On August 2nd, bestselling author and Georgia-native Sarah Sover careened into the Sci-Fi/ Fantasy cross-genre orbit with her debut, in which a fed up troll incites a heist with her best friend. Nearly a year later, Double-Crossing the Bridge has garnered nation-wide attention—but so has the mastermind behind Granu and the meddling billie goats. Sarah was ahead of the curve from the beginning; in the months preceding her release, the author and mother of two contributed an article to Writer's Digest—beaming encouragement for writers to embrace their weirdness. Later that year, she also made an appearance as a panelist for the Writer's Digest Annual Conference, and appeared again this year at the virtual WD Publishing Your Debut Novel Annual Conference.
Recently, Sarah also generously opened a watering hole for all weird and wacky SF/F authors who aspire write or have written books with a consistent comedic undertone, which a number of Parliament House authors are also members of—including but not limited to Tracy Auerbach (The Fragments Series, Sons of Fire), Kristin Jacques (The Gate Cycle Series), Sydney Paige Richardson (The Halves of Us Trilogy), Chris Patrick Carolan (The Nightshade Cabal), Brianna Sugalski (The Disenchanted Series), Sean Gibson (Upcoming, The Part About the Dragon Was Mostly True).
Tomorrow, July 2nd, Sarah teams up with the wonderful Audiobookworm Promotions to tour her brand new audiobook! Listen HERE!
Here are the stops below, courtesy of Audiobookworm Promotions:
"MULTIPLE STOPS PER DAY.
Jun. 6th: Review copies are distributed.
Jun. 18th: Interview questions due to me.
Jun. 25th: Media packets are distributed via email.
Jul. 2nd: Nesie's Place (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Author Interview) 4 the Love of Audiobooks (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Character Profiles) 2 Girls & A Book (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Narrator Interview)
Below is Sarah's exclusive interview with our Blog Maven, but first—if you haven't yet read DCTB, what are you trolls and goats waiting for? Get your paperback here, your Kindle copy here, or find it at Barnes & Noble.
Hi Sarah, thank you so much for your time and joining us for our interview! It’s an absolute honor. Your debut, Double-Crossing the Bridge, released last August, and almost year later, the audiobook version is out and being toured through the wonderful Audiobookworm Promotions. What a ride—congratulations, how does it feel?
It’s still pretty surreal to be a published author. With the world on fire, it’s a relief to have these moments of celebration. And the audiobook is awesome thanks to the incredible talent of Christopher James, the narrator, so I’m excited that it’s out in the world.
Christopher J. Dusky narrates DCTB; how did you and the Parliament House come to decide who’d be the best fit?
Originally, the ACX listing was for a female narrator, which I understand since both the protagonist and author are female. But I wanted to open it up to everyone, and Parliament House is fantastic about supporting the artistic visions of their authors. The day after the listing was updated, we had CJ’s audition, and it blew me away. Anyone who has had a book published knows that you get sick of your own work after about the quintillionth revision, and I’d begun to question my weird ass humor. Then I heard CJ, and I was in stitches all over again. This was his first full audiobook, but he’s had training and takes great pride in his work. I fully expect to see great things from him in the future. So, the short answer is that there was no question he was perfect for Double-Crossing the Bridge.
Before we get into Granu’s adventure, I know there’s been a lot that’s happened between your release and now. You not only published an article through Writer’s Digest, but were interviewed and appeared as a guest speaker at their 2019 Annual Conference. You’re also a presenter at WD’s debut virtual annual conference this year! How were those incredible experiences, and besides the obvious, how is this year different?
Writer’s Digest has been fabulous to me. They first featured me in the Breaking In column for September 2019’s magazine. Then, they offered the blog spot to me, and I wrote about embracing your weird side as a writer. It seemed to resonate with people, so they invited me to speak at the conference, and it was incredible. I fought through my terror ended up sitting on both the debut and the science fiction and fantasy panels next to some truly great industry professionals. Then, just last week, I gave a presentation called “Kick the Imposter to the Curb” for their online conference. It was pretty meta since the presentation was on how to combat feeling exactly the way I felt giving it—like a total fraud! But I took my own advice, pushed through it all, and have some of the coolest experiences of my life as a reward.
DOUBLE CROSSING THE BRIDGE is Comedic Fantasy gold, in which a recently unemployed troll gets fed up and incites a heist with her playboy best friend. It is a wildly unique take on the Three Billy Goats Gruff; the intricate world of New Metta you’ve created is almost unrecognizable. Where did you get the inspiration for Granu’s tale?
