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Friday, November 10, 2023

It's Beginning to Read Like Christmas 2023 - Author Interview with Sara Breaker

How did you come up with the idea for your Christmas book? Could you give a short synopsis on the book for my readers?

My new sweet holiday romance is entitled Crushing on You. If you remember the 1984 teen romance movie Sixteen Candles, it's based on that. In Crushing on You, the average girl and the popular jock are now grown-ups. Ingrid is a PhD candidate working on her dissertation, which just so happens to be about her biggest crush ever, the most popular guy in her high school. Here's the tagline: "He was her biggest high school crush. Now, he's the subject of her Ph.D. Goal: Don't get distracted."

The story of Crushing on You has been simmering in my brain in different versions for over a decade. Because of its similarities to my own experiences, I really wanted to do it justice. Many of my books have a "nerd+jock" couple because when I was in school, I was always the nerd crushing on the popular jock too. Several flashbacks from the book actually happened in real life. Though I admit, I was definitely not as brave as Ingrid. I am very glad she has her happily ever after!Here's the blurb: A pragmatic grad student must decide what's real. Her robust and comprehensively analyzed theory on "love." Or what's staring her right in the face.

Driven, competitive, and single-minded Ph.D. candidate Ingrid Harmon can help you get over him. Using the best scientific methodologies, her latest paper provides a comprehensive analysis to explain how you most likely never even really liked him to begin with.

Who cares if her condescending soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend kicks her off the most important sociology dissertation of her life because he thinks her revolutionary ideas are too fluffy?

She can just return home to do her own study and get all her answers. Nothing can stop her.

Until she needs to test her theories on Connell Matthews, her very first and biggest, stupidest crush ever. It doesn't help that Connell has grown hotter in the last seven years or that maybe he's no longer the immature playboy jock from high school.

But Ingrid is not an insecure sixteen-year-old nerd anymore either. Surely, she would have no problems staying focused to complete her paper, right...?

Will Ingrid's theory fall flat on its face or will her experiment fail...successfully?

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?
One of my favorite things about Christmas are the decorations. I'm one of those people who put up our Christmas tree way early, take it down way late, and listen to Christmas music at odd times of the year. It just never fails to make me feel better no matter what life throws at me. Since I was younger, I've loved to see the Christmas lights everywhere: on the streets, other people's houses, in the shops. They are always so cheery and festive. Christmastime is such a cozy, hopeful, feel-good time. I love it!

What’s next for you in writing? 

Crushing on You is the first book in my new small-town holiday romance series entitled Hale Valley Sweet Romance. I'll be working on the next book for this. Here's the series tagline: "Step into the cozy little town of Hale Valley where life is easygoing, the season is always of perpetual hope, and romance is never far away."

But before that, I'll be working on an opposites attract romantic comedy set in Hollywood under my rom-com pen name "Sara Bellcamp" slated for release late 2024. It's a follow-up to my rom-com debut "When They Do", an opposites attract, friends-to-lovers wedding rom-com where the hot playboy groomsman falls in love with the one girl he can't have: his best friend's ex.

What’s the best writing tip you’ve learned or been given you’d like to share?
Write what you love. I love sweet, simple stories with happy endings. I love snarky banter and dry, light-hearted humor. I love quirky, offbeat characters who maybe don't have everything figured out quite yet but who grow into their best selves anyway. If I didn't write what I loved and enjoyed what I was doing, it would be so much tougher to get through those bad days that inevitably come along. Another thing I've learned is that what appeals to one reader might not appeal to another, so I know not everyone will like my books but that's okay! Everyone's journeys and goals are different.

What do you know now about writing and publishing you wish you had learned sooner?

I think I was overall too excited when I started out - putting books out before I did enough research on how to do it properly. Also when I started out being an author, I tried to do this all by myself, but I've realized that it does help a lot if you find a supportive author community to be a part of, get feedback from (very important), and celebrate successes with!

Any last words or tips?
If you're an author, just keep writing. Keep learning. Learn to get better. Then keep writing some more. If you're a reader, thank you so much for supporting indie authors. For me, the best part of being an author is connecting with wonderful people who are willing to open these doors and share in our worlds, and relating to readers whom across the billions of other people just possibly "gets" our unique brand of weirdness.

Are there any other books that you’d like to tell my readers about?
Having grown up in the 90s, my books are largely inspired by the wave of teen movies released in the 90s and early 2000s - some big favorites being "She's All That", "Clueless", "10 Things I Hate About You", and more recently "To All The Boys I've Loved Before." So if you enjoy easy-going, sweet, classic life and love stories such as those popularized by John Hughes and his contemporaries, then you are definitely in good company. A phrase that often comes up in reader reviews for my books is: "Sweet and cute." 🥰 If you're looking for more "sweet and cute" reads, check out my books and maybe find your next sweet read!

That's all for today's interview. If you'd like to learn more about Sara's books, here are some links to get you started.
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