Sara Taney Humphreys: I always loved writing but more than anything I love a creative outlet. I’ve been very lucky as I’ve been able to do that through performing and writing. My favorite romance authors are Lori Handeland and Christine Feehan.
Phoebe: Did you know what type of romance you wanted to write about or did you experiment with different genres before you chose the one that you felt was for you?
Sara: I’ve always loved the paranormal. I’m a sci-fi geek at heart. It’s something that I am consistently fascinated by. It’s my desire to learn about the strange and unusual that drives my stories.
Phoebe: What was the first fiction you ever wrote besides any school work? And do you still have it with you?
Sara: The first bit of fiction I wrote was a poem. I know it by heart but wouldn’t share it with anyone because it’s really, really silly. I wrote it as a lovesick fourteen year old….so you can imagine how goofy it is.
Phoebe: How much research do you have to do for your novels and does it take you a long time to gather that research?
Sara: My research revolves around the locations of each book. I want to be sure I capture the texture of each place so that I can bring it to life for the readers.
Phoebe: How did you come up with the concept for your debut novel, The Amoveo Legacy, which is also the first book in your Amoveo Series?
Sara: I’ve always loved the idea of being a shape shifter. I am also a hopeless romantic and adore the idea of one, perfect mate for each of us. Although, shifters are mythical, I wanted the series rooted in some kind of reality so I used Latin as their language. Amoveo is Latin for “to shift or move away from”.
Phoebe: How did you come up with the concept for your upcoming novel, An Amoveo Heart, which is also the second book in your Amoveo Series? And what are your titles and plans for any of your future books in your Amoveo Series?
Sara: The idea for Book 2: An Amoveo Heart came to me as I wrote Book 1. As new characters revealed themselves to me, the next book in the series came into focus. There will be a total of 5 books in the series. Book 3: Amoveo Fire, Book 4: Amoveo Spirit, and finally Book 5: Amoveo.
Phoebe: How do you come up with each of your characters for your novels? How do you choose their names out of so many names out there?
Sara: Well their first names are ones I just really like. However, some of the last names are family names—from my family. The characters really do reveal themselves to me as a I write. I find writing to be something of an out of body experience.
Phoebe: Do you have a favorite character that you really enjoyed writing about in your debut novel, The Amoveo Legacy? Did you have a character that you felt you could really relate to in your debut novel, The Amoveo Legacy?
Sara: I loved writing about Samantha. I just really like her and can relate to her easily. Malcolm was very fun to write, especially when Samantha pushed back at his macho, bravado. I enjoyed writing Millie as well. She’s spunky and was a woman I could very easily picture in my mind. She’s probably a combination of several people I’ve known in my life. Davis was fun too. We’ll learn more about him and his past in the coming books.
Phoebe: Do you have a favorite character that you really enjoyed writing about in your upcoming novel, An Amoveo Heart? Did you have a character that you felt you could really relate to in your upcoming novel, An Amoveo Heart?
Sara: I really enjoyed writing Dante and Kerry. They’re very different from Sam and Malcolm, and as a result so is their relationship. Their edgier and a bit darker.
Phoebe: Do you have a process of how you start to write your novels?
Sara: I structure out the overall story but the details come as I write. Sometimes the story will end up taking a completely different turn than I originally planned.
Phoebe: Which do you like best, writing a series or have you considered writing stand alone novels? How would writing each be different for you?
Sara: I really enjoy series as a reader so that’s what I want to write as well. However, I have done my best to make each novel in the series a stand- alone novel as well. I want a reader to be able to pick up any book in the series and be able to follow along and fall in love.
Phoebe: What process did you have to go through to get your first book published and did it take you long?
Sara: Lots of rejection. Lots of editing. An enormous amount of tenacity. I would caution any aspiring author out there to wait to be sure they find the right publisher.
Phoebe: Do you ever get writers block? What do you do to get rid of it so you can get back to writing your novels?
Sara: Absolutely. If I feel stuck, I’ll go back and read what I’ve already written to help me get back into the flow of the story.
Phoebe: What is your biggest reader pet peeve, if you have any? (stock characters, unresolved endings, predictability, everything wrapped up hurriedly in the end, etc.)
Sara: The only thing I find annoying is when I have an author I love and I’ve read all their books. I’m always clamoring for more.
Phoebe: Which aspects of writing do you enjoy the most and why? And what is your biggest writing pet peeve? (overuse of exclamation points, adverbs, bad guys named Wayne, etc.), if you have any?
Sara: I adore discovering the characters as they reveal themselves to me. The creative process is like a drug. Have to have it. No real writing peeves—except not having more time to write. It’s frustrating to have a great idea and not be able to get right to it.
Phoebe: What is the one writing tool can you not live without?
Phoebe: How do you handle your writing schedule and your personal life without going insane?
Sara: I’m still working on that.
Phoebe: What do you do to relax after having spent a long while writing? Do you have any hobbies?
Sara: Being with my husband and children is the best way to spend my time. Without them nothing else matters.
Phoebe: Is there any advice that you would give to an aspiring romance writer that you wish someone had given you?
Sara: Get an agent first. This is a tough business and very challenging to navigate when you don’t know all the ins and outs.
Phoebe: Is there any writing tips, research tips, promotion and marketing tips that you would give to an aspiring romance writer that you wish someone had given you?
Sara: Get a copy of The Writers Market. Get involved in a writers critique group. Pick other authors brains about the industry, not just about writing. Ultimately, this is a business.
Phoebe: Do you have a favorite genre you like to read? Who is your favorite author(s)?
Sara: Favorite genre is paranormal romance. Favorite authors are Lori Handeland and Christine Feehan. They really are two of the very best in the genre. I have the utmost respect and admiration for them and their work.
Phoebe: What are you reading now? And what do you plan to read after that?
Sara: Honestly…a book on ADHD that I got for my son. Putting on the Brakes.