Sara McClory is an author currently attending Salem State University as an English Major with a concentration in Creative Writing. You can learn more about her at her two blogs,
The Observer & Metamorphose The Blog.
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing for years, too many to count now.
I was always an actively creative person but finding writing became my greatest asset, even above painting and acting. I’m currently attending my last year of college at Salem State University in Massachusetts as an English Major with the concentration in Creative Writing. Risky, I know but I have such passion for writing fiction and non-fiction.
What was your college experience like, studying creative writing?
The experience has been like nothing I experienced before and I learned a lot from myself, my strengths and weaknesses, where I needed to improve and when I knew it was good and wasn’t trying to please a professor.
I became a part of The Log, the newspaper and various other English related clubs to immerse myself in it. I was able, paid by the English department, to go to the AWP conference in D.C. last February where I was able to meet Joyce Carol Oats and soak up information about the publishing world.
It is one of my best experiences of my life, and for many years I’ve had very little, though I do not take back anything in my life- it has been an interesting adventure.
How was college different than expected?
The one thing different about college was dealing with other people’s ego & ego within myself, if not more.
It didn’t effect me until I met some extremely close minded people who hated everything. That tore me up because I knew they were confusing being ‘creative’ as truly being ‘pretensions’ and cut themselves off from learning something. You get nowhere from being defensive.
What inspires your writing?
What inspires my writing is my life.
I had a very rough upbringing, though not many people know about it. I’m good at staying positive and proactive and re-direct those emotions in my writing.
I also enjoy listening to scores from films, people dismiss these easily when they pack so much emotion and push you to think and feel.
What are your future writing plans?
My future plans…to write the great American novel of course! Just kidding, I have no intention of trying to write the best novel because a novel itself only gains merit when the writer writes for them self, then the audience, or they are just a warehouse selling a product.
I’ve finished a young adult novel so I plan to try to get an agent again, and I am working on adult fiction projects in the areas of fantasy, crime, and a memoir. The memoir is the hardest by far.
I also began blogging again which has fueled some frustrations. One is about politics, the other about life in general I began for an Intro to Professional Writing with Perry Glasser, a fellow writer and extraordinary.
What should writers be doing to “hone” their craft?
My best advice is write daily, and never miss a day unless its for story research.
Research is an important part of writing a convincing story with value. Also, not sweating the first draft or the ‘high emotion’ writing and criticizing it the next day as the worst piece of crap ever. Be able to take criticism and know when someone isn’t having your best interest is important and will be learned, but writing everyday will improve that as well as reading as much as you can. And of course, believe in yourself. If you don’t why should anyone else?
Who are some of your favorite authors?
I don’t exactly have a favorite author, though James Patterson has won my heart. I also enjoy Sherman Alexie, Joyce Carol Oates, and less big or barely known authors. It’s important to have a broad reading list of authors, you never know when it is yourself trying to gather readers.
A snippet from Sara’s novel crime series, ‘Dolls in the Boneyard.’
Danni Hart, the female main character.
THE LEATHER BINDING tightens as I struggle, sending tingles in my hand, the tips of my fingers numb. The bitter taste of blood still lingers under my tongue, mixing with saliva, splashing around like an angry sea trying to escape. The gag isn’t helping either, blocking me from spitting to the floor of the cargo container. A few teeth are loose, maybe that’s where the blood is coming from, I think to myself. My throat is swelling, no room to swallow the diluted spit. Great, I’m having one of those days.
The last time I was outside the container was a few days ago, I think. It was night, and the air rolled off the waves casually, blowing in my face, giving it a nice longing sting. I miss that feeling, a natural pain by nature. Every once in a while someone opens the doors, letting the cold breeze circulate in the room. They don’t want me to die, not yet, whoever they may be. I put all my money on Roths, though I don’t have a dime to my name or any more reason to breath through the slippery blood, my blood.
The change of air keeps me lucid, reminds me I’m still alive if calling my situation living. Bound and gagged, naked and bruised. Not like living at all.
The faint glow of the moon lit the way to the shipyard when I first entered Devils Playground, to my destination where I was too preoccupied with finding Angie to worry about my own safety. She’s dead, she has to be by now. I thought I was saving the day, un-soiling my name and becoming the hero. How idiotic that sounds now.
I’m going to die here. That’s the only thing I’m sure of.
Sara’s main website will be up shortly, but take the time to visit her blog today!