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I use my book travel mostly for research purposes. I went to Scotland last year to explore the highlands for a story I had in the works. I also visit New Orleans 1-2 times a year, to keep myself immersed in the culture I write about. I do also sometimes attend events, though I am strategic about which ones I choose (for example, I am a recurring author at Anne Rice’s Undead Conference in New Orleans every October, because that conference speaks to my audience).
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I design my own. I’m also a graphic designer.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
With my most recent book, it was deciding which characters needed to play a part, and which had to take a backseat until the next book. Managing so many different story threads means having to make strategic, but tough, choices.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
With every book, I learn more about my characters, and myself.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write! Don’t worry about what others are doing, or not doing.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Only that I appreciate the heck out of them, and love hearing from them.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I don’t remember, sadly.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Takes a lot to make me cry, but nearly anything can make me laugh. I love to laugh.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I would love to meet Anne Boleyn and get her side of the story. Her entire history was written by contemporaries who despised her.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Half of my favorite line, from A Tale of Two Cities: It is a far, far greater rest I go to now, than I have ever known.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I adore traveling. I visit New Orleans every year, but I also love to see something new each year. This past year, it was Scotland.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love the HBO/Starz/Shotime Original shows.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Food, I’m not picky. I just love anything well made. Color, I don’t think I have one, but I wear blue more than other colors. And music, I have very eclectic tastes, but most consistently would be alternative and indie rock.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Something involving travel, no doubt.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? I do. Readers can visit me at: www.sarahmcradit.com
Google +: google.com/+SarahMCradit
Sarah’s Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.com/e/B005SY05BM
House of Crimson & Clover Series Page: http://amzn.to/1TloiiN