Sarah Billington is an Australian writer and editor who likes to write stories with love, laughs, suspense and zombies. Sometimes all in the same story. Her favouritest thing to write about are those horrendously awkward moments that come with being a teenager. Or a human being. Sarah was extremely accident-prone and klutzy as a kid and teen, so her cup runneth over with experiences of horrendously awkward moments to draw from in her writing. Thankfully, she has grown out of her klutziness. Mostly.
She loves a variety of random things, which include dogs, swing dancing, ice hockey, fly ball, weekend markets and she is a bit obsessive about paranormal investigation shows and channel E!.
Stalk the Author:
Sweet or savory? Sweet!
The Gilmore Girls or Parenthood? Gilmore Girls
Cats or Dogs? Dogs. Definitely. I’m such a dog lover, you have no idea.
Harry Potter or Draco Malfoy? Harry
Tacos or Burritos? Burritos
Can you tell use about your upcoming book, Over It?
Sure can! It’s summer and Poppy’s royalties for penning the surprise hit song The Kiss Off are in. She knows exactly what she’s going to do with it, too: Academy of Lies are playing at Bay Fest so she’s taking her best girl friends camping at the beach-side music festival to make some amazing memories.
Well. Um. She makes some memories, anyway.
What was your favorite scene to write in Over It?
There is a scene in which Poppy and her friends go swimming at the beach, and just as everyone is staring at Poppy, she gets dunked by a wave and her bikini top is sent to the shore without her. It’s embarrassing and typically Poppy. I think the scene came out really well. 🙂
I have to say, the covers for your books are gorgeous! How much control did you have over them?
Thank you! I’m really happy with them and am proud of how they turned out. I actually had COMPLETE control over their design. I made them myself!
You’ve written quite a few books. How do you make that transition from ending one book to starting another?
Most of my published titles are short stories, some of which I wrote years ago and some of which I wrote for specific purposes. When I have a clear ending in mind it’s easy to go from one to the next.
With novels it can be a bit harder, as I work on them for so long that it can be hard to say goodbye to characters and move on. And sometimes the opposite can happen and I feel the need to take a breather from one world and do something completely different. Right now I have a new, completely different book idea in a different genre that I’m developing, but I still have work to do on Over It and there will be a third book in The Kiss Off series, plus I’m really close to finishing the first draft of a completely OTHER book that I’d like to release this year as well. It’s a juggling act.
Do you ever experience writers block? How do you work around that?
A couple of years ago I was very much of the “writer’s block doesn’t exist” frame of mind, but now…
Actually, no. I’m going to rephrase that. I still have ideas and projects to work on. I have lots of them, but at this time I have other, higher, priorities which has stopped me from writing. And once you stop it can be really difficult to get started again. But I will when things calm down. And how to get around it? I think it’s going to be a case of butt in chair, teamed with scheduling time for writing, starting small and not expecting too much from myself to begin with. And using Write or Die. Write or Die works every time.
What has been the best compliment you’ve received, so far?
That they’ve laughed out loud every other page, that they’ve read my books not once or twice but multiple times, that they can relate to the characters, that they wish they were friends with Poppy… people say some really lovely things. I’m especially proud of making people laugh out loud when reading. It’s tough to do so I think it’s quite an accomplishment. I embarrassed someone on her daily commute because she was laughing so much in public that she had to stop reading. I love that. 🙂
What advice do you have to aspiring authors?
Keep writing. Write what you want to read. Don’t publish too soon – you can only debut once, so make sure your debut is your best work, it’s what readers are going to remember you for. And don’t get too caught up in the administration and marketing side of the business – if you’re not careful, it can take up all your time so that you don’t have time to write your next book!
As an Indie author, what have been your personal struggles throughout your writing career?
The last question really leads into my answer here: I kind of hate all the administration involved and tend to put it off a lot. Like updating titles on distributors (e.g. Amazon) and loading my books onto new distribution venues. I have a lot of titles so it takes a lot of time. Also, marketing and distribution in general. It would be great to have someone else who could handle turning my ebooks into paperbacks and audio books and getting into schools and libraries and book shops. It’s all complicated and mundane, and takes away from writing time and the joy of the job, but it’s necessary.
I also have trouble with making decisions at plot forks. Which direction should I take in the book? How do I know this is the more interesting direction? Have I done the right thing? I second guess myself a lot, but I guess that’s just a part of my process.
What is currently in your TBR pile?
So many books, OMG. I just finished These Broken Stars by Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman. It was fab. Those trixy ladies do this THING in the book that will shock you. You’ll know it when you see it. I’m also in the middle of reading Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout and Ashfall by Mike Mullin and I’m really excited to start Demons of the Rich and Famous by Tawny Stokes. Sounds like a really clever premise. I start multiple books at the same time which is a habit I want to break (but I’m just too impatient – there are so many amazing sounding books!) and I really want to finish these before starting the next one. 🙂
When sixteen year old Poppy Douglas writes a song about her ex-boyfriend Cam and ex-friend Nikki, she has no idea that her heartbreak is about to go global.
A local band picks up her song from Youtube and soon she’s along for the ride with her own fanbase as they blow up on the local club scene and hit the international charts. Though it turns out leaving Cam behind isn’t as easy as she had hoped.
Tangled in a web of unfinished homework, ill-considered sexting and a new lead-singer boyfriend, Poppy has a choice to make between the ex that inspired it all and the rock God whose poster lines the inside of half the lockers at school. But as she struggles to keep her emotional dirty laundry private, she learns that the truth can be hard to find when your life is in the headlines.
Warning: Sexual References, occasional coarse language.
Teen Youtube song writing sensation Poppy Douglas’s lead singer boyfriend Ty’s been criss-crossing the country and living it up on tour for months while Poppy has been stuck in the boring suburbs, finishing out the school year.
But it’s Summer now, and the best thing just happened: Poppy’s royalties for writing the hit song The Kiss Off just came in. She’s minted, and she knows just what she’s going to blow it on.
Ty’s band Academy of Lies are headlining a summer music festival, and Poppy is taking her girlfriends along for the best weekend of their lives. It’s all organized: the weekend is going to be full of camping under the stars, backstage passes, VIP rooms and partying like rock stars, not to mention some long awaited one-on-one time with America’s favorite front man.
Except, when someone drops out of the trip and Poppy takes the opportunity to mend a broken friendship, it doesn’t quite go according to plan. And when she meets her boyfriend’s BFF from another band, the paparazzi form their own totally wrong conclusions. There’s also the matter of Ty’s ‘super fan’ stalker, but the less said about her the better.
The biggest test of all comes in the form of an opportunity too good to pass up. But will insecurities and jealousy stand in Poppy’s way? Can Poppy and Ty’s relationship even survive it?
Life is about to get much more complicated for Poppy Douglas, but what can you expect when your boyfriend is a rock star?
THE KISS OFF 2 is coming 2013.
Purchase the Books:
Book Depository – The Kiss Off paperback only
Fishpond – The Kiss Off paperback only