Sarka-Jonae Miller, author of Between Boyfriends
If you were trapped on a desert island, and a magical talking stork could bring you one book (not yours) which would it be?
Well first I’d ask the stork to bring me a satellite phone, but if he only brings books I would go with The Chronicles of Narnia – seven awesome books in one. I loved those stories as a child and as an adult. I discover something new every time I read them.
Which authors influenced/influence you most?
I read a variety of books in different genres, but the only book I have finished so far is chick lit so I guess I’d have to narrow down my influences to that genre. I’d say Risa Green has been a big influence. Her main characters are not all sugar and spice and everything nice, nor do they always hold the popular opinions. I respect Risa Green for writing outside of the box. I also think that Sophie Kinsella/Madeline Wickham is an influence. She has certainly shown that one person can write with very different styles in the same genre, which I think helped influence me to play around with my style and find my voice. Emma McLaughlin, Nicola Kraus and Lauren Weisberger have influenced me too. They all have a rather unique, sometimes cutting and sometimes cutesy, sense of humor.
What made you go indie?
I felt that my book was ready to be published and it was taking too long to find a large publishing house to print it. I’m also working on the sequel and figured I’d better get book 1 out there soon or the series would start backing up and feel dated.
What’s your favourite part of indie publishing?
You can do almost everything yourself nowadays and retain full creative control. I love that. Even if I signed a deal with a major publishing house in the future I would be in a better bargaining position having gone the indie route first and gaining some success on my own.
What’s your least favourite part?
It takes a lot more time to get people to hear about your book without the clout and marketing budget that major publishers bring. I also dislike that so many people won’t even consider self-published books or books published by small publishers for reviews or awards. It’s hard to get noticed with so many people unwilling to even look at your book .
Summarise your writing style (or books) in 100 words or less:
I love to write with a lot humor. Sometimes my humor is dry or sarcastic, but I try to make things fun. Between Boyfriends is unique because it has a lot of the fluff and silliness that other chick lit books offer, but it deals with some deep issues and emotional pain. I really like to combine entertainment with realism and insight.
If you were offered a book-deal would you take it?
Probably. I think Between Boyfriends would make a great movie and it would have a much better chance getting there with help from a large publishing house. However, I would not take the book deal if it meant I had to change the ending or shorten my three-book series. I firmly believe that characters should develop in a believable timeline. My main character, Jan, is truly a sweet person inside but needs years to fix the type of insecurities and issues she has. Watching her grow and learn and repair relationships overtime is part of the fun. When she finally gets her happy ending it will seem real and more importantly she will have earned it. Would it have been as satisfying if Big and Carrie worked everything out in season 2 of Sex and the City? Not at all. We watched them grow and struggle for 10 years (in TV/movie time) before they finally got together. It takes as long as it takes.
Why should someone pick-up your book(s)?
Between Boyfriends can appeal to many types of people. If you’re just looking for something really funny to read quickly at the beach or on a trip, it’s great for that. If you’re looking for something a bit deeper but not too heavy, it works on that level too. Between Boyfriends isn’t a fairytale, but it will make you laugh out loud and pretty much anyone can relate to Jan’s struggles, whether it’s heartbreak, financial difficulties, searching for what makes you happy, trying to figure out your career path, or just not always knowing how to relate to people.
What format is it available in and where?
Between Boyfriends is available as an ebook in all formats at Smashwords and can also be found at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads and other ebookstores like Diesel, Kobo, iTunes and Sony. I am working on an audio book, which should be available later in 2012 along with the next book in the series.