Author Sarah Kenney
1. Tell us about your journey to this point?
My name is Sarah Kenney. I write Young Adult Fantasy, Adult Thrillers, and poetry. I have lived in Michigan my entire life and most of my stories are set in different towns from here in the Mitten!
My journey has been a very long one up to this point in my life. I’ve had a lot of dreams and an ever-changing list of goals, some I’ve been lucky to live and others I had to let go of.
I’ve lived through emotional and physical abuse that left me with PTSD, I try to use this to reach out to other people who have experienced similar situations through my writing project, “Finding Hope.”
I started writing details about my characters and stories when I was twelve years old, I had a lot of changes happen in my life that involved a lot of fear and worry that involved almost losing my brother to chronic pancreatitis and moving around a lot.
I started having very vivid nightmares at a young age so writing the details of them helped a lot with dealing with them. I hadn’t known at the time that I would later bring those characters to life in my stories. If I don’t write then I have nightmares whenever I sleep. Most of my life I have lived in and out of a hospital, whether to be there for someone else or for myself. In the past ten years, I have been admitted into the hospital probably over 10 times and have had over 100 ER visits due to a rare illness that was misdiagnosed, mainly because a lot of doctors don’t believe its a real thing.
I worked as a model for six years and actress for three of those years. I love theatre and the runway was my happy place. I used to dance contemporary, ballet and was hoping to learn ballroom professionally, I also worked with grades K-3 teaching children how to read.
Last year in February, I became very ill and ended up in the hospital twice. I found out the cause of my sickness for the past ten years was due to a rare illness called “Celiac Artery Compression Syndrome” or MALS is another name for it. It is an illness that restricts blood flow to most of my major organs, my artery was 70% compressed. I ended up with malnutrition and when they tried to give me a PICC line I ended up with sepsis. I had three surgeons quit on me and finally found one this year who will be performing open surgery in July but my artery is now 100% compressed.
Writing has kept me from going insane over the past year along with my family. If it weren’t for the characters in my books, my loving family and the amazing man I’m with, I honestly would be very depressed at this point. I have spent most of the past two years writing constantly, this year is the first I haven’t set specific deadlines. I started publishing in 2016; if it wouldn’t have been for the encouragement from my Mom I probably wouldn’t have started publishing my books. So far I’ve been able to write over eleven novels - only four of them are published so far and three chapbooks, the rest are in editing which as every author knows is the longest, most tedious part of the process!
This year I’ve been able to reach out with my writing a bit more than before. I had the opportunity of speaking with a couple of authors through a Women who Write meeting in Grand Rapids about my writing process and how to beat writers blocks, I have been writing for a digital business called “Workspace Digital” for about four months now and write business and marketing articles. Lastly, I’ve had the chance now to branch out and speak with other writers and be interviewed by a couple of bloggers that will be released in August so it’s pretty cool when you finally feel like you’re able to speak to others about your work without them saying, ”So, you write about Satan, huh?” (P.S. GREAT way to book a job interview! LOL!)
2. What is your favorite quote?
“Courage is Grace under Pressure.” - Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway is one of my all-time favorite authors.
3. What are you working on now?
I am currently finishing the editing on my next Young Adult release, Eternal Fate. This story I originally wrote in 24 hrs back in 2016 and it’s been waiting patiently for its turn to be published, editing will be finished and ready to publish on Sept. 1st! I am also writing the fourth novel in my Young Adult series, The Devils Curse Novels called Devils Ascension which is a three-part novel, I’m estimating by the time I’m done it will be close to 90.000 words in length. I am also writing the second novel in my Adult Psychological Thriller series, The Keyhole Novels called Ghost of the Past. I have the story fully outlined but I’m finding that I am terrified of writing it! LOL.. and lastly, I started an account on a new writing platform called “Wattpad” and am trying a weekly chapter writing of a new Adult Psychological Thriller that is a bit more of a Crime/Mystery called Heads or Tails. Once I am finished publishing weekly chapters, a preview will stay on Wattpad and the title will be released in print and eBook, but readers can also find my other written works on Wattpad to try the books before they buy them on Amazon. :)
4. If you could have been born in another country where would it be? And why?
Australia. When I was about nine years old I always wanted to go to Spain, but it wasn’t a place I ever dreamed of living and then I found out about Australia and have always been in love with the idea of it. Being a redhead, I would probably melt there but I’ve always adored wildlife, most of all reptiles, so Australia has always stood out to me as a place of adventure and excitement.
