Author Interview: Sarah J. Schmitt
RJ: Hello all. I’m RJ Jones, star of the upcoming novel IT’S A WONDERFUL DEATH, and I am here with the author of this tell-all book about my personal life, Sarah J. Schmitt
SARAH: Thanks for having me, although, it really is wierd being interviewed on my own website. And RJ, I thought you understood that the book is a work of fiction. It’s not real. You are not real.
RJ: I bet you’d like people to think that. Now, for my first question. Why did you start the story after I was already dead? You couldn’t show me in my stunning glory?
SARAH: Actually, I get that question a lot. People say they want more of RJ, or you, in her first time line, so they can see just how horrible she, I mean you, really were. But I was afraid if I showed the main character at her worst, no offense, that it would be hard for the reader to muster up enough empathy to stick with her, your, story. Wow. Who knew being interviewed by a figment of my imagination would be so hard?
RJ: You always try to take the credit. But, I can see what you’re saying. I don’t like it and I am offended, but you’re the writer. You’re the one who decides who lives and dies, which is like everyone. Oops, spoiler alert. So how did you come up with the character of me?
SARAH: You are really an amalgam of me at different periods of my life and also the “bullies” that I encountered over the years. I stopped to think about the fact that there is a good chance, no matter who you are, that somewhere along the way, we were mean girls to other people and I started thinking about how these mean girls become who they are. And then I took that persona one step further because, let’s be honest, you are a force of nature.
RJ: Well, on that point, you and I agree. Now, a lot of the book takes place in the Afterlife, but you also tie in glimpses of my hometown, just east of Indianapolis. Why did you have me living there instead of some breezy tropical place? I mean, seriously, it’s cold in Indiana.
SARAH: LOL. I think I picked Indiana because it’s the place where I really figured out who I was as a writer and as a human being. When I moved here, the only person I knew was my now husband.
RJ: Who is just adorable, by the way.
SARAH: He is, but watch it. As I was saying, I had a chance to start over and leave my past behind. It was an opportunity to either be a fake person or dig deep and become the real me. And, not only is Indiana my adopted home state, but it also has amazing season changes and since the book takes place between October 31 and November 1, I couldn’t think of a more amazing backdrop.
RJ: (grumbling) Next time, let’s shoot for someplace a little warmer.
SARAH: No promises. I write where the story demands.
RJ: Speaking of writing, I heard that you wrote IT’S A WONDERFUL DEATH in 23 days. Is that true?
SARAH: It is. I started IAWD on November 1, 2012, as a part of National Novel Writing Month and had a complete first draft of 65K words done by the 23rd. Now, I added another 10K words and A LOT of editing/revisions over the month that followed, but the majority of the framework was done in less than a month.
RJ: Okay. I’ve been pretty nice up until now, but I have a bone to pick with you.
SARAH: You have been pretty nice. In fact I’m a little surprised.
RJ: Yeah, whatever. Here’s what I want to know. Why did you share the worst parts of my life with the world? You couldn’t show me doing something even remotely redeeming? You had to make me the worst person known to man?
SARAH: I wouldn’t go that far.
RJ: Oh, I would.
SARAH: I’m really sorry if you think I portrayed you in a negative light. Actually, no I’m not, because if the reader didn’t get to see you in your “former” glory, they wouldn’t realize how far you had to go for redemption, nor would they be rooting for you. Actually, I did you a favor.
RJ: Hardly. And, I didn’t even get a boyfriend. What self-respecting YA heroine gets left hanging in the romance department. I’m the laughing stock of the 2015 fictional character potluck dinner club.
SARAH: First of all, that’s not a real club.
RJ: You don’t know. You aren’t the boss of me anymore.
SARAH: You keep telling yourself that.
RJ: What’s that supposed to mean?
SARAH: Oh, never mind. But there was a second of all. I thought about giving you a boyfriend in your happy every after. I even thought about it being one of your guides.
SARAH: I know, right. But in the end, I decided not to have that sub story and instead let you focus on becoming who you were meant to be without the influence of a guy. Your story is about figuring out who you are and nothing else.
RJ: If there is ever a next time, can I please get a boyfriend?
SARAH: And thank you for making my point.
RJ: Whatever. Once last question. If you had the choice, would you rather sell the options to a movie studio or a television studio?
SARAH: Oh, that’s easy. Both. A movie studio to do the adaptation and a television studio to pick up where the book leaves off.
RJ: I like your style. Well, that does it for me. This is RJ Jones signing off from an interview with author Sarah J. Schmitt. And remember to BE FEARLESS in everything you do.
SARAH: Couldn’t have said it better myself.
RJ: You always have to have the last word, don’t you?
RJ: Well tough, because this is my interview and as always, I win. Now, if you, dear reader, has a question for this tabloid writer, ask in the comments section below.