DCF : So… Who Are You?
Sarah Robinson, Author. Aside from being a Top 10 Barnes & Noble and Amazon Bestseller, Sarah Robinson is a native of the Washington, DC area (DCF: woot woot!! DMV) and has both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in forensic and clinical psychology. She is newly married to a wonderful man who is just as much of an animal rescue enthusiasts as she is. Together, they own a zoo of rescues including everything from mammals to reptiles to marsupials, as well as volunteering and fostering for multiple animal shelters.
DCF: Why do you love what you do? What makes you funemployment?
SR: Have you heard that saying “you’ll never work a day of your life if you love what you do?” Well, that’s pretty much my life. I have always loved writing and expressing my creative side, so being able to do it for a living is better than I ever could have dreamed. Not to mention on the practical side, it’s wonderful to be your own boss, work from home, and make your own schedule! (DCF: And part of the reason I love this series!! I get to show people taking charge of their own lives!!)
DCF: Who was your first mentor and how did you find them?
SR: The author community is small and tight knit, so my village is a lot of women like me who write love stories that lift each other up. I couldn’t possibly be where I am in my career without each and every one of the women who continually push me every day. From day one, however, the first person who ever encouraged me to follow writing as a career was my aunt. She writes screenplays and watching her follow her dreams, inspired me to do the same. Her constant support of me– financially, physically, emotionally–has forever meant the world to me.
DCF: What’s your happy place?
SR: Snuggled in my bed with my husband, watching Netflix or reading a book, with my dogs and cats snuggled around me in the middle of the day on a Sunday. Perfection!
DCF: Where do you get your energy?
SR: Unhealthy amounts of coffee, and quiet time. Truthfully, I need time alone and by myself to recharge my batteries because I’m an introvert through and through. (DCF: So important to know what you need!!) However, I just as much need my support system and women who love me and encourage me every day, even if just enjoying a cup of coffee together.
DCF: What does balance mean to you and how do find it?
SR: Balance is a very hard hurdle to tackle when you are self-employed and working from home. It’s very easy to lose the ability to be “off” work because your home is your office, too. This was definitely something that took me a little time to figure out the first year or so, however, the key to me was to set hours for myself and to create a separate work place in my home. Having those designated times and places makes it a lot easier, but it’s honestly something that’s a struggle every day and just takes mindfulness and discipline to keep track of.
DCF: What sacrifices did you have to make to get here?
SR: Becoming an author full-time is like starting any small business, so while writing is also a large part of it, so is marketing, branding, training, networking, etc. (DCF: So many more moving parts than people realize!) So, like any small business starting off, it takes a lot of time and money in the beginning to really get off the ground and get the right people who can help you to begin to notice you. Doing this was a big sacrifice of time and money, barely living on beans and rice and never seeing friends and family. It was definitely tough, but if it’s something you really want, it’s worth the struggle to get there.
DCF: What struggles have you faced as a women in your industry?
SR: Being a woman in the literary world is a difficult beast. Romance is often written by women for women, and therefore, in the “serious literature” circles, it is often seen as “less than” or frivolous. When writing in non-romance genres, women commonly go by initials rather than their first names, so as to be gender ambiguous because publishers take men more seriously in the literary world, and sales are a lot higher for books written by men rather than women. I wish this wasn’t the case, but that’s our world right now. Hopefully, we can change it soon. (DCF: With two women in the best seller top slots right now I’m hoping the change continues to take hold as well!!)
DCF: What is the early advice you didn’t listen to that you wish you had?
SR: “You’re not special.” That’s the best advice I’ve ever gotten, and when I first started out as a writer, I should have listened more. When you put so much of yourself into a book, you kind of think it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Why don’t you have a Pulitzer yet? Why doesn’t everyone love it? You wrote a MASTERPIECE. No, no, you didn’t. You’ll look back at that same book a few years later and cringe because you didn’t know everything back then and now you know finally realize how little you actually know. Writing may be personal, but publishing is a business, and in any business, you have to understand that not everyone will like your product. (DCF: YES! This is such an important distinction to remember with all art!) You will get a bad review, or rejected, and it will hurt. That’s just life. You don’t let it knock you down forever, but rather use it to learn and improve.
DCF: What was your greatest failure and what did you learn from it?
SR: I’m not sure I’ve ever had one great failure, because, honestly, I fail all the time. It’s just a regular part of life and happens more often than I’d like to admit. You redirect and try something new when that happens, and see what you can do to keep from failing again. If anything, I think my biggest failure was just waiting so long to pursue my dream of writing. I’m only 27 years old, so it might not seem like it, but I spent 8 years in school and several years after doing something completely different. All those wasted years and student loans in a degree I don’t even use is still a tough pill to swallow.
DCF: What was your proudest moment to date?
SR: My latest proud moment was receiving a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly for my latest novel, Chasing a Legend. That was an amazing moment for me, and I’m so thrilled at that recognition. Aside from that, I think the biggest moment of my career was signing a four-book contract with Penguin Random House, a Big 5 publisher. This was a hugely prestigious moment for me, and really gave me a jumping off point to start my career on the best foot.
DCF: What are you Currently Conquering?
SR: I’m currently writing BARE, the next book in my Hollywood romance series, Exposed. The first book, NUDES, came out in May 2017 to rave reviews. It’s often been called a “feminist romance,” which makes me pretty proud. (DCF: YAY Feminism, we need more women power in the world.) I absolutely loved that story line and felt it from the very bottom of my heart. It meant everything to me to publish that book, and I’m thrilled to be working on the next book in the series. (DCF: Can’t wait to check it out!)
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