Hello and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules!  Since we are a book club, we had to offer something that included a book shelf.  A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories.  Here on this “SHELF,”  we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask.  We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but no one has dared to cover them.  WE get personal!  Because when you sit on the RRBC “SHELF,” YOU are an open book!

Today, I have with me on the “SHELF” a Past “SPOTLIGHT” Author, Sara F. Hathaway!

Sara on the lake

NJ:  Before we get started, how does the “shelf” feel to you? Is it comfy?

Sara:  The shelf feels nice! It’s made of some hard wood but after you work with it for a while it is the most beautiful thing to be a part of. The author journey can be a long and arduous one and having an opportunity to be recognized is amazing! It’s awesome to be a part of something bigger than yourself: a community of like-minded individuals coming together on their own accord for the good of all.

NJ:  Well, thank you, Sara!  I don’t think any other guest has put it quite so eloquently.  Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name?

Sara:  My real name is Sara F. Hathaway. I didn’t change it to a pen name. I figured it was pretty lucky to have the last name Hathaway since many people recognize it thanks to Anne Hathaway. The “F” initial stands for Fletcher.

NJ:  Tell us where you were born? Do you still live there now? If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?

Sara:  Baby Sara was born in Rochester Michigan and I called it home until I was sixteen years old. Michigan was my first love with its emerald green springs and spectacularly colorful falls. I used to stomp the woodlands there and enjoyed the abundance of lakes.  From Michigan, I moved to an area in California known as the “foothills,” in-between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe. I landed in a little town called Cool. It is not much more than a stop sign, a grocery store, a gas station and a splattering of small businesses but I love this place. The mountains have welcomed me to a new home and I delight in learning about the abundance of plants and wildlife that inhabit this region.

NJ:  Married or single?

Sara:  I met my husband, Brock Hathaway, 18 years ago while hitchhiking home from work. I was untrustworthy then and made him drop me off at the end of my subdivision so he wouldn’t know where I lived. He was adamant about getting to know me after that encounter and two years later he asked me to marry him. I was honored to accept his request. He was and continues to be my voice of reason and my rock. I cannot thank him enough for all the love and support he seems to endlessly give.

NJ:  Hitchhiking?  Well, OK…aren’t you the brave one.  Kids or no? If yes, how many? Sons or Daughters?

Sara:  When Fletcher was born I held a baby in my arms for the very first time. I was a girl who was never going to have children so I never held babies. But my husband convinced me otherwise and my first son was born almost 15 years ago in October. He is turning into a handsome man with a solid head on his shoulders and I am proud to call him son.  When my husband and I were first discussing children we always wanted two but then we had one. We quickly determined that taking care of just one child was going to be a lot of work so we decided to wait to have another. When I turned thirty I knew that the time had come. My second son, Christian, was born almost four years ago in September. It was almost like starting all over again because it had been eleven years since we had our first child. But this time there is sibling rivalry and another almost adult helper. My youngest son is a firecracker and I imagine he will grow into quite a head strong young man.

NJ:  Favorite child?

Sara:  Favorite is a dynamic and ever changing concept in my mind. There are times when Fletcher is my favorite because he is easy to talk to and an optimistic guy. It is nice to be able to enjoy time with him but then there are times that he drops the ball so badly that you think you’ll go nuts. That is when Christian will float into the favorite slot because you can appreciate his innocence. He has a go get ‘em attitude and is very imaginative. It is nice to enjoy simple times with him while I can.

NJ:  Pets? What kind?

Sara:  We adopted our dog, Sawyer, 7 years ago. He is a brindle colored, Boxer/Great Dane mix. Great dog!
We adopted our cat, Tracker, last year. He is an orange tabby and takes care of the mice.
We have three chickens that lay eggs for the family.

NJ:  Favorite food?

