SARA F. HATHAWAY: MY BOOK REFLECTS UPON THE IMPORTANCE OF FAMILY
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
Sara Hathaway’s debut novel Day After Disaster was published in the Summer. The book was received very well with average 4.5 stars from 26 reviews. We’ve got a chance to speak with the author about the story and her next projects.
– Sara, What is your book Day After Disaster about?
– Day After Disaster is an apocalyptic, adventure novel, featuring a dynamic young woman, mother and wife, Erika, who is thrust into a world turned upside down by a series of natural disasters. Finding herself alone in a city mutilated by this disastrous situation, she must save herself. Once free of the city confines, she desperately tries to navigate through the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to get back home to her family. Not knowing if they are alive or dead she must call on all of her survival instincts to plot a course through this broken environment.
– How did you decide to write the story?
– Our Earth has experienced many changes over its history. Continents have collided and separated, mountains have formed and eroded, glaciers have grown and receded, and meteors have burned the surface. Day After Disaster stems from asking myself what if: What if one of those disasters befell us? How would I survive? While making the drive from my home in the foothills to Sacramento for work or school my imagination would explore the many possible scenarios that await our planet. Many of my scenarios involved being separated from my husband and my sons. They are my whole world and my fear of losing them is my hell on Earth.
– What was the biggest challenge during the write up process?
– The biggest challenge during the write up process was using my own experiences to draw from while maintaining the imaginary aspect of my main character as well. When I wrote Day After Disaster I never intended to publish the novel. It was simply a story that existed in my mind. While my main character does mirror me as a person, I also was also free to change whatever I wanted to because it is a fictional story, after all.
– Tell us something more about your main character?
– As I previously mentioned, the main character is a fictional mirror image of myself. Her name is Erika Moore. She is a resourceful, as well as, mentally and physically strong. Her main driving force for survival is her family and her concern for their safety. The bond she shares with her husband completes her as a person. She has had a love of nature since she was young and it has led her to develop a deep relationship with the natural world. She possesses a basic knowledge of survival and relies heavily on instincts and luck to navigate her way through a rapidly changing world.
– How much time did you need to finish the story and to publish it?
– Day After Disaster was a hobby I worked on over a period of about eight years to complete. I was attending college, starting a family and then starting a career so the amount of time I could dedicate to it fluctuated greatly. When I became pregnant with my second son I had to rest a lot and I finally had the time to complete my novel.
Once it was ready to publish the process took about eight months to complete.
– Who are you?
– I am the international author of the book, Day After Disaster. I grew up in the country where I developed a profound interest in the natural world around me. After graduating from The California State University of Sacramento I returned to my passion. I have extensively researched and practiced survival techniques in the natural environment and utilized forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past. I currently live with my husband and two sons in California where I am at work on the sequel to my first novel.
– What are your writing habits?
– Having a three year old son and a fourteen year old son, makes it very challenging to find quiet time to write. Even though their vast imaginations help to provide me with endless ideas, I still need time to produce the actual book. Currently most of my writing is done while my oldest son is at his Civil Air Patrol weekly meetings. I stuff a backpack full of my research books and my notebooks and use my vehicle as a mobile writing office. Utilizing this time ensures I will have at least three hours of uninterrupted time to dedicate to jotting down new ideas for the upcoming books.
– Are you satisfied by the sales of the book?
– I don’t know that any author is ever completely satisfied with their book sales but I am pleased with its progress since I released it in June of 2014. I heard a statistic recently that states that only 2% of authors being published now-a-days sell over 50 copies of their book. I have sold over a hundred copies since Day After Disaster’s release date so I guess this means I am in the 2%. I am in no way satisfied and I can see a bright future for this novel but I do have to look back and realize that I have come a very long way in a very short time.
– What are you doing to promote your book by the best possible way?
– To promote this novel, I started by choosing a publishing company that is involved with a big distributor so that it would be available on all the book sales sites. I then started building an author platform that would ensure access to the author of the book in many different ways. I went on to engage in a virtual book tour where I visited many different types of blogs and introduced the book from every point of view I could think of.
Currently I am still vigorously displaying the novel on multiple social media sites. I still seek out blogs to visit and I even get contacted by blog owners to engage in interviews without having to contact them first. I have a discounted program for book clubs looking to purchase books at a better price for their clubs and a retailer program that offers a discount for retailers wanting to sell the book in their stores.
Marketing a book is a marathon not a sprint. Eventually the time into marketing will pay off and Day After Disaster will be a book adorning book shelves everywhere.
– When we will see your next novel?
– My next novel will be available before you know it. I am currently finalizing the manuscript and then I have to decide which avenue to choose to publish it. Depending on the method I choose the publishing timeline may vary. I anticipate its release sometime next year.
– What are you doing for living?
– Currently I am working hard at being the best mom I can possibly be. I have a strong belief that it makes a big difference in the life of children to have one parent home and available. Granted, my writing and marketing does consume a lot of my time so I am not always available but I am always here for my sons when they need me.
– How do you find the motivation to start writing a book?
– I write because I love it. There is no question of motivation for me. It is my way of being creative because, goodness knows, I can’t draw. I find writing relaxing. It allows me to travel back to when I was a kid and I could sit and imagine the day away. Now if only they could develop a way to download your ideas into a computer without talking or typing. I would be kicking out the novels faster than you could bat an eye lash.
– How important is the family when you are working on a novel?
– My family is always my priority no matter what I am doing. They consume my daily activities. They give me ideas for my books and they even make an appearance in them (although I give them the fictional spin as well). My books center on the idea of family and the importance of those people who you love and would walk through the gates of hell for.
– If you may ask yourself one question in the interview what it will be? (Don’t forget to answer)
– What social message to you hope to convey to readers when you wrote this novel? Day After Disaster was written to cause readers to reflect on two main points. The first thing this novel causes readers to ask themselves is: What if our way of life was drastically altered in a snap? Anyone alive on 9-11 remembers exactly where he or she was when the world was changed. This novel causes the reader to ask: Where will I be when the world changes again? What would I be willing to do to save my family or myself? Would I even know how to survive in the natural world of our ancestors?
The next issue Day After Disaster causes the reader to ponder is an appreciation for the now. Modern humans live at such a fast paced speed that the special moments of gratitude for the people surrounding you can be lost. So many things designed to make life easier or more entertaining may be drastically altering our basic social relationships. This book causes readers to consider the simplicity of the life that our society gave up in return for the conveniences of modern gadgets and reflect upon the importance of family, friends and community.
Take a look at her book
Day After Disaster