Q&A With Sarah Blakley Cartwright

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Q&A With Sarah Blakley Cartwright

My latest Q&A is with the New York Times Bestselling author Sarah Blakley Cartwright. Sarah is the author of Red Riding Hood which was also made into a movie in 2011 starring Amanda Seyfried from Mama Mia. Her recent novel is Alice Sadie Celine. In Sarah’s instagram bio you can also find that she is the publishing director at Chicago Review Books, & Editor at A Public Space which is a literary magazine.

Q: Sarah when did you realize that your calling was to be an author?

A: I love this question because I feel it’s one every author secretly prepares for all their childhood‘s. I always wrote things down! My dad saved pages and pages I wrote in order to keep track of my dollhouse world. I had probably 30 little dollhouse dolls. Some had secret unrequited loves, others had severe illnesses. I wanted to remember what had happened to the family each day and wrote it out in excruciating detail. A picnic disrupted by a lightning storm, for example. It was important to me that note to note that,  in the commotion, the strawberries had gotten left behind outside. Someone had to run back. 

Q: Would you care to tell the readers of the blog and I about your recent novel Alice Sadie Celine?

A: Alice Sadie Celine is the story of a girl who falls in love with her best friend’s mother. Can the best friend allow them to explore this love?

Q: If you’re writing a new novel now, is it another fairytale retelling like you did with Red Ridinghood, a sequel to Alice Sadie Celine, or a different story entirely?

A: It’s a brand new story, though I think readers of red Ridinghood and Alice Sadie Celine will always be able to see that as a writer I have similar fascinations over time.

Q: If you were to write in another genre that wasn’t fiction, which genre would it be and why?

A: I like writers his work up and the traditional idea of genre. Most recently, I read Elizabeth McCrackens/, which she calls an autobiographical novel. I love that and could see exploring something similar one day.

Q: I know Hollywood did the Red Ridinghood movie. Does Hollywood have the rights to Alice Sadie Celine?

A: I’m happy to say that it has received significant interest, though it’s a long road for a novel to become film. Fingers crossed!

Q: What is your advice to anyone on writing great stories? If you deal with writers block, what are steps you take that could help someone else who wants to write?

A: Write what you love. Write the book you’d love to read. Work with your weaknesses as a writer, not against them.

Q: What is your advice to new authors on how to deal with negative feedback whether it’s online trolls, scathing reviews and family and friends who don’t support their writing goals?

A: Artists often have to develop a thick skin. Even better, if you can surround yourself with people whose opinions you trust and who happen to love you, let them tell you what they love about your work and believe them. I wouldn’t say to cut anyone out of your life who has anything negative to say about your work, because they may have something valuable to tell you, but do you cut anyone out that doesn’t support your writing life.

Q: Who was your biggest motivator when you told people that you were going to be an author?

A: I had some wonderful teachers when I was young, who were hard on me. So that when the praise came it meant more than had the cheerlead any word I ever wrote.

Q: What is it like being a publisher and an editor? What advice do you have for people who want to be a publisher and editor? How do you juggle being an author, editor and publisher?

A: It’s incredibly helpful as a writer to see what other writers are putting out in the world, and to support them through the process. It’s probably the single-handed thing that will help me survive my publication with any dignity.