We are thrilled to announce that we’ve signed author, Sara Beth Williams for her contemporary romance, SECOND CHANCES. She’s here today to answer some questions so we can all get to know her a bit better.
1. Welcome, Sara Beth! Thanks for stopping by to chat with us. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m married, going on ten years this June. We have two beautiful girls, ages 2 and 6. I’ve been saved by Christ since the age of 14. Some things you may not know about me: I can twist balloon animals and all kinds of other creations. I ran my own entertainment business balloon twisting for birthdays for a couple years. Secret wishes of mine: 1: I wish I could paint and take amazing photos, but alas, my gift is turning beautiful images I see or imagine into words instead. 2: I wish I could learn how to fence.
2. Tell us a bit about the book that will be published by Anaiah Press.
My debut novel is the redemption story of a teenaged boy named Jay Mathews. Through a reckless mistake of drinking while driving, he ends up running over another teenage girl at the age of 16. After serving time in prison and accepting Christ through the guidance of a Prison Fellowship volunteer, he returns to society a brand new man and strives to put his mistake and old lifestyle behind him.
Through a friend of his church college group, he meets Lacey Bennett, a beautiful, spunky, non-believer who doesn’t want anything to do with Christian men. Regardless, he pursues her, and they begin to date. As they grow closer to one another, Jay longs to share how much God changed his life, but that would mean revealing his status as an ex convict. Meanwhile, Lacey harbors her own secrets. When Lacey reveals information that leads Jay to discover a detrimental connection to her past, he grapples with the decision of whether to break her heart with the knowledge of who he is and let her go, or live a lie.
3. When and why did you start writing?
I’ve always loved writing. As a pre-teen and teenager, I wrote countless stories, mostly based off books I’d read or read aloud to me in my classes at school. One of the longest stories I wrote out as a teenager was a story based around Little Women. I also write poetry.
At 18, I began to craft this very story that will soon be released, but at the time, I couldn’t decide in which genre it should be placed in. At that age, I did not want to write Christian fiction; looking back, I think I needed to gain more maturity in my faith, and in life experiences. Nor did I want to write romance because what little romance books I’d explored as a teen had too much promiscuity for my liking. I already knew I wasn’t that kind of writer. So, I let the first portion of the story sit for several years before picking it back up again in 2014.
4. Is this your first book? How many have you written? How many have you published?
This is my debut novel. It’s part of a three book series. Book 2 is already in beta reading stages and my 3rd book is currently under revision. I actually have multiple other works in progress as well.
5. That’s fantastic. So, tell us a bit about your journey to publication.
I picked this story idea back up in 2014 after reading through several new Christian Romance stories that greatly inspired me. I spent six months finishing the manuscript, then worked on the two sequels simultaneously. In 2015 I began to query. I had some interest from Pelican book group, but after 9 months of back and forth, they ultimately gave me an ultimatum. Cut 25,000 words or say goodbye. (Of course, they put it much more eloquently.) So, I chose to continue querying with other companies. I received a handful of other offers of interest. I chose Anaiah Press because, although they are small, they already have several other contemporary Christian romances and they’re unwaveringly Christ-centered. I’m thrilled to be here, and hope that I can add more genuine, high quality books to their repertoire.
6. Yes, He certainly does! What are some of your favorite books / authors?
Hallee Bridgeman, a contemporary Christian romance author, is one of my favorites and one of the authors who, through her Jewel Series, inspired me to begin writing toward publication. I have a huge list of favorite authors, but here’s a handful: Amanda Tru, Becky Wade, Ann Brashares, Lynn Austin, Nadine Brandes. Rachel Hauk, Kara Isaac.
Favorite books of all time: The Count of Monte Cristo, The Shoemaker’s Wife, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series.
7. What are some of your favorite movies / TV shows?
My two most recent favorite movies: Moana and Tangled. I’m also a huge fan of all the Pixar movies, and Pirates of the Caribbean movies. As for TV shows, that’s hard to say, because I watch so much children’s television (with my littles). I enjoy Fuller House at the moment.
8. Where do you find inspiration for your books?
I find inspiration through music and song. I love Christian music, but I even find inspiration through non-Christian music. Two of my upcoming works-in-progress feature musicians.
I also find inspiration and confirmation for writing through sermons, and through fiction books I have read, and through reading Scripture. Lastly, like every writer I am sure, I find inspiration for my stories through life experiences.
9. Describe your perfect day of relaxation.
I’d begin the day with a lovely breakfast uninterrupted with hot coffee, and eggs with potatoes and cheese, or a muffin or sweet bread (pumpkin spice bread anyone?) Maybe on a balcony overlooking the beach. Then, I’d love to spend a couple hours writing in front of a sunny window. Afterward, I’d love to eat lunch with my hub and the girls and then spend time on the beach in the sand and the surf. I’d love to explore the beachside shops, (San Luis Obispo, CA, San Clemente, CA, or South Beach, FL come to mind) then grab a snack; ice cream or something sweet. We’d spent the rest of the afternoon at the beach, then go out to dinner at a little restaurant on the pier. Afterward, we’d all take a walk on the beach at sunset and catch the last rays in the waves (assuming we’re on the west coast).
Then it’s back to our room for a light-hearted movie—and for me, more hours of writing after everyone else sleeps, which is my favorite time to write because everything is quiet and my mind is much more awake.
10. Where can readers learn more about you?
Please, feel free to check out my blog, where I post book reviews, writing advice, and other tidbits. Also, please get to know me through any of these platforms below! I look forward to connecting with new authors and new readers!
Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads
Got a question for Sara Beth? Leave it in the comments!