Sara Harricharan is a creative young woman with a passion for writing. She has written nearly 200 poems, over 150 short stories, two complete novel manuscripts-with a third one in the works. Her talent shines in mystery writing, sci-fi stories and fantasy novels. Those of us who had the pleasure of meeting Sara at the FaithWriters conference would describe her as a total sweetheart who is rarely seen without a smile on her face. Join me as I get to know Sara a little better.
LYNDA: Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
SARA: I absolutely adore my family and am thrilled to have their support in my artistic tendencies. As the only girl in a family of five, things are always interesting! I graduated this past spring with an Associate in Liberal Arts and am now going for my Bachelors in English. I’m excited, stressed and relieved at the same time—and yes, it is possible to experience all three of those in the same moment!
LYNDA: When did you realize your love for writing?
SARA: Ah, tough question. I started writing after being told by someone that I absolutely could not write. I was about nine years old at the time and took offense at such a statement. I sat down with a legal notepad and a blue ballpoint pen and began writing.
Thanks to English class, by fourth grade, I learned to dabble in poetry and by fifth grade, I’d stumbled across the amazing “short story.” Most of my younger years of writing produced some interesting “songs” and poetry. In sixth grade, we had creative writing prompts as homework assignments and I finally wrote my first short story about a pair of divers trapped in an underwater cave. It was the first snippet of writing that I had ever completed for the sheer joy of it. The creative high was addictive, especially when I realized that I could write what I wanted to read. Incidentally, I didn’t write any more stories after that, but returned to poetry until I ran into Sue Dent in 2006 and was introduced to Faithwriters. After a few weeks of the writing challenge, I started playing around with the short story again and have been writing ever since. If the constant chatter of characters in my head is any indication, I don’t think I’ll stop any time soon!
LYNDA: You’re so young and yet you’ve accomplished so much already. You’re a three-time winner of NaNoWriMo. For those who may not know what NaNo is, can you explain it a bit? What novels did you spend this time working on and what is the status on all three now?
SARA: NaNoWriMo=National Novel Writing month. I cannot recommend this writing adventure enough! The idea is to write a novel of at least 50,000 words during November. Folks from all around the world participate and the feeling is just fantastic. There is no actual writing on the work itself until November 1st and by the end of the month, you have 50k or more words. No editing is allowed; the idea is to write the story out, a goal that is realistically achieved by writing 1667 words a day! The support during this particular month is unbelievable, which is what really makes the experience worthwhile. Not to mention, there are also cute web icons, a fancy certificate and recently, all verified winners receive a coupon for a free, printed proof copy of their novel through createspace. Nano 2010 will be my fifth year and I’m really looking forward to it.
For me, it is a creative vacation! I have so many ideas and stories in my head, that NaNo just gives me the opportunity to sit down and write at least one story from start to finish. Arguably though, that has only served to cause some of my most recent ideas to start petitioning for sequels.
The status of my top three NaNo novels: I have the Child Rescuer from 2007 in the editing stage. From 2008, I have Tears of Muse, that was finally ended as a “Part 1” because there is just too much to the story, so it is finished and in need of edits and beta-reads. Faceless, my precious 2009 creation—has been my pride and joy for this year as it has also reached a “Part 1” point and to date, is my longest NaNo novel at 148k. Although Faceless is my favorite, I have decided to let it sit for awhile before I start edits and tweaks. My plan is to have these three in print some day soon. I will do my best to work on them until that wonderful day arrives. ^_^
LYNDA: You mentioned that author, Sue Dent, introduced you to FaithWriters. Tell us how that happened. And what does the site mean to you?
SARA: Yes, I found Faithwriters in 2006, thanks to the wonderful, amazing author, Sue Dent. I was writing my way through a poetry streak, when she happened to read one of my snippets and ordered me enter the weekly challenge. Of course I said “yes, ma’am” and haven’t missed a single topic since then. It has been an amazing part of my writing journey.
Faithwriters is the amazing extended family that does not think I am crazy or otherwise insane for the amount of time and effort I devote to writing. I have learned so much from the comments, encouragement and critiques that I can’t begin to list how wonderful it is. Just to be in the company of so many talented individuals is an excellent place to learn more of writing and then a little beyond that. I was thrilled to meet so many Faithwriters at the conference in Michigan this month and I learned so much from the workshops.
LYNDA: You’re a regular entrant in the FaithWriters Challenge. Do you have a favorite personal entry?
SARA: Off the top of my head, the one that was the most fun to write, I’d say “Silken Sheets.” It was for the In-Law topic, I wrote a character snippet as an entry for a novel-sized idea I was toying with. It captures a mother-in-law/daughter-in-law interaction where the DIL has been rescued from a near-death experience. I love the fact that it has just the tinge of “fantasy” and so much heart inside of it. I plan to expand it someday soon.
LYNDA: What do you feel has been your greatest accomplishment as a writer so far?
SARA: Being able to write memory-stories and actually writing a few. I wanted to write memorial pieces for friends and family that had recently passed on, but didn’t think I was ready. The day I wrote my first memory story, was for a relative based off of my childhood memories. While I couldn’t really remember the writing process, I still remember the feeling afterward. To reread it and find goosebumps traveling up my arms and then witness others with the same reaction is amazing! To be able to share a memory story and see the expressions on people’s faces—I consider that to be my greatest accomplishment.
LYNDA: Where do you see yourself in, say, 5 years from now?
SARA: I would love to see myself with strong grammar superpowers and the super-secret talent of unpredictable creativity. In addition to graduating with honors, I also want to be able to say that I’ve written “hundreds of short stories,” so in five years, I’d love to have quite a few more short pieces to my name and to be a multi-published, best-selling author. It would be a dream come true!
LYNDA: Somehow, with all you’ve accomplished so far, I don’t doubt you’ll achieve all you set out to do, Sara. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Looking forward to seeing all of those NaNo projects in bookstores very soon!
SARA’S BLOG: FICTION FUSE
Learn more about Sara in this FaithReaders.com interview