Interview: Sarah Jessica Curtis On Self-Publishing Her First Novel
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Interview: Sarah Jessica Curtis On Self-Publishing Her First Novel

The Silent Silhouettes is out now in print and digital!

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Interview: Sarah Jessica Curtis On Self-Publishing Her First Novel
The Silent Silhouettes

Sarah Jessica Curtis is not your average teenager. She is an inspiration to young, creative minds everywhere and is really starting to make a household name for herself. At just 15-years-old, Sarah has written AND self-published her first book and is amid writing her second!

“The Silent Silhouettes” started out as a simple school project which was to create myths and legends and turn them into short stories. Curtis was so intrigued by the assignment, that she then decided to take it to the next level and create a novel out of it.

I was lucky enough to catch up with Sarah at Barnes and Noble to talk about her book, her writing process, and what she has in store for her future in writing. Check out our interview here:

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who is Sarah Jessica Curtis?

Ok – Hello, everyone! My name is Sarah Jessica Curtis, but I usually just go by Sarah. I have A LOT of hobbies which include photography, sewing, drawing, singing, and I play the guitar. And obviously, I like to write. I’m always very busy, but having a lot to do helps to keep me focused. I am now in 10th grade, but I really started writing when I was only in the 4th grade. That’s when I realized that I like to write and that I enjoy doing so.

That is so impressive to me that you found such a strong passion for writing at such a young age! Tell us a little bit about your first published book, “The Silent Silhouettes”.

As you just said, my book is called, “The Silent Silhouettes”. It’s a novel about a boy who moves into a haunted house and while there, he finds many hidden secrets and problems that he must deal with. It also forces him to face his own problems he has in his own life. I feel like a lot of teenagers can relate to having to deal with these similar problems, (minus the haunted house stuff – HA), but this (book) can sort of be a guide to help others navigate through these daily trials we call life. As I was writing this, I felt it would be more appealing to teen readers because I’m a teen myself writing the book. I can express these feelings a little more than maybe an older writer trying to relate to a teen and trying to fit into the generation today. I wanted to interpret that, but I also wanted to make sure my personality was written on the pages, so that way it was modern but with my own touch.

Who knows a teenager more than an actual teenager, right?! I think you did a great job bringing those feelings to life through your book. So, what sparked the interest to write this book?

I never pictured myself writing something as big as a novel or anything, but when I assigned a project in 8th grade to create my own myth or legend, I felt as if I could turn this short story into something more. So, that day, I was thinking a lot about silence and a specific quote that was on my mind, “Silence is a girl's loudest scream” and that’s how I came up with these monsters called, “The Silent Silhouettes.” And just from that short story, I realized there was enough in it to turn it into a novel.

How were you able to balance schoolwork, writing, and just being a regular teen?

It was near the end of the [school] year when I was assigned this project and since there were only two months left of school, the teachers were throwing in last minute assignments. I always made sure to get those done first. But any free time I did have was devoted to writing. If I had a free period in school, I would just jot little notes down in my notebook and then tie them all in later. Once the summer came and I had even more free time, I could really focus on the book and get it done. The entire book from start to finish took me from April to August. (IMPRESSIVE!)

As a writer, what is the hardest part about writing? Is it trying to find the time or trying to stay focused?

I’m kind of lucky because once I start writing, I’m able to just block everything out; like background noise etc. But I think the hardest part of writing is just trying to make the words come out exactly how I want them to. And usually once I start writing, that issue goes away and the words start to flow naturally.

I always say the first sentence is always the hardest! Do you have a process to your writing? Like for me, I literally write out EVERYTHING on a piece of paper first. Tell us how you start your work?

The first thing I do is just try and come up with one big idea and use that for the plot. With my first book, I had an idea for the ending, but I wanted to make sure all of the pieces of my story went together perfectly to create the perfect summary. For my second book, I’m working on, I have the big plot and now I’m just working on all the pieces in between. But I do what you do as well. I jot down ideas as they come to me. This usually happen like right before I fall asleep and I must take my phone out and put the ideas into my notes before I forget them!

In your first book, you dedicated it to a certain teacher. Can you elaborate on that? Why was she so influential to you and this book?

Our regular teacher had been out on maternity leave, so we had a substitute come in whose name was Ms. Carton. She was the one who assigned the project. If it wasn’t for that, I never would have gotten the idea for the book or would have written it. I am very thankful that she came in and did that for me. Once Ms. Carton had finished editing my project, she told me it would make for a great book. At that point, I had already begun writing my novel, but that inspired me even more to actually make it happen!

I had met some of your friends back at your book signing and they were just in complete awe of you! How does that make you feel knowing that they support you and your book?

It feels amazing! One of my friends just sent me a snap chat of them standing next to my book saying, “I just saw this at the Eatontown Barnes & Noble!!” which was really cool. My best friends and my sister will come with me to book signings and they’ll walk around and talk to people about my book. So, they’re always trying to help promote me and the book which is awesome too.

That’s great to have that team in your corner to help and be supportive! Do you feel that it’s harder as a young author to get people to take you seriously?

Yes, exactly. It’s a little more challenging to promote to the older generation. A lot of the time at signings people won’t take me seriously because they think it’s a book just for kids. But I have had people ranging in ages of 13-80 who have already read the book, and they all love it. What I usually do at signings is try to get them to just read the back of the book. Once they do that, they’re more intrigued to purchase the book and read it.

Ok, so the million-dollar question: Where can people find you and your book?

Basically, you can find the book through any main retailer that sells books, such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble. You can also go to my website which is www.thesilentsilohouettes.com and when you get the book through there, you’ll get a signed copy of it. You can also get it as an E-Book too!

Sarah is definitely on the move and if you want to keep up with her, you can follow along here:

Instagram: @sarahjessicacurtis
Twitter: @sarahjesscurtis
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/sarahjessicacurtis

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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