Q. What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
A. There are two things I really enjoyed about writing The Portal Keeper. The first being the ease in which it came. I would love it if every book I wrote just seemed to flow out of me as it did with The Portal Keeper. It’s the fastest book I have ever written. It probably helped motivate me that I had three children eager to listen to the progress I had made at the end of each day.
They are the second reason I had such a blast writing this book. I loved my kids enthusiasm as I read it. They were my first beta readers. There are a few scenes in the book that they were actually rolling on the floor laughing. Seeing their enjoyment helped to give me confidence that I was doing something right.
Having previously written YA, MG was a new venture for me. There are differences between writing for different age groups. So this was a new experience, one that I enjoyed thoroughly.
Q. Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?
A. At the moment I am a part-time writer. Hopefully in the future I can transition into writing full time. Because I have a day job and three kids, who are still fairly young, I really have to learn to budget my time. I try spend a half hour a day on advertising, whether it’s through posts, tweets or interviews I do. Then hopefully I can squeeze in some time to write or revise. I think I am able to better manage my time because I have so little. It makes me more motivated to use it instead of being lazy and just binge watching my favorite Netflix show. (which to be honest does happen occasionally)
Q. What do you think is the future of reading/writing?
A. I believe it’s changing every day. Sadly, I think we are heading away from books in print. I think in the next fifty years more and more companies won’t bother with them. Maybe not for children’s book as quickly as other genres, but I expect to see print books disappearing or the cost increasing.
As an author of YA and MG fiction, I would say 80 to 90 percent of my sales are in ebooks. Other authors I have talked with have similar results. If the trend continues I am frightened that publishing houses will feel it’s not worth the time and money to make books in print. I hope I am wrong. Although I love my kindle when traveling, I still enjoy holding an actual book in my hands. And now as an author, there is nothing more exciting than seeing a story you sweated over for hundreds of hours turn into a book that you can hold. It’s just not the same feeling when I see my book on my kindle as when I can actually turn the pages in my hand.
Q. What are some ways in which you promote your work? Do you find that these add to or detract from your writing time?
A. Promoting a book is an endless cycle. I never understood what authors meant when they would say ‘the real work begins after the book is published.’ I have now published two books and am gearing up to release my third. The writing is the fun part. After that the true work begins because no matter how great your book is, if you don’t get the cover right or the book blurb on the back, no one will even give it a second glance.
I probably don’t spend enough time on promoting my books. I use twitter, Instagram, goodreads, my own blog and facebook groups. When I take the time to tell people about my work, I tend to get sales. I enjoy doing interviews and have done an AMA (Ask me anything) which was fun. It’s just hard finding the time to do it all. It all definitely detracts from my writing time, but it’s all part of the job. I definitely have to be smart about how I use my time, and make time for writing. But when you have a family, it’s about balance too. So I try and make sure that I don’t get lost in my author world and that I make time for them too. It has helped that they have been super supportive.
Q. What projects are you working on at the present?
A. I have several projects that I am working on at present. I find that if I can hop from one project to another I don’t get bored and I don’t get writer’s block. I have a YA trilogy that I am working on called the Sunwalker trilogy. The first book Sunwalker is already out and the 2nd book Nightwalker is with my editor. We are shooting for a release the end of May. I am working on the third book Darkwalker when I find time. It’s a fun twist on the vampire genre, as the main character Lilly was born a vampire due to a rare genetic trait past down from her parents. I always wanted to explain the origin of vampires, something I found missing in other books I had read.
I am also writing book 2 in the Keeper Chronicles. I typically have a name at the start, but this one has been giving me some trouble. So I think I will wait and see how the whole story comes together before settling on a title.
The other project that I am working on is a beginning chapter book series for younger readers. It is about the same level as a Magic Treehouse book. My beta readers are currently reading through it and I am anxiously awaiting the feedback of four voracious seven year-olds. I think it is crucial to get feedback from your expected audience. Once I get their feedback, then it will go out to my more experienced beta readers. This project is a new adventure for me as this will be my first book with illustrations. I will probably include one per chapter, and as I have no artistic capability I must find an illustrator which is a daunting task.
I am also in the middle of having my first book Sunwalker translated into Spanish, so that’s an exciting process. I have a huge extended family and not all of them speak English, so I want them to be able to read my books too.
I have a few other ideas for new stories that I have jotted down, but I think if I have more than three projects going at once I might not ever finish. So until these three series are complete I probably won’t start on a new one.
The Portal Keeper
About the Author
S. T. Sanchez was born in Dallas, TX. She loves Texas. The weather is crazy, but the people are friendly. She graduated from the University of North Texas with a BA of Arts in Spanish. Mexico is her second home. Her husband is from there, and they still have family down there. She loves the culture, the people and of course the food. She has three wonderful children and loves hiking and spending time outdoors when she is not writing.