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Interview with Sarah Wilson!
By: The Myth Master


Welcome everyone! It's the Myth Master here and this month we talk to an author you know from previous submissions to "The World of Myth" and who is celebrating the release of her new novel, 'Blood Atonement.' So let's say "Hello" to Sarah Wilson.

M.M.: Sarah, welcome to "The World of Myth" interview booth and congratulations on the recent publication of your novel, "Blood Atonement." Before we get into anything else, can you tell our readers something about your book?

S.W.: Thanks, Myth Master. I’m excited to be here. "Blood Atonement" is a story of good vs. evil, and the healing power of love. It’s about what happens when a person is granted his greatest desire at the worst possible time. The book is set in Hungary and Vienna in the year 1815. It encompasses vampirism, divination, Satanism, theology, suicide, addiction, God’s love, and the love between a man and a woman.

M.M.: Sounds intriguing. Was there any special reason you chose to write this book using the pen name, Sara Saint John?

S.W.: At the time I started "BA," I was a pastor’s wife. I don’t like censorship. I chose a pen name to allow the story freedom to go where it needed to go, without risking my then husband’s career.

M.M.: I see. You have contributed stories to "The World of Myth" before--in fact you have a story in this issue. How is it that most of your stories seem to deal with a 'Horror' theme?

S.W.: I love Horror. It makes a perfect venue to deal with the themes of life. Good, evil, justice, injustice, well, you get the idea. Horror provides a wonderful way to deal with my fears. And a good catharsis for my emotional baggage. Besides, it’s fun to create worlds, control the game, and inhabit the bodies of my characters. I can be a noble hero or an evil villain. I can do really nasty things. If someone cuts me off in traffic, I figure it’s better to dole out justice in print instead of real life. Or at least it’s more legal.

M.M.: True. Is Horror your favorite genre?

S.W.: I do love Horror, but my favorite books seem to mix genres, crossing lines and defying categorization. Recently, I read a book of short stories that placed Holmes and Watson in a Lovecraftian world. Great fun! And I’m a romantic. I believe in love. So if something I’m reading has a love story in it, so much the better.

M.M.: Well, you certainly do not 'look' like someone who thinks about vampires and other kinds of diabolical creatures all the time. Where do your ideas come from for such stories?

S.W.: Sigh, I know. I look like somebody’s mom. Wait, I am somebody’s mom. But looks can be deceiving. “Lucifer was said to be one of God’s most beautiful angels…”—Blood Atonement. You’ve heard the old chestnut, “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” well… As for ideas, they can come from anywhere. My first story for TWoM came from seeing an actual Old Testament bound in human skin. “Long in the Tooth” came from having teenagers who were embracing the darkness.

M.M.: So, are your characters modeled after people you know or do they spring forth entirely from your imagination?

S.W.: Both. (Imagine stock disclaimer here.) I like using historical people as characters. When I decided to write "BA," I wanted a really bad villain. Vampires…okay, Dracula came to mind. So I researched him and the idea for "BA" fell into my lap. History told me, because of letters forged by the Saxons, Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus kept Vlad Dracula prisoner for 12 long years. Wouldn’t Dracula have wanted revenge? Now tie real life to myth. The vampire legend. What better vengeance than to make Matthias Corvinus, a just man with a true reverence for God, a vampire? He’d have all eternity to regret imprisoning Vlad. But what if Vlad forgot one thing: Matthias was a king. He would glory in the power.

M.M.: When did you first begin to write fiction?

S.W.: In grade school I wrote a play. It was a comedy featuring 30’s style gangsters--something about lost loot, that sort of thing. In high school I had a wonderful writing teacher named Mrs. Stanfield. I wrote a story where a man finds out his son is the Antichrist. She wanted to include it in the high school anthology, but it had religious themes so they couldn’t. I didn’t keep a copy. Too bad, my kids would’ve gotten a kick out of it.

M.M.: A stock question, here; what authors if any have influenced your writing and which authors do you enjoy reading, today?

S.W.: Oh, man, I could write a book…Stephen King, of course. He says to “tell the truth” in his book On Writing. If your character would pick his nose, have him pick his nose. What a hoot! Dean Koontz, Robert R. McCammon, F. Paul Wilson (great hero that Repairman Jack), Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series, J.K. Rowling is my hero, Poe, Lovecraft, J.K. Robb writing Eve Dallas, her futuristic homicide detective. Right now I’m reading Dan Simmons’ 'The Terror' about an Arctic expedition gone terribly awry.

M.M.: Aside from reading, how do you spend whatever spare time you might have?

S.W.: I work full time and have two teenagers, so spending time with loved ones is a priority. Other than that, I watch tons of movies. Besides the enjoyment factor, I find them great tools to teach me characterization, theme, plot, and all the necessities of writing.

M.M.: Writing can be a lonely profession. How has your family reacted to your work and now, to your success?

S.W.: I’m very fortunate to have the people I have in my life. My parents think I’m weird, but they’re proud of me. My kids write—and well, if I may boast—so they’re behind me 100%. I haven’t been lonely. I seek out other writers. My writing group Romance Ink is the best source of friendship, criticism, support, and encouragement a person could want. The man I’m dating wants to set me up with a book signing. What more could a woman want?

M.M.: Might we look forward to another book from you anytime soon?

S.W.: Yes, hopefully within a year. I’m doing final edits and will soon submit Trust the Night to my publisher. "Trust the Night" is a contemporary novel set in Oklahoma City. My heroine is a homicide detective, my hero a criminal profiler and a vampire, and my villain is Jack the Ripper. Oh, yes, he’s a vampire, too.

M.M.: That sounds like fun. And where might our readers obtain information about your ongoing work and your book?

S.W.: My web site: www.myspace.com/sara_saint_john and www.samhainpublishing.com under “S” in the author category. My book can be found at www.mybookstoreandmore.com under ISBN #1-59998-227-7.

M.M.: Would you have some words of wisdom or encouragement for any fledgling writers out there who may be considering writing as a career?

S.W.: Have fun! Write what you love to read. Doesn’t matter what’s popular in the market. That changes as fast as the Oklahoma weather. Write what inspires you. All this will show in your work. Other than that, hone your craft. Study, listen and learn. A person never knows everything there is to know about anything.

M.M.: Is there anything we didn't cover that you would like to share with our readers?

S.W.: Never burn your bridges. The publishing world is liquid and one day’s agent might be the next day’s editor. Always be polite and professional. It is a business. And did I mention having fun?

M.M.: Well, we really want to thank you, Sarah, for spending time with us today. Best of luck with your book and we hope to see even more of your stories here at "The World of Myth."

S.W.: Count on it. TWoM has been very good to me. I’m happy to be part of the family.

M.M.: And we are very happy to have you here. All right, gang, that's it for the time being. I'll see you back here next time. Peace!


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