Kindle Author Interview: Sarah Ettritch

Sarah Ettritch, author of The Salbine Sisters, discusses her book, her journey as a writer, and self-publishing on Kindle.

DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about The Salbine Sisters?

SARAH ETTRITCH: The Salbine Order is a religious order. Salbine Sisters believe that Salbine, the goddess they worship, bestows upon them the gift of magic. When Maddy, the main character, discovers that she can’t do magic, her spiritual life is thrown into turmoil. The Salbine Sisters is about Maddy’s struggle to reconcile her inability to do magic with her faith in Salbine.

Here’s the blurb:
She gave up everything to become a Salbine Sister, member of a religious order of powerful female mages. But when Maddy nearly dies while trying to draw forth elemental fire, she learns that Salbine has withdrawn from her the gifts every sister works to master. Feeling trapped in an order to which she no longer has any right to belong and believing herself unworthy of the love of Lillian, one of the most powerful mages in the sisterhood, Maddy begs the abbess to let her travel to another monastery to research her condition.

On her journey, Maddy’s faith in both herself and Salbine are tested to their limits. When she attempts to draw fire and fails horribly, frightened townsfolk throw Maddy into prison. Fearing that the abbess will never learn her fate and rescue her, Maddy resigns herself to a short and brutal life.

The only bright spot in Maddy’s existence is Emmey, the pickpocket with whom she shares a cell. Through her and the steadfast love of Lillian, Maddy learns that Salbine’s purpose is not always the same for everyone, and that love and compassion are more valuable than magic.
DAVID WISEHART: How do you develop and differentiate your characters?

SARAH ETTRITCH: I don’t consciously develop my characters. I learn about them as I write. My characters have different voices, fears, hopes, attitudes, and goals.

DAVID WISEHART: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?

SARAH ETTRITCH: My ideal reader enjoys character-focused fiction with a good plot. In other words, me! I write what I like to read.

DAVID WISEHART: What was your journey as a writer?

SARAH ETTRITCH: I started to write seriously when I was in my early forties. I never wanted to be a writer; it just happened. I’m not that far along in my journey. I feel as if the train has just pulled out of the station and is gaining velocity. I doubt I’ll ever reach a destination.

DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?

SARAH ETTRITCH: I write by the seat of my pants. When I start a story, I know a little about the main characters and have a vague idea of the first scene, final scene, and a few key points in between. I figure out the rest as I write.

DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?

SARAH ETTRITCH: I can’t say any author inspires me. I do learn something from everyone I read, and I read a lot!

DAVID WISEHART: What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you'd written yourself?

SARAH ETTRITCH: None. I write my own stories. I couldn’t do justice to a story meant for another writer. If I were to write someone else’s story, it wouldn’t be the same.

DAVID WISEHART: How did you create your cover?

SARAH ETTRITCH: I worked with a cover designer (Patty Henderson of Boulevard Photografica). I provided her with a brief synopsis of the book and what I saw as potential visual elements. I’ve received quite a few positive comments about the cover. Patty did a wonderful job.

DAVID WISEHART: How have you marketed and promoted your work?

SARAH ETTRITCH: Since my book is sold exclusively online, I promote online. I do interviews (like this one), secure reviews, and reach out to my readers wherever they gather (Yahoo groups, forums, etc.).

DAVID WISEHART: Why publish on Kindle?

SARAH ETTRITCH: So many readers have Kindles that it would be foolish to ignore that market. Fortunately Amazon DTP is easy to use, so the Kindle market is accessible to any writer. There’s really no reason not to publish on Kindle.

DAVID WISEHART: What advice would you give to a first-time author thinking of self-publishing on Kindle?

SARAH ETTRITCH: Definitely work with an editor. You might get away with cutting corners in other areas, but don’t skimp on the editing step.

DAVID WISEHART: Thanks, and best of luck with your books.


Sarah Ettritch writes stories and occasionally publishes them. In her spare time, she likes to read, play computer games, and watch TV on DVD. Sarah belongs to several organizations related to writing and publishing, including EPIC, Broad Universe, The Golden Crown Literary Society, and SPAN.

Visit her website.

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