Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get started writing?
And before we begin, thanks for the interview and the lovely support.
I’ve been writing my entire life, so I think the urge was always in me. However, I used to have a real job. A professional one. One of those jobs where people go to meeting and do reports and things are very business-like. I loved it, but I totally felt like something was missing from my life.
My brother died suddenly in his sleep one day and after that I remember thinking, “What if I die before really doing what I want with my life?” And after that I knew I needed to start checking some stuff off my list and one of them was to write a book, which turned into books and now is an obsession.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
When I’m not writing then I’m thinking about writing. Promoting my books. And very rarely I’m socializing. I have a four-year old daughter and love to take her on random adventure.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)
Ren, is my most recent book and series. It’s a dark fantasy about a sociopath with too much power. Most readers find Ren strangely likable although he has an abrasive nature. Currently, I have ten books spanning the YA and NA genres. I have two more in the works to make it an even dozen.
What genre is it and what is it about?
I love to write YA and NA and I’m slowly gravitating into the adult genre. I also write everything from light sci-fi to dystopian. I’ve found that switching genres helps my writing to evolve and ensures I don’t regurgitate ideas.
What inspired you to write this book?
Ren Lewis first appeared on the pages of my debut novel, Awoken. I have no idea where he came from or why his snarky dialogue was incredibly easy to write. He’s one of those characters who will give others lifesaving advice while also criticizing them.
After that book, he just kept appearing in the other books. He is now in nine of my twelve books. And he quickly became a fan favourite, so that’s why I decided to make him a main character of his own novel. I felt like it was time to tell Ren’s story.
Just as your books inspire authors/books, what authors/books have inspired you to write?
The Great Gatsby was the book that started my love affair with literature. After I read that I knew I wanted to write a book someday. Then I read Hunger Games and knew I needed to explore the dystopian genre. And I’m also a huge Doctor Who fan. There was one time I was watching an episode and I thought, “Gosh, I need to entertain people. I need to keep working until I find a way to transport people like this show does.” So those are the inspirations.
Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
Here’s the kookiest thing about me: I write while working out. That’s right, I’ve written almost five books while spinning miles on the bike at the gym. I also can write on the treadmill and elliptical, but I’ve been having better luck with typing on my phone while sitting down.
It’s quite peculiar and probably weird to watch, but it means that I find time to do both. And I think movement helps with the creative flow.
Are you a plotter or a pantster (writing by the seat of your pants)?
My name is Sarah Noffke and I’m a recovering panster. I now plot.
With my first series, The Lucidites, I mostly went the panster route. Actually the first book was done completely without an outline. I did sketch out a few ideas for the other books. And you know the most chilling thing to me was there were complex plots that started in the first book and reared up in the final book. It was incredible to me. I had no idea how that happened. That’s the magic of being a writer though.
Anyway, although it worked out, now I make outlines. They aren’t detailed, but they do give a framework for a book and the series. I never follow it completely and usually find that a few storylines have appeared out of nowhere, but I prefer the outline method now.
The plain fact is that I find it to be more efficient, provides less worry as I write and makes for a better final product. My first novel was rewritten a dozen or so times and I fear that was because I had no idea where I was going as I wrote.
What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
So I’d say that aspiring authors need to know which people to give a ton of attention to and who to ignore. Let me explain. As writers, we are weird. Most writers I know are a little eccentric. Most are too smart for their own good. Their jokes fly over people’s heads. This is a great thing actually.
Writers, I think you should be pushed indoors by society’s judgmental eye. Go into your space and write. Channel. Ignore the people who don’t get you and write.
As mentioned above: I wrote my last three books on the treadmill. Yep. It works for me, really gets the juices flowing. Anyway, I walk on a treadmill at a gym with lots of people around me. And usually I’m typing on my phone, babbling to myself, and making random exclamations. I’ve gotten more than a few looks because of abrupt laughter or a gasp. Yes, my writing surprises me sometimes. Anyway, I don’t care what most people think and it keeps me writing and that keeps me sane.
Here’s the other part of this: Ignore what some people think. But you need to pay attention to other people. Pay attention to your editor. If they tell you your script needs work here or there, then take it. They know. You’re too close to it.
And same goes for your beta readers. No, they don’t get everything, because unfortunately they aren’t in your head. But if they’re confused, it’s because you forgot something. So heed their advice.
Pay attention to reviews. Not all reviews, but the ones that appear constructive. Learn something and realize that your first book or your first series, isn’t the last one. You can learn something. You can change. You can improve. And then one day, you’ll blow them away…all because you listened.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Philip Pullman, the author of His Dark Materials, is one of my favorite of all time. His writing isn’t just entertaining, it’s brilliant. There are things in his books that stayed with me for so long, and he’s probably the reason I fell in love with young adult books.
What is your biggest fear?
That I’ll die before I’ve shared all the music that’s in me. Dr. Wayne Dyer, who recently passed, says, “Don’t die with your music still in you.” That’s what inspired me to write and keeps me going every day. I have stories that need to be told.
Do you recall your dreams? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?
I have a reoccurring dream that I’m in a college biology class and it’s halfway through the term and I don’t have the book and haven’t studied. Midterms are about to start and I’m panicked. This is my own type A personality worrying about messing it up, even though it’s been ten years since I was in college.
Sarah Noffke writes YA & NA sci-fi fantasy and is the author of the Lucidites, Reverians, Ren and Vagabond Circus series. She holds a Masters of Management and teaches college business courses. Most of her students have no idea that she toils away her hours crafting fictional characters. Noffke’s books are top rated and best-sellers on Kindle. Currently, she has eight novels published and a new series scheduled for release early Spring 2016. Her books are available in paperback, audio and in Spanish.
Sarah Noffke’s Titles:
- The Lucidites series (YA sci-fi fantasy)
- Awoken, Stunned, Revived
- The Reverians series (YA dystopian)
- Defects, Rebels, Warriors
- Vagabond Circus (YA fantasy)
- Suspended, Paralyzed, Released
- Ren Series (NA urban fantasy)
- The Man Behind the Monster, God’s Little Monster (expected for publication summer 2016)
Connect with Sarah at:
- Website: http://www.sarahnoffke.com
- Blog: http://www.sarahnoffke.com/2016/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/officialsarahnoffke/?ref=hl
- Twitter: @RealSarahNoffke
- Instagram: @sarahnoffke
- Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Jg6y7y
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9830676.Sarah_Noffke