Indie Writer: Sarah Hayes

Sarah Hayes, an indie writer and blogger, is the author of the romantic suspense/domestic suspense novel, Forgive Me. Novels like Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison, Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult, and Sleeping with the Enemy by Nancy Price, we delve into worlds of terror and violence behind closed doors. In the debut novel of Sarah Hayes, she explores how a woman, Maggie Lickens, gets drawn into an abusive relationship and examines the question of can she get away?

Forgive Me available in paperback and Kindle Unlimited ($2.99 to buy). Read time about 4.5 hours to 5.5 hours. The first chapter is available on her blog for free.

You can follow Sarah Hayes on her blog, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. You can also sign up for her newsletter.

What was the inspiration for your book?

The original concept and theme for “Forgive Me” stemmed from a few personal experiences, but that’s not me saying the book was ‘based on a true story’.  I would take situations that happened to me or people I knew and tweak them, making it more intense and/or interesting—A bike wreck might turn into a car accident, a simple argument would translate into a fist fight. I took inspiration for my characters from people I knew and encountered in my life. As the story evolved, I began to take out the personal experiences and let the characters decide what was going to happen. My main characters morphed into so much more once I let go of my personal ties. They are still embedded in the book but almost hidden for me only to know about. The original book I wrote is not what I published. It went through a very extensive rewrite to become the book that is released now and I love how it turned out. 

What are you currently working on?

Currently, I have multiple projects I’m working on. I have a novella, that is published on my blog for the time being. When I launched my blog in June 2018, I started releasing chapters of my novella “A View From The Drop Off Line” every few weeks. Now that it is officially finished, I plan on pulling it from the blog and releasing it on Amazon. Aside from that, I am working on two new stories — one is a Paranormal Romance and the other is a Contemporary Romance…Titles to be determined… 

Why did you decide to become an indie writer?

The idea of becoming an indie writer wasn’t really on my radar a year ago. I had always assumed when I finished my book, I’d go the traditional route of querying agents and/or publishers and cross my fingers I’d get noticed amongst the slew of other writers vying for the same opportunity. In fact, when I finished my book the first time, I did this. I submitted the book to several agents and publishers only to be rejected by all of them. It was discouraging but I can say today, I’m glad I went through it. I’m glad I got rejected. The book wasn’t where it needed to be. So I pulled the book, took several years to revise and rewrite it with the plan of traditional publishing. After it was finished a second time, I had a very disheartening experience and something clicked in me. I didn’t write this book for any other reason than I wanted to. I wasn’t in it for the money or set sights on fame. I write because I love to do it. I love to create and agonize over characters. Writing is something I have to do, so why not have full control over it? Once that realization hit me, I knew I wanted to be an indie writer and there’s not a day goes by that I regret it. It’s been a journey, but one that I’m thankful for every day. 

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