The Literary Vixen presents…
Joining us today is Sarah M. Cradit! Book two in her Kingdom of the White Sea series, .
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve been writing since I was seven, and it was something I did to satisfy a very vivid imagination that had been with me since I can remember. I don’t remember really thinking about writing, but rather, just doing it. It became something that I was known for as early as second grade, and from there it just took off. You could say it’s always been a part of me.
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Probably my almost obsessive commitment to world-building. If I didn’t push myself to write, I could build worlds forever. I love coloring out new places and ideas and characters, and what you see on the page is very “tip of the iceberg,” but all the details that don’t make it in nonetheless help make the books what they are.
How do you deal with emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?
The only way I know how is to lean into it. If I try and separate myself from the emotion, you’ll read that separation on the page. If I can feel what they’re feeling, and I allow myself to go there, then that’s where the magic happens, so to speak. When this does become hard is when it hits close to home. I once had to write a death scene for a major character, and the timing coincided with a death of someone very close to me. I had a choice between “phoning it in,” or tapping into my own grief, and I chose the latter. It’s still a scene I have trouble re-reading, but my readers tell me it’s one of the best of that series.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’m working on my fortieth right now. That felt so strange to write. Forty! I often find that whatever I’m working on is my favorite, and right now I’m still immersed in my epic fantasy saga, Kingdom of the White Sea. The Kingless Crown, right now, feels like the best thing I’ve ever done. It feels like the culmination of all the hard work and polishing of craft that came before it. And that’s the hope, isn’t it? That everything that came before allows you to be where you are now.
How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?
A LOT. Probably 50% of the total world building I’ll end up doing overall. The rest gets colored in as I write. And as I said above, a lot of this world building never makes it into the stories, not directly at least. But it lives in my notebooks, and in my head, and helps make the world feel like it’s real.
Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?
I do, and I really really love talking to readers. They offer a perspective I can’t get anywhere else. As the writer, I will never know what it is to experience my books for the first time, and when readers tell me how a story or a character made them feel, I get to live vicariously through that, and to see a side of my world that is otherwise closed to me. Writing is about delivering an emotional experience to a reader, and if my readers are feeling anything at all about my books, then it’s a very satisfying thing for me.
What book is currently on your bedside table?
I don’t read a lot when I’m actively writing a project, unless it’s something I’ve read before. I always have the Lord of the Rings at the ready when I need a break from writing.
Describe yourself in three words.
Curious. Resourceful. Imaginative.
If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?
Kingdom of the White Sea has a ton of characters, and I’ve never been good at these exercises, but as a reader, when my favorite books come to life on the screen I prefer the actors to be people I don’t recognize. For casting, their physical appearance is less important to me than nailing the character’s motivations, beats, quirks.
Having said that- I would give my left arm to have Eva Green play ANY of my characters.
What advice would you give to other authors?
Comparison is the thief of joy. Whether you’re just starting out, or years in, no two author journeys are the same, and if you set your goals against what you see others achieving, you’ll find nothing but frustration and disappointment. Instead, set your goals according to what you can achieve, and let your best be the bar that you seek to achieve, and beat, consistently. When I see the progress in craft and process from my first book to my fortieth, that gives me a perspective I can’t get from just looking at my work in its current form. And most importantly, writer’s write. There’s no gatekeeping, no milestone you must hit to be called an author. You just have to write. That’s the one thing we all do. The more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. The easier it will feel, and the less time you’ll spend cleaning it up.
What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?
That I write what I love. I will always write what I love, even if it isn’t the most trendy, or popular. But it means the world to me that so many of you love what I write, and I can’t thank you enough for taking what can be a very solitary journey for authors and enriching it with your words, and fandoms, and time. It drives me to keep going even on the hard days.
Thank you Sarah M. Cradit for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, The Kingless Crown today!
From the USA Today & International Bestselling author of the Saga of Crimson & Clover comes a gripping new epic fantasy world that will leave you breathless to the very last page.
A crown woven together by lies.
A kingdom with the power to unravel them.
Four Reaches. Four brides. Only a fortnight separates the young women from becoming reluctant queens of the usurper king, Eoghan Rhiagain.
Twenty years earlier, King Eoghan’s father cunningly devised marriages between the highborn sons and daughters of the oft-warring Reaches, sealing the unions before they could protest, shattering existing betrothals in place of forced alliances.
Now, Eoghan, the cruel boy king who stole his crown through murder, demands the eldest daughters of these unions. To accept is unfathomable. To refuse is treason.
The lords and ladies of the kingdom have no choice but to prepare their beloved daughters for the horrors ahead. But they’ll soon discover there are no longer any daughters left to present. All four have disappeared, painting the world with their rebellion.
Theirs is not the only rebellion. Across the kingdom, little fires light within. From the enigmatic sorcerers in the northern mountains, to the magi who both wield and regulate the kingdom’s magic, and beyond… to a place where two prisoners are not what they seem.
As the Reaches ready themselves to face the king, the kingdom hovers on the edge of chaos.
And there are many who recall, in candlelit secrecy, tales of a time before…
Sarah is the USA Today and International Bestselling Author of contemporary and epic fantasy.
An unabashed geek, Sarah enjoys studying subjects like the Plantagenet and Ptolemaic dynasties, and settling debates on provocative Tolkien topics such as why the Great Eagles are not Gandalf’s personal taxi service. Passionate about travel, Sarah has visited over twenty countries collecting sparks of inspiration (though New Orleans is where her heart rests). She’s a self-professed expert at crafting original songs to sing to her very patient pets, and a seasoned professional at finding ways to humiliate herself (bonus points if it happens in public). When at home in Pennsylvania, her husband and best friend, James, is very kind about indulging her love of fast German cars and expensive lattes.