Take one genre; there will be enough to talk about. Take a second genre and the same thing is true. Take two genres that are opposing, like fiction and non-fiction, then sometimes keep them separate and sometimes overlap them and the matrix of possibilities becomes multi-dimensional. So goes, or went, our conversation with Sarah McCarthy and Sarah Allen as we talked about her career steering through fiction titles and non-fiction titles, respectively. At least she kept the same first name for both.
Sarah has a degree in physics (impressive), has studied cognitive psychology (which would seem to help with characters), and now tutors physics students. And then on the fictional side of life;
“Fantasy novels are basically goal-oriented extended camping trips and magic is just alternate-reality physics, so this worked out well”
Good luck guessing which is what with titles like, Newton’s Laws: A Fairy Tale (approachable non-fiction) and The Eidolons of Myrefall (fiction for sure.) And in both cases, check out her cover designs.
She not only is working in more than one genre, but also has a tendency to work in, or on, series as a soloist and in collaborations.
Successful authors frequently are required to make the leap from introvert as a writer to extrovert as a business person. Sarah has managed to not so much leap as stretch from her introverted base to successfully conduct marketing and sales campaigns by using a few online tools very well. Her efficiency may also explain her productivity because a quick count of her titles suggests a publication rate of about one book per year, with hints that she may be able to do more.
And she’s not stopping. There are other series to write, and with each series it sounds like she is tutoring herself in how to become a career author.
Listen in. By the way, this podcast was recorded in a park with kids running around, parents on smartphones, and a gracious groundskeeper who saw our recording rig then steered away until we were done. Whidbey Island, a place where even landscapers support writers and authors.
Writing on Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 37 – Sarah McCarthy/Allen – author of non-fiction and fiction, tutor of science
- Her fiction author page – Sarah McCarthy
- Her non-fiction page – Sarah Allen
- Her (ninja!) website – https://sarahmccarthy.ninja/