Guest Focus

Sara Codair

Author

Q. Tell us about what you write.

A. My favorite genre to write is contemporary fantasy because I love finding ways to infuse the world I live in with magic. My stories are often set in the New England area because it’s where I live, and I enjoy writing about familiar places more than ones I have to do extensive research about. Sometimes I branch out of contemporary fantasy into other genres. I’ve written a handful of short science fiction stories, and my 2021 release is eco-fantasy set in the future. One thing my newer works have in common is that I write a lot of characters who are non-binary, bi, and/or on the asexual spectrum.

Q. How long have you been writing and how did you get into it?

A. I wrote my first piece of fiction when I was in first grade, but I only wrote sporadically until I was in my late twenties. I’ve always loved making up stories, by finding a way to focus, sit still, and write was a big challenge. ‘In my twenties, I started with flash fiction, worked my way up to short stories, and eventually, novels.

Q. How you do find character names and do world building?

A. To find names for characters, I go on baby name sites and look at the meaning of names that starts with a letter I think fits my character. Other times, a name just pops into my head. When I world build, I look for ways to subtle weave magic into familiar places. Once I think of something, like Demons lurking in parking garages, mermaids in Casco Bay, or ghost haunting old dolls in antique stores, I figure out a system in which those things can exist and work with the story I want to tell.

 

Q. In what space do you normally write? (room, desk, bed, couch, Starbucks?)

A. For as much of the year as weather allows, I write on my screened in porch. It’s the biggest, brightest part of my house and it overlooks a lake. As I answer these questions, a breeze is keeping me cool and ducks are swimming out front.

 

Q. How do you go about pulling yourself out of a writing slump?

A. Reading usually helps. I’ll read between two and four books back to back then go back to either the beginning or one of my favorite scenes in the story I was working on, read through, editing as I go. By the time I get to where I left off, the slump is over.

If I’m looking for inspiration to start something new, I make prompts using random word generators. I get three or four words, and try to write something using all those words. I haven’t done this in a while though. I have too many stories at different stages of the writing process that need revision, and a very long list of stories I want to write.

 

Q. If you were going to recommend just one of your books/stories, which would it be? Tell us about that piece.

A. I am very proud of the way Life Minus Me came out. It has some heavy content, because the two main characters are struggling with their mental health. One is having severe depression and anxiety. Both of those are things I struggle with myself, and in this story, I feel like I truly captured what it feels like, at least for me, to experience those things. The story is dark, but there is always a sense of hope. And there are lots of good dogs to lighten it up. In the story, Mel, a telepathic half-Angel, hears her cousin had a vision of a person committing suicide. Mel sets out to prevent that suicide from happening. The story alternates between the point of view of Mel and the person she is trying to help.

Q. If you were going to step out of your comfort zone, what might you try writing?

A. I would like to try writing adult space opera or adult contemporary romance. I know these two things are very different from each other, but they’re both in my list of things to eventually try writing.