Thursday, March 03, 2011

The RIVAL Giveaway!

We welcome today debut author, Sara Bennett Wealer, to talk about her writing and her novel, Rival. And be sure to check in at the end for details to how to be entered in a giveaway to win a signed copy!

Hello, Sara! Thanks for joining us. Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sal

Sara: I’ve been writing all my life and started my career as a journalist. I’ve since moved into advertising, but novels have always been a way to reserve some creative output just for me. I get to choose what kind of books to write, and so far I don’t have any tight deadlines to meet. This has kept me sane!

I made my first sale after tons of revision and rejection. Another novel came thisclose to selling and then it fell through, so my agent and I went back out with RIVAL. Erica Sussman at HarperTeen, who eventually became my editor, believed in the story and gave me some revision notes before making an offer. I did the revisions because I knew they’d improve the story and because I knew it would help Erica sell the book internally. In the end, it paid off!

Readers and writers often like to get a behind the scenes peek of an author's writing routine. It would be great if you could please share your typical writing day schedule.

Sara: I write at night, after my children are in bed. Once I’ve got everybody squared away, I sit on my living room couch and work. I try to do at least 500 words or 1 hour of editing a night. Usually I do much more than that.

Please tell us about your novel, RIVAL, and what we can expect from your characters.

Sara: RIVAL is about two girls who were once friends but are now enemies and are getting ready to go up against each other in a major singing competition. The book is told from each girl’s point of view, and it tells the story of how their friendship ended, then follows them to the day of the contest. Music plays a big role in the book, but there’s also romance, betrayal, gossip and, as Kirkus so eloquently put it, “bitch slaps.”

My main characters, Brooke and Kathryn, seem to be opposites, but they share a love of music and would be great friends were it not for the events of their junior year. Each girl has qualities that make her likeable but also things that make you want to give her a good shake. The book is about how our own needs and perceptions and insecurities can affect how we see other people, and about how we often let those things get in the way of recognizing our real friends and allies.

What's up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.

Sara: My next published piece will be in the DEAR BULLY anthology that HarperCollins is putting out this year. I’m so honored to be part of this project, which brings together a ton of amazing authors and helps raise funds for anti-bullying causes. I recently finished a book that takes place during sorority rush week – it’s getting some reads, so we’ll see where that goes. And then I have an all-new project that’s just too new to talk about yet!

Wonderful. Would you like to close with a writing tip?

Sara: Don’t wait for inspiration. Just sit down and WRITE!! Even if you don’t feel in the mood. Bang out 500 words, then another 500, then another 500 until you’ve reached the end of your book. If you’d rather watch TV, reward yourself with a show once you’ve hit your daily word goal. If you hit a dead end in one scene, skip ahead to a scene that’s easier to write. And don’t be afraid to write “crap.” You can make everything sound beautiful later, but you’ll never finish a novel until you finish that first draft.

Thank you so much, Sara!

And now, to enter the giveaway to win a signed copy of Rival, because music plays such an important role in this book, leave a comment naming a favorite song! The winner will be chosen at random.

And check back on Monday, March 7th for the winner's name.

23 fresh comments:

Margay said...

I love music! One of my favorite songs is Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis.

jpetroroy said...

I've always loved Wide Open Spaces by the Dixie Chicks :)

Haleb said...

My favorite song is "Home" by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeroes.


Kelly (Lynn) Parra said...

Thanks for sharing with us, Sara!! Rival sounds great!!

Sara said...

Hey there! Thanks so much for having me! Can I share a favorite song? I love 'Sunday Morning Yellow Sky' by October Project!

A Rick said...

Great interview, I have been wanting to read Rival for awhile! One of my favorite songs is "Only One" by Yellowcard.

Pokadots1121 said...

A favorite song of mine is Kings and Queens by 30 Seconds to Mars.
Thanks for the contest!

Yan said...

Just started to get into Ingrid Michaelson's "You and I" :D


Lexie said...

One of my favorite songs at the moment is "If I Die Young" by The Band Perry. It's a beautiful song (even if it is about dying) and country songs always remind me of home (I am from WY after all!)

TinaFerraro said...

Thanks, everyone! I want to jump in and say that the old Beatles' song, Ticket of Ride, stops my clock every time I hear it!

Lissa said...

My favourite song? Last Kiss by Taylor Swift. So gorgeous.

Thanks for the interview!

shyluck13 (at) hotmail (dot) com

Ivy said...

My favorite song at the moment is Just For a Moment by Jason Chen.

Thanks!! :)


I Read Banned Books said...

Thx for the giveaway! Right now, my favorite song to listen to is Sex On Fire by Kings of Leon. ;)

jenbigheart at yahoo dot com

mariska said...

My favorite song 'Can't Take That Away' from Mariah Carey

uniquas at ymail dot com


Between Adele-Someone like you and The XX-Shelter


Llehn said...

Somewhere Only We Know - Keane.

Lasha said...

I love listening to great music, one of my favorite songs is chasing pavements by Adele. Its amaizng :) Thank you for giveaway!!


Laurena said...

My favourite song is REOSpeedwagon's 'Can't Fight This Feeling." It always leaves me feeling so inspired. I love all sorts of music, but this one song always stands out for me.

Jessy said...

One of my all time favorite songs is Let Go by Frou Frou

Janie Emaus said...

Thanks for a great interview.

Ammy Belle said...

Forst off - thanks for that writing tip, it is invaluable! As to music, currently I am obsessed with Jesie J's "Do it Like a Dude" ... :P


Jackie N. said...

My favorite piece is either a Mahler Symhony or anything by Tchaikovsky. But pop wise, I'd say All Love by Ingrid Michaelson. :)

Thanks for the giveaway! Rival is defintely on my TBR list!

Jill of The O.W.L. said...

I love Raincoat by Kelly Sweet! Fav-o-rite!!!!

themgowl at