Prairie Wife of the Week: Sarah Elizabeth Boucher (Author) #giveaway
Posted March 14, 2016 by Prairie Wife - 15 comments
Social Media is fun! Yes, it can be a major time suck but, it can also be an amazing way to connect with people who live miles (or even oceans away). I came across Sarah Elizabeth Boucher on Twitter and hopped over to check out her blog. I was immediately struck by her light and witty writing style (I bet you’ll be giggling when you read this interview), her sage advice about writing and blogging, and of course her love of shoes! When she published her book Becoming Beauty I cheered right along with her, and headed to Amazon.com to purchase it for my Kindle. I loved her original retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast story, and I’m waiting eagerly for the release of her second book (and of course many more after that). Sarah Elizabeth Boucher may not have found her Prince Charming yet but, as we say around here, “you don’t need to married to be a Prairie Wife” Her sass and style as well as her determination to turn her dreams of being an author into a reality make her the perfect Prairie Wife! Keep your eyes open for her next book which will be published at the end of 2016 and stop by the end of her interview to WIN a signed copy of Becoming Beauty!
Prairie Wife (PW): First tell us a little bit about your family.
Sarah Elizabeth Boucher (SEB): I’m a product of too many brothers, too little money, and a rural Utah town so small we called it a village. (No, we didn’t have cows, but yes, we did have chickens. And attack roosters. *shudder*)
Somehow I came out of it with a sense of fashion, a love for cute shoes, an odd sense of humor, and a weird understanding of dudes. (Don’t get me wrong, I still find them perplexing, but when I shut up Girl Brain and call on my Dude Land training, I’m pretty good at eliciting a chuckle or two.)
PW: You’re a “mild mannered kindergarten teacher by day and self-proclaimed scribbler by night,” can you share what drew you to these two professions?
SEB: I flirt with babies at church and in the checkout line. Always have. Becoming a glorified midget wrangler seemed the sensible course of action. (Plus it made my natural inclination to chat up other people’s kiddies less Stranger Danger.) Now, instead of looking away, I treat kids running barefoot through the cheese case at Walmart to the teacher look.
Because that’s gross, man.
Similarly, I’ve been a Closet Writer as long as I can remember. Whether I’d tell stories aloud, scribble them out, or tap them out on a typewriter (yep, the Boucher House boasted an old-fashioned typewriter), story after story poured out. It was only a matter of time (thirty years or so) and a little…uh, a LOT of encouragement before I published my first book.
PW: Your first book Becoming Beauty is a revamped version (excellently done if I may say so) of the Classic tale of Beauty and the Beast. How did you pick this genre?
SEB: I’m a fairytale junkie. I’m an adult who likes Happily Ever After and Once Upon a Time. Embarrassing, right? When I discovered fairytale retellings, my brain sort of went, Fairytales for grownups, are you freaking kidding me? The plot for Becoming Beauty fell in my lap shortly thereafter. Hmmm, I thought, what if Beauty was a cranky, self-serving, minimally attractive miss? Since then, ideas for twisted fairytales have kept popping into my mind.
SEB: The muses pick the worst possible moments to speak. Like when I’m trying to sleep. Or when shampoo is dripping into my eyes. But once I’ve bowed to their whims and sacrificed sleep, sunshine, and the blood of a virgin to pen my masterpiece, I have to let it sit. It seems counterintuitive, but reentering Crazy Writer Mode before my brain rests spells certain doom. (And a higher probability of pitching the laptop off the balcony.)
After a respectable amount of time, I hop back in and edit, edit, EDIT, until I’ve done as much as I can and/or the sight of my manuscript makes me want to tear my hair out, throw up, or set my laptop on fire. At that point, if the story is worth passing into someone else’s hands, like my Writing Group or an editor, I do so. When the delightful Write, Edit, Repeat process is complete, I cross my fingers and submit my manuscript to a publisher. (Or consider self-publishing, bargaining with the gods, and/or giving up writing forever and living as a lady monk. Wait, do they have those?)
