Sarah Daltry is the author of No Such Thing as Perfect, Dust, Backward Compatible, Bitter Fruits, and The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. As a former English teacher and YA library coordinator, Sarah has always loved books and her passion in life is writing – weaving tales of magic and beauty. She originally wrote romance, but Sarah’s real focus is lyrical and introspective fiction that gets to the heart of being whole.
Sarah is an obsessive Anglophile who spends more time watching BBC TV than any human being should (RJ: “For the exception of me!”), as well as a hardcore gamer, feminist, hermit, and sarcastic nerd. She’s extremely introverted and craves quiet and solitude, but she does enjoy hearing from readers.
We’ll take a look at her latest and fascinating book, Dust, in a bit, but first, here’s a short interview with Sarah:
What is the most important thing you have learned since becoming an author?
You need to write for yourself. It’s hard for me, because I love books and I love to read anything, so I guess I naively used to believe everyone was like that. It took me a while to put it all together and figure out what was most important to me and what that meant for me as an author.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
I can’t redeem characters who abuse other people or animals. A character who sexually assaults someone or bullies them or beats them will never deserve redemption in my eyes. There’s a line and I am a fan of complicated characters, but once you abuse another person for your own benefit, you don’t earn the right to be redeemed. And I absolutely will never make that abuser a love interest.
You write across many genres, from fantasy, to comedy, is there a genre you prefer not to write?
Not really. I used to write romance, but when I think of romance I like, I think of books like those by Simone Elkeles or Jenny Han or even Danielle Steel (at least when I used to read her books 20 years ago). However, I’ve never enjoyed the “Fabio romances,” and when I wrote romance, I wanted to write love stories about real people. I don’t think the escapism that people prefer in romance and my style of writing mesh well, so generally, I think romance is something I’m going to put aside.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Trusting yourself. It’s incredibly difficult for me to have faith in my work, because I don’t have a lot of faith in myself as a person. I tend to hate everything I write and I have very loud inner critical voices that never go away.
What advice would you give the younger you?
None of it matters, so do what you want to do. You can’t please anyone, not really, and it’s the only life you have. I spent a lot of my life trying to make everybody else happy, but in the end, it wasn’t enough and no one really was.
As the author of YA novels with strong female protagonists is there anything you would like to say young girls who would be reading your novels?
To quote Cersei, “Everywhere in the world, they hurt little girls.” Let’s make a world where they don’t.
Growing up who were your role models?
My grandfather, my high school English teacher, Holden Caulfield, Jane Eyre, Eponine in Les Miserables.
Dust is the story of a young girl, Alondra, in another world. It’s a world that normally would be draped in magic – the kind of world traditional in fantasy. There are castles and kingdoms and all those fun fairy tale elements, but it’s also a world with futuristic features, such as teleportation and giant glass towers that reach into the sky. Picture something out of the Final Fantasy series, with less steampunk.
There used to be magic in Alondra’s world, but well before she was born, all of the kingdoms were part of war. It was a war that happened because human beings grew too powerful. They wanted more and they wanted it for themselves. No longer was man satisfied to have the power of the gods and use it for the greater good; now he wanted to be a god. Because of the fear of magic and the damage it wrought, it has been suppressed and Alondra only knows it as a hobby.
When a new villain appears, though, and the world so desperate for peace and security is shattered anew, Alondra sets out on a journey through the past. She soon discovers that the secrets people keep in order to preserve a facade of safety run deep.
Sarah says, “I see this as a fantasy novel woven through with philosophy and moral questions, as well as a sprinkle of romance. Although there is a love story, it is not about romance, but about coming of age, about learning who you are and understanding your role in the world, and about independence and choice (as well as the associated consequences).”
Thanks, Sarah for a very interesting visit. I believe I’ll be adding Dust to my personal reading list.
Find Dust at: http://amzn.com/B00NFTEDGK
Author Website: http://sarahdaltry.com
Author Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publisher Site: http://littlebirdpublishinghouse.com