My husband and I were on a car trip, and we just started spitballing ridiculous scenarios at each other (as you do), and we hit upon the idea of fairy tale creatures pulling an Ocean’s Eleven style heist. It naturally evolved into trolls living in a cavern city loosely based on New York, trying to make ends meet while dealing with their own sitcom-esque relationship issues. I thought it was hilarious, and Alex said, “Then write it!” And now that it’s on audiobook, he’s finally experiencing the completed vision!
Is Granu or any of the other cast of characters based on anyone you know in real life? Do you ever pick and choose traits or dialogue from real life acquaintances?
No. There are definitely some How I Met Your Mother style character traits in both Fillig and Kradduk, but there’s no direct base for any of my characters. They kind of take on a life of their own. It happens so organically that I need to circle back to rewrite the first draft with more natural interactions and reactions once I know them better. Granu grows through the story, but she still sucks in a lot of ways by the end if you’re really paying attention.
Community is so important, and for writers this is especially true. On Facebook, you’ve created a Sci-Fi-Fantasy group, awesomely named the “Secret Society of Funny Fucks” (@comedic_SFF on Twitter). Now, this is for Sci-Fi and Fantasy authors who write with a comedic undertone in their manuscripts/ books; if you could invite your dream/ idol comedic fantasy writer or author to participate, who would they be?
We are still in the very early stages of that endeavor, and I’m hoping to grow it significantly. The timing is difficult with such high tensions about so many things happening in the world. Eventually, I want as many authors of comedic sff as possible to band together to unite our little pockets of fans. We’ve got over 30 authors involved so far, from Falstaff Books and Parliament House as well as a few indies and big five debuts. There are some specific authors I would sacrifice a goat to add to our line-up. I keep invoking Christopher Moore on Twitter, and he’s cool enough to reply instead of block my loony ass (so far). I’d also love to have the author of Warm Bodies Isaac Marion, who Parliament House recently interviewed, and of course, the great Neil Gaiman.
How do you hope authors who’ve joined will benefit, and how can they join?
I want to make it easy for all our fans to discover their next hilarious book! Any authors who write comedic SFF can join by reaching out to me or asking to join the facebook group. Right now, my time has been stretched a bit, so I haven’t developed all aspects. The private portion where we talk shop and strategy is on Facebook and the public-facing side is on Twitter for now because those are the places I’m most comfortable. Eventually, I’d like to get some volunteers to run an Instagram and public Facebook page to maximize our reach. I’m working on a big ebook giveaway and hoping to feature a writer every week on all platforms with the ultimate goal to be a beacon for comedic SFF. Visit our pages and find your next hilarious read!
I personally love that tongue-in-cheek undertone in Fantasy and Pseudo-medieval tales. Do you think there’s a rise in demand and popularity for Humorous SFF? As things progress, how do you think current Fantasy audiences will receive comedic relief-like fantasies, like DCTB, Disenchanted, and The Part About the Dragon Was Mostly True, etc?
I do too! I think there’s been a call for it for a long time, but when I was querying, I kept getting told that humor is a hard sell. But if you look across other media, you see it everywhere! Bright, Deadpool, Futurama, Disenchantment, Guardians of the Galaxy, etc. have been thriving. But it feels like, with a few exceptions like Pratchett, Adams, Harrison, and the few I mentioned, finding the book equivalent is difficult. That’s why I wanted to make the comedic SFF group. I know the demand is there, it’s just a matter of connecting with the right readers.
What are some of your favorite humorous Sci-Fi/ Fantasy novels right now?
I really enjoyed Randy Henderson’s Finn Fancy Necromancy and Tom Holt’s An Orc on the Wild Side. The latter has a vibe similar to Double-Crossing the Bridge, and I wish it had released sooner. It would have made coming up with comps much less stressful. Also, a day doesn’t pass in this house without a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference. Just ask my 6yo the answer to the life, universe, and everything. She’ll tell you!
How have you and your lovely family been dealing with COVID and the world situations? Are you currently writing anything that you can tell us about?
We’re in Georgia where nobody is taking it seriously. As a result, I’ve been paranoid, so we’re on pretty strict lock-down. My husband goes to the grocery store 2x a week, masked, and the kids and I spend our days playing in the backyard and watching Disney+. I feel awful telling the 6yo she can’t go to birthday parties and playdates, but she’s awesome at understanding and adapting. She’s even got alternate plans for Halloween and Christmas. In fairness, she has plans for every day, mostly revolving around sweets and David Bowie.
Thank you for your time and insight, Sarah! Where can readers and fans find you? (Social media)