Sara:  Every Valentine’s Day my husband makes me a special dish called Chicken Valentine and it is my favorite. It is made by rolling macerated spinach and carrot up inside of a chicken breast and then wrapping that chicken in croissant rolls. You have to slowly cook it in the oven, while you gradually increase the heat and apply an egg wash. When it is done you serve it with barbeque sauce poured over the top. Yum…yum!

NJ:  Favorite color?

Sara:  My favorite color is a deep electric blue.

NJ:  Favorite sport?  You look like a sports girl!

Sara:  At two years old I started ice skating. I got into ice hockey as a young girl when it was unheard of for a girl to play that sport. I have been playing hockey ever since and I love the sport.

NJ:  Favorite TV Show…

Sara:  American Ninja Warrior is my favorite TV show. I love the fact that it focuses on the power and tenacity of the everyday individual and is not made up of carefully selected and sponsored participants.

NJ:  Favorite Actress/Actor:

Sara:  Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is my favorite actor. I have been watching him since he was just a guy on a wresting show. He was actually wrestling the night Fletcher was born. He is a dynamic actor and pretty nice on the eyes as well.

NJ:  Couch potato or workout nut? Be honest.

Sara:  Work out nut! You’ll find me in the gym at least three days a week. Nature hikes are a frequent part of my daily activities. I play on a woman’s ice hockey tournament team and I am also a black belt in Taekwondo.

NJ:  Biggest pet peeve that makes you want to stomach-punch somebody?: (For the record, NJ does not condone violence but she does believe in being honest so she has to admit that there are times when she feels like some friendly stomach-punching is a little necessary).

Sara:  The sound of loud chewing or the sound of rumpling potato chip bags is my biggest pet peeve. When I was in school there was always the kid sneaking in a snack in class. They would slowly open the bag making the signature crinkling sound and then out comes the potato chip. They would carefully place it into their mouth and then crunch, crunch, crunch. It used to drive me nuts! Now my husband always pours his chips into a bowl so I don’t have to hear the sound of the bag.

NJ:  Really?  That’s very nice of him.  My daughters frown because I smack my gum loudly. I do it to intentionally irritate those that it bothers.  LOL.   Hmmmm… So, are you neat or messy?

Sara:  Again, this is a very dynamic topic of conversation. In some areas of my life I am meticulous. The deep clean of my home, the organization of clutter and my pantry are some examples. But for some reason my car is always a mess, my desk is a mess, and the outside of my house gets pretty messy so I guess I’m both.

NJ:  My desk is a mess and with good reason.  My first job in high school as a Receptionist at this big oil firm, my mother bought me a sign that read:  “A clean, uncluttered desk is the sign of a sick mind.” I still have that sign today and since there are enough crazies in the world, I always, always ensure that my desk is the messiest it can be.  Facebook or Twitter?

Sara:  Neither, I am a Pinterest lover. When I first heard about Pinterest I dismissed it as a girly thing but once I got involved in it I quickly realized the benefits of being an active part of this site, especially if you are a small business or author. I believe in Pinterest’s abilities to increase site traffic so much that I even designed a Simple Pinning Guide that is available on my website. Basically, it was designed because I was tired of trying to teach all my author friends how to rock the Pinterest World in just a conversation.

NJ:  Name two of the most supportive people you’ve met on either Facebook or Twitter? Hurry and tell us so we can become their friend.

Sara:  The two most supportive people I have found on Twitter are Jason Zandri and Bruce Borders. These two gentlemen are big time supporters. On Facebook I would have to say my cousin Barbara Pinnock has been my biggest supporter.

NJ:  Jason Zandri and Bruce A. Borders are two of the most supportive people I know!  So, Nonnie Jules or Wonderwoman? Be honest

Sara:  Sorry Nonnie but I would have to go Wonderwoman. I remember seeing her when I was little and thinking how powerful and awesome she was. She could stand against the biggest evil side by side with men and do the job just as well. As a young powerful woman in a man’s world she was my hero but her outfit is a little too skimpy as far as I’m concerned.