PW: Once your book was published was it everything you expected?
SEB: After pouring my heart and soul into publishing my story, I dreamt of instant success, popularity, and expanding my tiara collection. But naturally, not everyone loved my book. Worse, some found it boring. (Insert scream of horror.) However, my book has been well received overall. 4 and 5 star reviews and comments like “I couldn’t put it down,” or “I blame you that the housework isn’t done,” brighten my days. It’s enough to keep me writing. Don’t get me wrong, I’d still love to sell a million books, because a girl can never have too much bling.
PW: As you work on your second book, what are some things that have gone smoother the second time around?
SEB: Aspects of working with a professional editing team have bled into the writing process. “Put it in order,” rings in my brain, as well as, “Do you really need that?” and “More, Sarah, more!” accompanied by the sound of a whip cracking. It’s annoying, but helpful. Also, this time around I’ve found dealing with a cast of head-strong characters (twelve sisters and the dudes who fall in love with them) more of a fun challenge than a source of frustration. (Sassy Bella, the heroine of Becoming Beauty certainly kept me wondering what would come out of her mouth next.) The process hasn’t been easier, but I’m more confident in my skills.
PW: Besides writing a book you also have a blog where you share not only your love of fashion but your experiences as an author. You often share how social media has played a big part in what you do. What are the pros and cons of social media for today’s modern day author?
SEB: Websites or blogs are a great place to express your personality, however quirky, nerdy, or eccentric that may be. (For me that means mentioning Doctor Who, Downton, Marvel Superheroes, and my awesome shoe collection as often as possible.) Without social media to connect you with new readers and others in your field, allow you to promote your website/blog, and market your book, there’s little chance anyone will hear about your blog or buy your book. (Except your mother.) Quite simply, social media makes the whole process easier.
On the flip side, social media can become the black hole that sucks all your creative time. There’s a world of stupid out there just waiting to blab, blab, blab, offer products and services you’re not interested in, and beg you to follow them to who knows where. (Talk about Stranger Danger.) Interacting with everyone and spending your life online isn’t necessary. Social media requires genuine connection (not everyone becoming your bestie), basic etiquette, and resisting the urge to blurt out, “Just go buy my book, bonehead!”
PW: You recently began a series on your blog called Humor and Inspiration in Writing, how do these fit together for you?
SEB: It wasn’t easy to be the odd man—ahem, woman—out during my girlhood, but learning to laugh at myself and the nonsense I went through (like my brother parading around the yard with my granny panties hoisted on a broomstick) grew me as a person. Writing gives me the chance to spew all the crazy onto the page. My goal is to make people chuckle and think of something they haven’t before. Inspire, uplift, laugh. They’re all connected in my mind.
PW: Where do you hope to see yourself in the next two years?
SEB: I’m a fly by the seat of my pants gal. So if Mr. Wonderful comes along, sweeps me off to the prairie, and sets me to baby-making, I won’t object. At least not too vehemently. Barring that, I’ll continue doing what I’m doing, drawing a paycheck for laughing at kids’ shenanigans and writing fairytales for grownups. (And acquiring more cute shoes.)
PW: Any last Prairie Wife Words of wisdom?
SEB: Embrace the crazy! Fighting against your true nature—bad jokes, nurturing heart, and shoe obsessions included—only impedes the journey. Strap on those sassy shoes (trust me, they make your butt look amazing) and enjoy the adventure!
Take a moment to enter to WIN a signed copy of Becoming Beauty! All you HAVE to do is comment below, tell us what kind of book you like to read most. You can earn more points by following us on social media…please be honest we will be checking.
Tags: , author, becoming beauty, blogging, editing your book, Giveaway, how to become an author, humor and writing, interview, Prairie Wife of the Week, published author, sarah elizabeth boucher, saraheboucher.com, social media