Want to know more about debut author Sarah Adlakha and her new book She Wouldn’t Change a Thing? Keep reading to see her answers to all of our burning questions!
What kind of research did you do for this book? Did you learn anything surprising?
The main character of She Wouldn’t Change a Thing is a psychiatrist, a mother, and a wife. She is a woman who struggles with wearing too many hats, being everything to everyone, yet not feeling like she’s enough for anyone. She is the person I was before I changed careers. So there really wasn’t too much research for me to do in order to get inside her head or to understand the world she came from. The only scene that required any research was one in which Maria undergoes hypnosis. Once I learned the technique, I really wanted to try it out on someone, but – for obvious reasons – I still haven’t found any takers.
What is your writing routine?
My writing routine depends on the time of year. During the school year, when I am at home by myself, I am able to carve out some time during the day for writing. I also run a medical practice from home, but it doesn’t take up my whole day. When my youngest is home from school, it is impossible to get any writing done during the day, so I start when she goes to bed and generally stay up past midnight. It isn’t ideal, but it works, and it has definitely taught me some excellent time management skills.
What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
Perfect is the enemy of good. The subjectiveness of writing doesn’t fit my personality as well as the concreteness of the sciences. Right and wrong makes sense to me, and when I started the editing process for my first novel, I had a difficult time accepting that at some point, I just had to let go and be okay with imperfection. I could spend hours rewriting one paragraph trying to make it perfect, oftentimes going back to the beginning and using the very first draft I’d created. It took me a long time to learn that, regardless of the words that found their way onto the page, perfection looks different to different people.
When writing a book, do you plan it out first or do you go with the flow?
I am a plotter, through and through. I am envious of people who can go with the flow and learn what’s going to happen as they write it. I know from the first word how my story is going to end. Not only do I write out a synopsis, but I write out a summary of each chapter before I create an outline to detail each paragraph. Things might change a bit within the paragraphs – and there is certainly a fair amount of editing that goes into it – but I have found that if I try to wing it, I will spend an inordinate amount of time rewriting in the end.
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