NJ:  {*Snickers*  I guess she didn’t know that this was a trick question and that Nonnie Jules IS Wonder Woman}.  Oh, well, THANK YOU, Sara!  What an awesome compliment, and yes, I tend to do a pretty good job standing against EVIL and holding my own with the best of them, especially men… and I will make no apologies for my sexy outfit!

Fat Wonder Woman

Everyone knows the names Mark Twain and Stephen King but how about you give us two names of some INDIE authors that you favor:

Sara:  Raymond Dean White and Loren Weaver.

NJ:  What is it about them that you’ve come to like?

Sara:  Raymond Dean White writes The Impact series. As a fellow author in my genre I find his work very entertaining and informative. The second indie author that I mentioned, Loren Weaver’s, wrote Havoc’s Cry. I really enjoyed reading about a strong female hero even though I am not usually a fan of vampire and werewolf books.

NJ:  Name two favorite INDIE books that you’ve read…

Sara:  Havoc’s Cry, Women’s Work

NJ:  ONE good INDIE book you read that was so good you wished the entire world would read it…

Sara:  Impact: The Dying Time

NJ:  What was so great about it?

Sara:  Ray was able to take the plot line of many characters and weave them into one cohesive story that tugged at the heart strings. Plus, this book is a wealth of survival information so you can learn as you are entertained.

NJ:  After you read books, do you post reviews?

Sara:  Yes

NJ:  What do you think readers should base their reviews on?

Sara:  Readers should base their reviews upon their gut feelings. Were you able to finish the book? If you were there was something there that really captivated you. Did the story play with your emotions? Were you able to place yourself into the shoes of the characters? These are the things that make the adventure worth the time it takes to participate in it.

NJ:  Are you one of those who are afraid to be honest in their reviews lest the author gets upset with you, or is honesty your best policy, especially in reviews?

Sara:  Honesty is always the best policy. I tend to lean towards the side of giving the author the benefit of the doubt though. Writing a book is not an easy task. It takes time and discipline. I try to give the author the best scores possible but if there were hiccups I will be honest about how I felt about them.

NJ:  Read any poorly written books lately?

Sara:  The worst indie book I attempted to read was Love and Family During the Great Death by Vincent Berg. We agreed to trade reviews but I was really offended by the sexual scenario in the very first scene. I tried to continue on, thinking that it had to get better but it didn’t. It was just an overkill of sexual details. I don’t think one sex scene needs to be 25 pages long.

NJ:  Where’s your review so I can go and check it out?

Sara:  I never gave Vincent a review of his book. I couldn’t finish reading it and so I didn’t think it was fair to give him a review based off the little I had read.

NJ:  Are you an author?

Sara:  Yes

NJ:  How long have you been writing?

Sara:  I have been creatively writing since I was a child. I was never very artistic and used to express my creativity in writing.

NJ:  What books have you written?

Sara:  Day After Disaster, The Changing Earth Series is the first book in my series and the only book I have published right now. The next one is finished and is coming out very soon.

Day After Disaster Cover Pic HR

NJ:  Do you have a blog or website?

Sara:  Yup

NJ:  Name three great online resources or organizations that every author should belong to:

Sara:  Rave Reviews Book Club
Readers Gazette and Book Marketing Made Easy

NJ:  Which online resource or organization has helped you as an author the most?

Sara:  Book Marketing Made Easy

NJ:  How were you helped by them?

Sara:  D’vorah Lansky is the master mind behind Book Marketing Made Easy and although her programs are focused on non-fiction authors, I took the information she provided and translated it for a fictional author. Then I applied it to build my author platform into a solid base that is ready to sky rocket me into the future.

NJ:  Since you’re sitting on the SHELF, you’re obviously a Rave Reviews Book Club member, so what do you think of the club?

Sara:  Rave Reviews Book Club is a great place to be. There are many supportive authors and peers here ready to lend you a hand. Plus, there are always new happenings to keep you involved in club activities.  My twitter account has grown to new heights.  I am proud to be a part of this author community. I really enjoy feeling like a part of something bigger. Too much time for an author is spent toiling away, alone at home and it’s nice to have peer interaction at this level.

