By Sara Schoen & Taylor Henderson
My name is Sara, I’m 19 years old, and I was born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia. I have always been interested in writing, even started a book in elementary school, but it didn’t get very far. But it wasn’t until high school that my friend, and writing partner, more or less forced me to join an amateur writing site. After some convincing from her, I plucked up the courage and posted one of my stories. While it wasn’t popular at first, I was shocked and overwhelmed by the support of readers on Wattpad, and they gave me the support and confidence to get where I am today. I continued to write religiously for the next three years I was on the website, starting countless stories. I wasn’t worried that they weren’t popular because I had once heard that you shouldn’t be afraid to write crap, because it will make great fertilizer. I can’t wait to start sharing more works and Ideas with you guys!
My name is Taylor, and I was born and raised in Northern Virginia. I have been an adamant reader and writer for as long as I can remember. Writing has been a huge part of my life since I was able to even grip a pencil.
Now I am nineteen years old, and nothing has really changed. I am still a resident of the state for lovers, and I still using writing as my main form of expression. I love the idea that with a few words, all put together in perfect order; I can create a world of my own. I have the ability to create characters who have special talents that I’ve always wanted, or even situations that I’ve never experienced in real life. Writing is the only activity that I seem to excel at. It’s my escape from my average life. A place where I can be who I want to be, go places that I’ve never been, and meet people whom I’ve only met in my dreams. Isn’t that what writing is all about? Finding an escape into another world? Because let’s face it, the world we live in today is crazy, and uncontrollable. I like being in control. I just want to write my own story.
It is my pleasure to welcome Sara Schoen and Taylor Henderson, authors of Bad Publicity, to Room With Books!
What do you do when you are not writing?
Sara – I’m studying for classes or listening to music.
Taylor – When I’m not writing I spend a majority of my time in bed. Either asleep, watching Netflix, eating, or occasionally studying. (When I am writing, I’m still usually in bed.) On the rare occasion that I’m not in bed, I’m either at school, work, or driving around aimlessly.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
Sara – William Johnstone influenced me. My boyfriend had me read some of the books to keep me preoccupied while I was on a trip, and I grew to understand about what we had to lose in a disaster and what it would mean to have gun completely taken away from law-abiding citizens. It allowed me to make some of the first few major changes in my way of thinking, and also inspired me to write so that I could inspire a few more people, and give them a story worth reading.
Taylor – I haven’t had any authors who have influenced me growing up or as an adult, but I have had authors who have influenced my writing. Tami Hoag, Scott Westerfeld, Judy Blume, Sara Shepard, and R.L. Stein are all authors who have influenced my writing in one way or another. I feel that the more I read, the more my writing style is influenced. All of these authors that I have mentioned are very talented writers, and storytellers that a young author can learn a lot from, and I have.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
Sara – I had to sit through so many people telling me “no” for one reason or another. I was either too inexperienced, as I published when I was 19, or they weren’t looking for the book that I had written. It was hard hearing so many no’s and then pushing through until I got that one person who said yes.
Taylor – I think the hardest part is hearing the word, “no” repeatedly. It’s hard when the people that you are sending your book to don’t want it because either it’s not what they are looking for at the time, or because they do not think that the book is ready or strong enough to be published yet.
If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
Sara – Teleportation. That would be the best thing of my life. I could go anywhere in the world and be back before dinner.
Taylor – Teleportation because I am always late, and I think this would make my teachers, Sara, and all of my friends very happy.
What was your first job?
Sara – I still do it actually, I work as a beach tag inspector in New Jersey and have for about seven years now. I basically get paid to ask for tags and learn to be a people person.
Taylor – My first job was as a sales associate at Lakeshore Learning Store where I was a leader of crafts for the kids, a cashier, and an associate. It was a fun job, and I loved it.
Out of all of your characters, which is your favorite?
Sara – It’s a definite tie between Jade of Bad Publicity, and Night Stripe of Suicide Mission because these girls are a part of me. They embody my dreams, wishes, passions, desires, and everything I wish I could be.
Taylor – My favorite character out of all of my books, co-written and solo, has to be either Lena from Better Than Revenge, or Brooke from Bad Publicity. Both girls are strong characters despite the fact that neither are the actual main character of their books. Brooke is fun-loving and free-spirited, and Lena says whatever is on her mind and stands up for herself and her loved ones. I feel like I share those qualities with them, and can relate to them both in many ways.
What does your writing schedule look like?
Sara – I try to write for about two hours a day, and then I edit for about three for the ones that are undergoing major revisions.
Taylor – I aim to write at least one chapter of any story a day, but that doesn’t usually end up happening. I would say that I write the most when I am motivated, so sometimes I’ll write a little every day, and other times I can go days without writing.
Do you both use your OWN experiences?
Sara – Yes, all the time. The good and the bad. I think it makes the book more relatable, and enjoyable.
Taylor – Most definitely. My friends and I are a very interesting bunch of people, so why wouldn’t I use all of our wild experiences together? My inspiration for novels comes from my life. If you write what you know then it will feel more realistic and relatable.
Was it easy to pick the title for your book?
It wasn’t easy. We started just spitting out ideas for the title until we both agreed on one. It took a while until we finally agreed on Bad Publicity.
If you could pick one profession other than author, what would it be? Why does it appeal to you?
Sara – Wildlife Biologist, I love working with animals and have always wanted to work with them.
Taylor – Clinical psychologist or a Victoria’s Secret angel. I would love to listen to people’s problems and find a way to help them through situations where they are unable to help themselves, so being a clinical psychologist would be good for me. On the other hand I have always wanted to be a Victoria’s Secret angel, so that would truly be a dream job.
What are you currently working on?
Sara – I’m working on a spy series (thriller/suspense), editing a mystery book for publication, and writing another teen fiction on my own. Together we are working on the Untamed Hearts series, a kidnap novel, and a few mystery novels.
Taylor – I am currently working on three young adult novels on my own, as well as the Untamed Hearts series, a few mystery novels (one that is almost complete), and a kidnapping novel with Sara.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Chocolate -Sara; Vanilla or Coffee -Taylor
Night owl, or early bird? Early bird -Sara; Night Owl -Taylor
Coffee or tea? Tea -Sara and Taylor
Roller Coasters or Water Rides? Rollercoasters – Sara and Taylor
Swimming in the ocean or a pool? Pool -Sara and Taylor
Walking or fitness club? Walking -Sara; Walking to my bed -Taylor
Any last words?
If you are dedicated to getting published then just keep trying and persevering. You can learn, and grow from rejection, and if you do not put yourself out there then you will never know if you missed out on an opportunity or not. -Taylor and Sara
Thanks you for chatting with our readers and for allowing Room With Books to be part of your cover reveal!
This item will be released on April 21, 2015.
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Strict parents make rebellious teens…
Jade Phillips wasn’t what everyone wanted her to be. She was supposed to be an honor roll student, polite, and most of all, well behaved.
Instead she had a juvie rap sheet as long as her arm, a liver that handled more alcohol than most Irish men, a partying habit that kept her hungover on weekdays, and a bad attitude.
She wasn’t going to change for anyone, or so she thought…
Her father is remarrying, and his future wife, the senator of Virginia, can’t afford to have Jade’s unruly behavior ruin her reputation.
That means no more drugs, alcohol, partying, and most of all, no more arrests, or she will be forced to live with her overzealous grandmother in the middle of nowhere leaving her friends behind. Now Jade has to make a choice, either change for the better, or suffer the consequences. What will she do?
After all, no one’s ever been hurt by a little…