5. Tell us something nobody knows about you.
I sob every time I watch Sweet Home Alabama. Nobody knows because I won’t EVER watch it with anyone!
6. As a child, what did you wish to become when you grew up?
When I was little I always wanted to become a Wildlife Biologist, Zoologist or Herpetologist. When I was nine years old I actually printed out a list of Universities and gave them to my Mom. I had a huge plan of how I would earn the money for college, when I would graduate, where I would intern, and what it was I wanted to specialize in, but unfortunately, life tends to have a plan of its own. I studied Wildlife Conservation a few years back and spent a while as a Naturalist guide teaching K-3rd but Conservation was a bit of a hit or miss for me. I wanted to save wildlife and see wildlife in their natural habitats whereas a lot of Conservation is about animals being a problem that needs to be removed.
7. What are your hobbies?
When I’m not writing I tend to crochet, I co-own a small business with my Mother that is called, Saribears on Etsy. We create handmade products for Women, Children, and Mothers. I also enjoy sketching tattoos, collecting books - mainly classics, I love painting - walls aren’t safe if I run out of canvases. I manage a writing project called, Project Finding HOPE 365 so I spend a lot of time writing monthly newsletters and updating the group, everyone is welcome to join and share their story or contribute to the group and I also write support letters every so often for a foundation called, Letters Against Depression.
8. What other artists, authors or creators have influenced you?
I find myself being inspired by people I have connected with during the time I have started publishing my own books, other artists who have struggled like I do and still pull through and follow their dreams because its what they enjoy doing is always an inspiration.
I’ve learned a lot from Cover Designers who are also authors, Cover designer: Maialen Alonso, from Bilbao, Spain, who created my cover for Devils Fall taught me a lot when I first started publishing about the Amazon KDP platform, she publishes her written work on Amazon in both Spanish and English. I didn’t realize I needed a good mock-up until I received the amazing mock-ups before Kristyn at Drop Dead Designs sent me for my novel, Devils Dream.
Other authors I talk to and am inspired by are Ankita Singh, she is releasing her full-length chapbook of poetry called, Scattered Constellations at the end of July! I just connected with another Michigan author, Tiffany Skylark of Roquiel and the Phoenix. J.D. Netto is a great author to follow, he’s finished his Fantasy series “The Whispers of the Fallen” now and created a new book called, Saved by the Page that is an inspirational movement for readers.
Musicians are also a huge inspiration for me, when I was probably too young to be talking to bands, I used to market and help distribute music from international bands, one of these bands I have known for over 9 or 10 years is called, FEUD who are from the U.K. and a new musician that inspired me recently to keep writing through “Sleepwalker” was Desi Valentine. His song, Asylum, would be the one and only song on the soundtrack for Sleepwalker if there was one!
There are many more and I feel like I’m probably leaving someone out but this is a start of the artists who inspire me on a daily basis!
9. What was the hardest scene for you to write?
There have been quite a few scenes that I have had a very hard time writing because I could no longer see my screen through the tears! The entire Sleepwalker novel was very difficult for me to write emotionally but I would have to say for Young Adult readers, there is a scene in Devils Fall towards the end that involves Lucy breaking her Fathers heart by making a decision that alters the rest of the series and to write through her eyes what she was witnessing by making this decision and how it broke her Father was really emotional.
I think that any daughter can relate to that feeling, especially during their teenage years, where you want to follow what you want regardless of what your loved ones feel about it but you end up breaking the hearts of the ones you love most and in return, your decision ends up breaking your own heart.
Eternal Fate is available for pre-order
Ashleigh Valentine is the puzzle piece that doesn't fit into the picture at VenHoar High. Unpopular in every way and she knows it. A self-proclaimed "carrot," with red hair and freckles. A figure that has nothing to flaunt and a hopeless crush on her best friend. She finds herself becoming more of an outsider the closer she gets to graduation.
Ashleigh is faced with more drama when her father returns, engaged to her best-friend-wanna-be-lover's mother. Her father and soon to be step-mother want to take their new blended family away for the Summer.
Both Ashleigh and Jai see this as more of a threat than a promising vacation...
In the first novel in Michigan Author, Sarah A. Kenney's New Young Adult Murder/Mystery series, "The Eternal Enemies Series." This hopeless, romanticized high school drama will take a turn for the worst in, "Eternal Fate."
Release Date: September 3rd, 2018