Getting to Know Author Sarah Floyd

Getting to Know Author Sarah Floyd

I was lucky enough to have middle grade author Sarah Floyd visit the blog today!

All About Sarah

3 Little Known or Interesting Things About You

  1. I can ride a unicycle. I learned when I was eleven, and even though it has been a lot of years since then, I can still do it! A few years ago, a nice uni-rider at the park let me try riding his unicycle . . . I was a little wobbly but didn’t fall off. 
  2. I am very health conscious and try to avoid sugar, but I love to bake (and of course I have to sample my own homemade treats!). 
  3. I am a certified scuba diver, and love to snorkel too. 

Hogwarts House

One sorting quiz places me in Gryffindor, and another in Hufflepuff—which makes perfect sense to me! I think many of us are a mixture of more than one House, but if I had to choose one, I think I fit best in Hufflepuff.  

If you or one of your books was the answer on Jeopardy, what do you imagine the question would be? 

What book is about a twelve-year-old girl who discovers that being true to herself means growing wings? 

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? 

I don’t follow the “just get it on the page” philosophy of drafting without re-reading or editing. I always re-read what I wrote the day before, then edit and refine as needed, and then continue writing from there. It helps me ease back into wherever I left off and keeps the voice consistent throughout. I edit again when the whole manuscript is complete, but those mini-editing sessions eliminate a lot of extra work.  

What is the first book that made you cry? 

Charlotte’s Web. I still love that book! A few other books that impacted me emotionally were Where the Red Fern Grows and The Outsiders. 

Does writing energize or exhaust you? 

Ha! A little of both. When I’m actively drafting a new story, I find it difficult to fall asleep at night. Ideas percolate in my mind and it’s hard to shut down until I write some quick notes, so I won’t lose whatever thoughts are keeping me up. I also tend to wake up way too early during the drafting phase, eager to get to my laptop to transcribe the scribbled notes from the night before! Revising is my favorite, where I cut redundancies, add more details where needed, etc., but it doesn’t keep me up at night. 

All About The Books

Tell us about your books-length of time it took to write, journey, publishing details, etc. 

Butterfly Girl took me many years and many drafts before it was ready to be published. I read a lot of books about crafting a novel, and learned about dialogue, story arc, how to use metaphors and other interesting language, and everything in between. When Butterfly Girl was fully polished, I was able to sign with a literary agent, who sold it to Clear Fork Publishing. 

My early drafts were part of a learning process, where I told the story, but didn’t fully understand how to create scenes — to “show not tell”— which means showing through actions, dialogue, and inner thoughts. Here’s an example from the book, where instead of telling the reader how Meghan feels about Danny, I tried to show it: Meghan sighed. “She’s always had a thing for him, maybe he’s finally noticed.” Meghan stared after Danny until the crowd engulfed him. He used to be shorter and kind of skinny. And now he’d let his hair grow out. He had definitely gotten cuter over the summer. 

My second novel, which editors are currently reading, took me a year to write (about 3-4 hours a day), and a few months to edit. After that, my literary agent read it and gave me some additional editing suggestions, and then she began submitting it to editors to read. Hopefully one of them will fall in love with the story and send us a publishing contract. I will keep you posted!  

I have also written a picture book for young children, Ten Clever Ninjas, which was published shortly after Butterfly Girl.  

Favorite line or quote from one of your books. 

“You can’t catch butterfly magic. It has to catch you.” That line popped into my head when I was taking a walk one day, thinking about my hopes and dreams, and considering the idea of maybe someday writing a book . . . I ran home and jotted it down in a notebook, and suddenly a story idea developed, which eventually became Butterfly Girl.  

Describe the character that is most like you. 

The main character, Meghan, is the most like me. In many ways, Butterfly Girl is emotionally autobiographical. It captures the emotions I felt as a seventh grader, about my first crush, friendships, heartaches, and triumphs. 

Advice

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they? 

Read a lot of books! Immerse yourself in stories and words. Every good writer has a foundation in reading a wide variety of books. 

Leave us with some wise words. What advice would you give the readers of this interview? 

Think about keeping an almost daily journal. It doesn’t need to be fancy, my journals were regular 8 x 10 inch spiral notebooks (I kept a journal through middle school, high school, and college). A journal gives you a private place to let your feelings flow, capture memories, and record important conversations and events. It’s a great resource for you as a future author, and writing is like any skill—the more you practice, the better you become.  

Leave some links for us to follow you and buy your books:

Butterfly Girl is available on Amazon: 

Or visit me on my website, for information about my works-in-progress, and links to Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and Amazon. Feel free to send me a message! : ) 

https://www.sarahfloydbooks.com/

I am a middle school English Language Arts and Social Studies teacher.

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