Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I’m excited to bring you Sara Foust! I am always in awe of moms of toddlers who write or of homeschooling moms who also write. Sara is both! Plus, she’s a Nancy Drew fan, so we know she loves a good mystery. I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. I am a homeschooling mom of five amazing kids, ages 2 to 11, a farmer’s wife (he’s also a paramedic), a women’s Sunday school teacher, an avid reader, an Inspirational Romantic Suspense and Devotional writer, and a soon-to-be missionary to the Philippines. Life is always a little crazy around here, but I am so blessed!
Tell us about your current release. Callum’s Compass was an idea I had for over a decade before I actually found the courage and stamina to write. It tells the story of a wildlife biologist whose past causes her to carry guilt and fear. Her neighbor passes away and leaves her clues to a real-life treasure hunt in the mountains, lakes, and caves of East Tennessee. It is an adventure, a suspense, a faith story, and a romance all bundled up in one!
If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Absolutely! A friend of mine sent me a photo of a page from Callum’s Compass last week and said, “You have no idea how this encouraged me today.” It was the highest praise I’ve yet received and I am so thankful God allowed this story to touch someone.
What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? I think Christian authors needs to be brave enough to pen real people in their novels. We all have past sins, and current sins too. We are all human and the struggles of walking this straight and narrow path are real. I feel like the characters in our Christian novels should reflect reality. In the end, we are all leaning on God for strength, courage, and ability, so let’s make the characters’ journeys reflect that too.
What made you take the plunge and finally do it? A lot of prayer! In 2015, our second foster child and fifth child, came home from the NICU a tiny 4-week old suffering from drug withdrawal. I was already homeschooling. We had just moved into a new home in order for DCS to approve us as his foster parents. And I lost my medical transcriptionist job to voice recognition software. It was an intimidating time in our lives. My husband and I prayed really hard and it was overwhelming clear (and terrifying) that God had brought us to this point for a purpose: so I would have time to write. I had no idea how God would work out the details of our finances without my income (because let’s face it, the first year I dedicate to being a full-time author, I made $55 the whole year), but we trusted Him. When I joined ACFW’s Novel Track Writing group and learned how supportive they are and the words began to flow, I felt so satisfied that I knew God had been right. Writing is a part of who I am and I’d been denying it for years and years. There is nothing more fulfilling to me than serving my Savior by using the gift He has blessed me with!
Have you always wanted to write a book? Yes! In second grade, I wrote a story, “My Amaginary Friend,” and was chosen to win a trophy for the Most Original story. It was then I began dreaming of what it would be like to write an entire book. I was a big reader even then and I admired authors who could, “write all those words.” I started many novels through the years. In elementary school they never made it past a page or so, middle school and high school a few pages. But it wasn’t until after I was saved and committed my writing to Him that the words really came to me.
Do you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book? I always have a goal of 75,000 words, and if I can push to that goal I’m excited. However, as long as I make it past 65,000 I am happy. I know many writers who soar above 100,000 and have to trim words, but not me. I tend to be a bit too concise sometimes, I guess.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Don’t ever give up. Find one person who believes in you and is willing to encourage you and listen and push you when you feel like giving up. Once you find that one personal person in your life, find one person in the industry. Once you find that one industry person, let them help you hone your craft and keep pushing until you achieve your dreams!
Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? (Book series, maybe?) Nancy Drew! My cousin and I had a competition the summer after my third grade year to see who could read more. She was three years older, so she won, but I read a bunch that summer. I’ve always loved a good mystery.
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