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Author Interview: Sara Scott Chats about The Sound of Her Smile

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Get ready to learn more about the book The Sound of Her Smile in this discussion with sapphic author Sara Scott.

Join us for an exclusive peek behind the scenes as we quiz Sara Scott about The Sound of Her Smile, writing, reading, and more.

This book is part of the Nursed Back to Health category in the 2024 IHS Reading Challenge.

Why did you write The Sound of Her Smile?

This book was written as the second book in the Jensy Willett Trilogy. In this particular volume I wanted the character of Jensy to face a challenge that was an event we read about all too often in the news: a school shooting. I wanted to show her resilience and determination as she recovered both physically and emotionally.

Who is your favorite character in the book?

Jensy is probably my favorite character. She is very similar to me on an emotional level, as well as the fact that we were both athletes and coaches. With that being said, the character of Sophie is also very dear to me. She is the supportive and loving wife/partner that so many women long to have.

What part of The Sound of Her Smile was the most fun to write?

I particularly enjoy writing the scenes that feature Carol Novak, the villainess in the story. I like the acerbic conversations and the level of tension that defines their relationship. I also had a great deal of fun writing the basketball scenes. But, ultimately I really enjoyed writing the wedding of Jensy and Sophie.

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

I wanted a title that would lend itself to the title of the first novel, “The Touch of Her Voice.” I wanted to use the five senses as the first noun in the title and juxtapose it with an unusual pairing: Touch + Voice, Sound + Smile, and Taste + Silence.

If you’re planning a sequel, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?

The sequel is already written and published. The title is “The Taste of Her Silence” and it will give Jensy one last challenge to overcome. It is all about love, loss, resilience and renewal.

What is your writing process like?

I tend to be a pantser, although there have been times when I have written from an outline. I wrote “The Sound of Her Smile” in chronological order. But for “The Touch of Her Voice” and “The Taste of Her Silence” I just wrote chapters in no particular order and then wove them together into the finished manuscript.

Where do you usually write, and what do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?

I usually write in my living room, sitting on the sofa with my computer on a small table in front of me. Listening to music or having background noise actually helps me to focus.

Do you have any odd writing quirks?

My process might be a bit different from some. I scribble notes in long-hand, then transfer them to a Moleskine notebook (also by hand). When the handwritten versions are done, they are finally ready to be typed into the computer. I also listen to instrumental music by Gavin Luke or Howard Harper-Barnes as I write/type.

When you’re writing an emotional or difficult scene, how do you set the mood?

I read the emotional scene over and over, set to music, to evoke a mood.

If you could be mentored by a famous author (living or not), who would it be?

Harper Lee

Have you ever cried when writing an emotional scene?

Yes. Often. I have cried while writing various scenes over the course of the trilogy. I tend to like books and stories with an emotional overtone. I know that if the writing moves me, it will probably move readers as well.

Have you ever fallen in love with one of your characters?

Oh my, yes. The character of Sophie was written to be the love that most of us would want. One of my friends once said, “I want a Sophie.” So, when I wrote her character I wanted her to be a character it would be easy to fall in love with. And I did.

Are there any books or authors that inspired you to become a writer?

Harper Lee and her book, “To Kill a Mockingbird” has been a major inspiration. I love her the way she developed realistic characters and creating a setting that I could easily see in my mind’s eye. I also admire the way she tackled the racial issues in the 1930’s south.

I also love “The Great Gatsby” for Fitzgerald’s use of language and the wonderful symbolism he created.

What books have you read more than once in your life?

I’ve read “A Wrinkle in Time,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Great Gatsby,” and “A Separate Peace” numerous times. I keep coming back for the plot, the extraordinary use of language, and the feeling that I was really reading something wonderfully special.

Meet Sara Scott

Sara Scott is the award-winning author of the Jensy Willett Trilogy (“The Touch of Her Voice,” “The Sound of Her Smile,” and “The Taste of Her Silence”). When not writing, Sara enjoys turning photographs into abstract works of art, drawing, baseball, basketball and Welsh Corgis (not necessarily in that order).

Visit Sara’s Website

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