I started in journalism, and always wanted to make a career out of writing.
Congratulations on having achieved your goal. I know that's a satisfying feeling. What part of writing do you find most satisfying?
Telling a story with fascinating characters, terrible villains and a sense of irony.
Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.
I’m a plotter and think a long time about the story, but once I begin writing, the characters take over and tell their own story. I like to set the story in the context of a historical event, but the character’s reaction to the event is the real story.
Where do you find inspiration?
A good idea for a villain inspires me. Other writers who tell remarkable stories inspire me. People-watching inspires me.
Tell us about your book.
My first book with Avalon, Dulcie Crowder Gets Her Man, is set in the aftermath of the gold rush in California. The Western is one of my favorite settings.
A visit to Placerville started Dulcie and Tom’s story. I wondered about the people who founded the town and how they lived back in the nineteenth century. The story of the gold rush is a good story about the American experience because people came from all over the world and from all walks of life to seek their fortune.
I’ve outlined stories for three secondary characters in DCGHM. Jasper Jenkins needs a wife and I get to play matchmaker.
What did you personally like about Dulcie Crowder Gets Her Man?
Dulcie is flawed but she works to improve herself and her lot in life. Those early settlers were tough. Despite Dulcie’s small size, she packs a punch.
Did you develop the plot from something you’ve experienced personally?
Not consciously. A while back, I read an article in the Writer’s Digest suggesting a writer keep an index file of traits she noticed in people so when the time comes to ‘show’ and not ‘tell’, the file will come in handy. I have made a mental note many times of examples of human emotions and how they are expressed.
I know that you’ve lived in a number of different places, including Paris. How has this influenced your writing?
Living in Europe, you can’t help but be influenced by history, there are so many examples of historical events and places still existent. Paris nurtures artists and writers—has done so for centuries. As a student, I had access to the Opera, ballet, museums etc. for little or no cost.
Sounds like the ideal background for a writer. Any special place you think of as ‘home’?
San Diego is home.
What other authors do you especially admire?
I’m a great admirer of Julian Fellowes, author of Downton Abbey. He gets to put words in Maggie Smith’s mouth.
Ah, yes. I think a lot of us are hooked on Downton Abbey. Any others?
Other favorites include: Catherine Cookson, Anne Tyler, Anne Perry, Marion Chesney, Ian McEwan, and John Le Carre.
What do you do when you are not writing?
Research, travel, support mission work for my church.
Sounds like you're a busy lady. Do you have a schedule for writing or do you squeeze it in when you can?
I write from 6 to 10 each morning. After that, I need to exercise.
What is the most fun thing that ever happened to you as an author?
Yes, and thanks so much for asking. My website is http://sarahrichmond.com/ and my blog is http://rose-adagio.blogspot.com/.
Thanks, Sarah, for taking time to answer my questions. Good luck with Dulcie Crowder Gets Her Man and all your writing. That's a great cover.