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Author Interview: Sabrina Blaum Chats about A Question of Sincerity

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Get ready to learn more about the book A Question of Sincerity in this discussion with sapphic author Sabrina Blaum.

Join us for an exclusive peek behind the scenes as we quiz Sabrina Blaum about A Question of Sincerity, writing, reading, and more.

This book is part of the Starting Over Romance category in the 2024 IHS Reading Challenge.

Why did you write A Question of Sincerity?

I had added a throwaway line in my book, The Truce, about a boy who’d bullied one of the leads in elementary school. They discussed this bully and what had happened to him now. He had married an older, rich woman, then cheated on her and impregnated his “mistress.” His wife divorced him, then fell for the other woman, and they are now raising his child. It was never meant to be anything, but during revisions of The Truce, I kept getting stuck on this little tale, and then decided that I wanted to know their story. So, I decided to write it.

Who is your favorite character in the book?

Hmm, I like Elizabeth a tiny bit more than Claudia. I like how she deals with her life falling apart, and how kindhearted she is. Also, she has an awesome cat. I don’t think we have a lot in common.

What was the biggest challenge writing this book?

Elizabeth. At first, she was too open and nice, and Claudia and she almost read the same. There was also no conflict. It was really odd at first. So, I started over and rewrote Elizabeth. I think I actually rewrote more than half of this book as it just didn’t work at first.

How did you come up with the title for your book?

It seemed to fit them. They are both very sincere in who they are and how they approach life. Elizabeth kind of mentions and admires Claudia’s earnest and sincere nature. Given all that happens between them, this seemed not only necessary for them to get anywhere, but it also felt right to name the book after this trait.

What’s your favorite writing snack or drink?

I drink a lot of water, but I also really love unsweetened tea. I’m just sensitive to caffeine, so I sadly cannot drink more than one glass of that a day. I’ve also recently discovered a carbonated drink named bubly, which is basically a seltzer water with various fruit flavors. Germany is big on their carbonated water, and I generally don’t like it that much, but this drink (cold!) has really grown on me.

Do you have any odd writing quirks?

My typing is a bit odd. I don’t use all fingers, as in, I don’t write in the proper way, but I do write pretty fast, and I also don’t have to look at the keyboard to write. Yet, the way I write is straining my hands, so I am actually trying to learn to write on a more ergonomic keyboard (I kinda hate it), and also to learn how to type properly so the strain on my hands is less. However, I struggle to find the time as this does slow down my writing significantly.

What do you do to get inside your character’s heads?

I just have to let them talk. I don’t always get them right in the beginning. Sometimes, it takes me writing several chapters to fully get a grasp on who they are. They also sometimes surprise me and end up not who I thought they were. I kind of follow my inspiration here and let the characters (mostly) lead me to go where they want to go. But yes, letting them talk helps a lot.

What author in your genre do you most admire, and why?

I really love Lee Winter’s writing style and her way to telling a story. I particularly love the Villains series, and I actually own it in all formats. It’s absolutely stunning, and something I will keep re-reading. Her prose is sharp and funny, and scarily insightful at times. She also can create super interesting side characters. It’s rare for me to care about side characters, and in this series, I would need to make a list of the side characters I love. She also usually avoids all of my pet peeves. I remember smiling a lot while reading this series, and I was so sad when I was done.

What type of books do you enjoy reading the most?

I love reading romance novels, and I want to say most of what I read falls into that genre. I don’t care about sub-genres there, and I am open to a lot from fantasy romance to mystery or whatever. I used to read a lot more fantasy growing up. I am not into space operas or general sci fi that takes place in space. This is a bit odd as I LOVE Star Trek.

I love romance because it guarantees a happy ending. I wasn’t that concerned with this growing up and I also didn’t read romance then because there was no lesbian romance available (at least not until I discovered them in my early 20s). I didn’t mind non-happy endings growing up. Now, I will stop reading a book if there isn’t a happy ending. I also used to read a ton of fan fiction. I still read it sometimes, but currently, I read more published fiction.

I do not read horror or dystopian fiction–maybe for the same reason I gravitate toward happy endings. These genres generally don’t offer such endings, and I find the world traumatic enough, so I don’t need or want that in my fiction.

What book do you wish you had written?

I wish I’d written Naomi Novik’s Scholomance series. I am so blown away by it. The characters are a lot of fun and really interesting, and the world is so fascinating. It is so amazing to read how it all unfolds and when you learn the big secret behind something major? I was BLOWN away in horror and amazement. It is one of the very rare books where I actually even liked the hetero couple, though I’d have chosen the other person the MC hooks up with for her in the end, lol. But it’s truly not about romance, so this didn’t really matter to me.

Meet Sabrina Blaum

I’m originally from Germany, but now live in the eastern US. I’ve always written, and I love to spend time with my family and friends.

Visit Sabrina’s Website

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