After a few technical difficulties at last an interview with Sarah Mallery.
RWM – “Welcome one and all to the fabulous author Sarah Mallery, I am so pleased you have taken some time to talk to me today. What is your current genre? What made you chose this subject?”
SM – “Actually, I would say my book encompasses two genres––historical fiction, and also a modern story. The chapters go back and forth between 20th century American history, and a late 1990’s heroine. In other words, it doesn’t strictly follow the formula for either one. As for why I chose this subject, it is because I love U.S. history, all facets of it, and I also like the idea of getting into the heads of our ancestors––what they were like, how they behaved.”
RWM – “I love historical fiction and 20th century America, your book already sounds like a best seller to me. Could you please tell me what your current book or work about?”
SM – “Unexpected Gifts is about a young college student, Sonia, who seems to be making some wrong choices in her life. Her mother leads her upstairs to a family trunk, well-stocked with their ancestors’ stories and mementos. As she begins to pour through her family’s diaries and journals involving America’s 20th century: the Vietnam War, Woodstock, and Timothy Leary era; Tupperware parties, McCarthyism, and Black Power; the Great Depression, dance marathons, and Eleanor Roosevelt; the immigrant experience and the Suffragists. The book alternates between Sonia’s life and her discovery of the past, and with each new ancestor revealed, she unconsciously learns something from them. Back and forth the book continues, dovetailing her family’s triumphs and failures with modern life until finally, she gains enough clarity to make the right choices.
RWM – “This sounds like a book I could pick up and read over, thanks I will be getting myself a copy ASAP! Who is your favorite author? Can you recommend one of their books?”
SM – “I have so many, but one of them would definitely be Harper Lee. Her only published book, To Kill a Mockingbird, had a profound effect on me, both in school and many years later, for her elegant simplicity, and her touching subject matter.”
RWM – “To Kill a Mocking Bird makes me cry a fabulous story that definitely makes you think. How long have you been writing?”
SM – “I started on the late side, after I had been a wife and mother for various years before I first attempted to write a short piece. That actually evolved into one of the short stories in my upcoming collection, Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads.”
RWM – “You can never be on the late side of life, it’s good that you took the plunge and went into writing, I have read a short story or two and must admit I love it sometimes just being able to sit and read a story in a night. Sarah, do you have any pet hates?”
SM – “I really despise people whose greed and self-involvement trumps everything. To be honest, I could say a lot more, but have decided not to be political in public!!”
RWM –“LOL I understand exactly what you are saying, I agree with you absolutely. Tell me a quality you really like about yourself?”
SM – “I guess (and have been told) that would be that I really care about people. In fact, so much so that recently, for my own piece of mind, I’ve had to back off somewhat from always ‘being there’ for every person in need. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day!!”
RWM – “There is nothing wrong with being a good person, but agreed sometimes others tend to take you from things you should be doing yourself I must admit from what I know of you, you are a fab lady, let’s hope if you ever need help people will be as generous as you are. What do you hope to achieve in your life, from your writing?”
SM – “I hope that people will read my books, enjoy them for their characters, plots, and knowledge, and then spread the word…”
RWM – “ I am sure they will. Please can you tell us more information so we can buy your work, sell your book! What is your favorite work? What is its link so people can buy it? Tell me about it and why you believe people should buy it?
SM – “My current book, Unexpected Gifts is my ‘favorite’, although when the next one, Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads comes out, then I figure that will be my favorite!
I have gotten a lot of great feedback from people who have liked/loved how I let them in on U.S. history without them feeling as if it was a history lesson. They have also commented on how they will never think about their own ancestors in the same way, and now see how important they are in our general makeup.”
RWM – “Sarah thanks so much for this information. Do you believe that big authors can charge too much for their eBooks?”
SM –“Yes, I think sometimes that’s true. I have bought big authors’ books at heftier prices and regretted it. Then, I’ve turned around and read unknown authors for free and been blown away. It’s interesting… my publisher did warn me that if my eBook was too expensive, as an unknown author, I wouldn’t do as well as a big author would. Nature of the beast and all that.”
RWM – “Totally agree with you, I think unknown authors really get a bad deal. So will you please tell me a little about yourself, what made you become an author and do you have a job besides writing?”
SM – “I suppose I became an author (although I was at first very intimidated about doing so) due to my ancestral influences. Growing up, I was surrounded by writers. My father was a television writer during the Golden Age of Television as well as the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s; my grandfather, an historian, my great uncle, a poet. In addition, my mother, aunts, uncles, and cousins were authors and journalists. Although I resisted for many years, the Scribbler Pull was obviously too overpowering. When I finally tried writing my very first piece, it was like a drug, and I’ve never looked back!
My ‘other’ job is as an ESL instructor to adult immigrants. I love my students, and have found that the combination of tapping into my creativity coupled with sharing my knowledge with gracious, hard-working people trying to be a part of the United States is perfect for me. One job is creative and self-indulgent, the other outgoing and giving. Makes me a happy camper!”
RWM – “Thanks so much for joining me tonight Sarah, it really has been an absolute pleasure to meet you, may I wish you all the success you deserve in your career as a writer, you have been a fabulous guest.
Much love to you.”