Fridays 5 with Sarah Doebereiner

Sarah Doebereiner is a short story author, novelist, and poet. She graduated from Wright State University in 2010 with her BA in English. Sarah lives in central Ohio with her husband and two small children. She enjoys writing short stories including: micro-fiction, flash fiction, and novella length works. Macabre themes fascinate her because of their tendency to stay with readers long after the book has been closed, but the joy in short fiction is the opportunity to try out all kinds of genres.

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1.) When did you first get serious about writing?

A.)  I didn't get serious about writing until college. I had always loved to read and write. There is this tendency when you are young to think that passion is enough to propel you forwards, but when you get a little older you see how much you need to learn before you start.  In college, I poured over great works, learned craft, style, and grammar, and met professional writers who nurtured what skills I had. It was only in my third year of college that I felt my writing had evolved enough to be taken seriously, so that's when I decided to major in English / Communications.

2.) What is the hardest part for you about writing?

A.)  I typically write horror, and even when I don't, there is often a darker element to my writing. I think the hardest part for me is writing when I am in a particular mood and then having to go back and edit when I am no longer in that mindset. Walking away from a manuscript can be great for perspective, but it's tough to step back into that creepy, atmospheric feeling at ten AM on a Wednesday in the hours before my day job.

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They each have a secret that could destroy their relationship…

Crystal and Sylvia are best friends, each the only one the other one trusts. But they each have a dark secret, and neither one knows how to tell the other. Crystal’s secret is that she’s gay and strongly attracted to Sylvia. She wants more than friendship, but she’s afraid to destroy what they already have by letting Sylvia know. And after all, friendship is better than nothing, isn’t it? But Sylvia’s secret is more sinister. It could not only destroy their friendship, it could also hurt Crystal—in more ways than one.

3.) How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?

A.)  I should probably say something profound, but the truth is I felt very legitimized. Artist life in general can be seen as sort of whimsical or philandering. Having someone of merit look at something that I created and judge it artistically valuable is a wonderfully validating feeling.

4.) What is more important to you, story, or character? Why?

A.)  That's a tricky question, but for me its the character because without a character to invest in, the story is devoid of emotional resonance. I read to feel something. I watch television to feel something. For me, it's not the situation, problems, or plot that ultimately get their hooks into me. I may not remember every twist and turn, every plot arc, or every place name. I will remember how I empathized with the character- the core of them as I perceived it.

5.) What is a typical day like in your world?

A.)  I have two children so my typical day is severely lacking in the adult conversation arena. We get up. The kiddos watch cartoons with breakfast, and I either read, write or edit. Then, we play usually a mix of princess and super hero type games. After lunch, I have to head over to my day job (hopefully after a shower). Later comes dinner and a bit more playing. The kids go to bed, and I slush read, beta read, work on promotional material, or write before sleep.

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