NJ:  Have you come across any other online entities like it?

Sara:  The only entity that has given me as much support is Reader’s Gazette.

NJ:  Would you recommend RRBC it to your friends and family?

Sara:  Yes I would recommend it to my reading friends as a place to find some great books by some awesome authors.

NJ:  This shelf is getting hard on my hiney, so we’re going to wrap this interview up. Any final words?

Sara:  I have to agree. I think I have a splinter! My final words would be to keep going. A community is a hard thing to gather and keep on the same page and you are doing a fine job of it here. Authors supporting authors is the best way to get our work out there because true readers are always looking for more material. I am honored to be here on the shelf and honored to be a part of such a great group of creative minds.

NJ:  Thank you so much for joining me on the shelf, Sara!  To my guests, if you’re so inclined, do check out Sara’s book, DAY AFTER DISASTER on Amazon. 

Have you joined Rave Reviews Book Club yet?  Well, here’s your chance!  And since Sara was on the “SHELF” today, tell them she sent you.  Make it a great day, my friends.  We’ll see you next time, right here on the SHELF”!!


17 responses

  1. Shirley Harris-Slaughter | Reply

    Sara I thought your answers were most thoughtful. We always learn something different and interesting about our members. Nonnie, kudos to you for providing this forum for us. It is appreciated and I just want you to know that. I enjoy reading these from my smart phone.


  2. Loved this interview. Sara sounds like she’s very confident – a great trait for an author. Best wishes to Sara on book 2.


  3. Hi Nonnie! Wow did I love your responses! It’s very interesting to learn more about you through these great interviews. I need that sign for my desk! Plus you are rocking the wonder woman role!


    1. Thanks, Sara! And I have to admit, it does get to be a big burden at times, being compared to WonderWoman and all, and squeezing into that itsy bitsy outfit isn’t much fun, either! LOL. Thanks for stopping by!


  4. Sara comes across as someone who knows what they want. Then again, anyone living in a town called Cool has to be cool, right? 🙂


  5. MY six kids were made miserable at the dinner table since their father have to hear chewing sounds. They learned to suck lettuce. This was an enjoyable interview Sara and I applaud your honesty and the way you stand by your convictions.

    Nonnie I am amazed at your self-control lol, I hope you are not sticking pins into any dolls right now :).


    1. Micki, ssssshhhhh, now how did you know about my little doll “friends” and (the secret pins)?????


  6. Love this interview, Nonnie & Sara! I pour my chips into a bowl these days, too, but mostly because I don’t want anyone to hear the bag and know that I’m sneaking chips. 🙂 Plus, I tend not to eat as many that way. I agree with Traci, Sara is a great conversationalist.


  7. Very informative and in-depth interview, I almost feel as though I know Ms. Hathaway from your questions and her candid replies!

    Very good show – ML


  8. Good interview. Like Sara, I loved Michigan as a kid although I lived on the mean streets. I also lived in Sonoma California and know the foothills well. Lovely area.


  9. Very interesting Sara. Great how this helps us know you better. I like how you went into details with everything, even though I held my breath at the Wonder Woman slip. 🙂 Well done to both of you.


    1. Joy, refer to Micki’s “pins & dolls” comment above…LOL


  10. Neat interview Sara and Nonnie 🙂 As for WonderNonnie’s outfit – I hear it’s hot down there in the Deep South, so it’s great (and very practical) to let your body breathe! 😛


    1. LOL! You are so right, Jan! And when you have a wonder body like mine, it must remain comfy at all times! Thanks for dropping by!


  11. Nice job on the interview… loved your outfit, WW!!! I love potato chips and all of their delicious sounds… Good luck with Book #2 Sara!


    1. LOL! Me, too, John!!!


  12. I loved the story about the potato chips. 🙂 I understand that. It seems when you try to do it quietly (opening the bag and eating the chips), it is impossible.


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