This week we’re interviewing Sarah E. Ott, whose sci-fi/action novel, Exordia, will release this November. Sarah lives and breathes stories that involve high stakes and character-driven plots. When she’s not chasing plot bunnies or emoting over good literature, she can be found doing one of the following things: a) working as a kids ministry office administrator, b) driving her Prius to Dunkin’ Donuts, or c) curled up on a couch with a book and covered in live cats.
How did you get started writing?
As soon as I learned to read and grasped the concept of storytelling, I was writing stories about everything—from horses to princesses to once, memorably, a girl who lived in a treehouse because her home burned down. I grew up living and breathing stories and literature, and that’s what established my deep love for storytelling.
(And don’t worry. The girl’s family rebuilt their home, though she continued to live in the treehouse, presumably because she liked it.)
What is one thing you hope readers take away from your books?
There’s an easy answer to this—a sense of wonder, the taste of a different world, a safe place to come home to at the end of the day—but the harder answer is this: I write to create art. The human part of me wants readers to find a friend in my snarky characters, to get a sense of what sacrifice and love mean, and to read truth between the lines of fiction. The creative in me knows that, once someone else reads my words, I relinquish all rights to their interpretation.
It’s up to me to create the art. It’s up to someone else to find meaning in it.
What inspired your story world?
Exordia was one of those worlds that grew out of necessity—the story I wanted to tell needed a certain backdrop. The earliest drafts were about a futuristic gang war buddy cop storyline, and as the story and world developed, that morphed into an Earth colony gone wrong. The colony worlds of Andre Norton’s many books, Mission: Impossible movies, and the visuals of the new Star Trek movies were influential in Exordia’s look and feel.
What fictional world do you most want to visit and why?
This question is decidedly unfair! I recently fell in love with Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere and I would love to explore all the unexplained eccentricities of London Below.
What mythological creature would you want to be?
A centaur, a la C. S. Lewis. (A destiny of star-watching? Yes, please and thanks.)
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Telekinesis, probably. Or—not necessarily a superpower, per se—the way Root is plugged into the Machine in Person of Interest is pretty cool. (Infinite information?)
Favorite writing fuel?
Coffee. More accurately, my entire life is coffee-fueled. Also, Spotify informed me that I’ve spent over 10,000 minutes listening to music just in the past few months, so I think “music” is a safe answer, too.
Just about the only two remotely “girly” things about me: my inexplicable desire to try every lipstick under the sun, and the fact that my favorite color has been pink for as long as I can remember.
Thanks for joining us today, Sarah!
Here is where you can find Sarah E. Ott online: