Meet the Writer (+ Giveaway!): Sara Davison

Seven Trilogy blog tour

Welcome to the blog tour and giveaway for The Seven Trilogy, romantic suspense novels by Sara Davison, hosted by JustRead tours!

~ About the Books ~

The End Begins - final cover

Title:  The End Begins (Seven Trilogy #1)
Author: Sara Davison
Publisher: Ashberry Lane/WhiteFire Publishing
Genre: Romantic Suspense

One of them is a prisoner and one of them is free. The same one.

Bookstore owner Meryn O’Reilly and Army Captain Jesse Christensen are on opposite sides of a battle. When martial law is declared, Jesse and his platoon are sent to Meryn’s city to keep an eye on the Christians and make sure they are not stepping outside of the confines of the law.

Fiery and quick-tempered, Meryn chafes under the curfew and other restrictions to her freedom. Jesse is equally amused, intrigued, and terrified by her spirit, knowing she could find herself in prison if she shows defiance to the wrong soldier.

His worst fears are realized when she commits a crime he cannot protect her from. Now they both face an uncertain future, and the very real threat of losing everything, including their lives. With time running out, Jesse works feverishly to convince the authorities to show leniency to Meryn. And to convince her that love can overcome any barrier that lies between them.

PURCHASE: Goodreads | Amazon


The Darkness Deepens 1 (1)

Title: The Darkness Deepens (Seven Trilogy #2)
Author: Sara Davison
Publisher: Ashberry Lane/WhiteFire Publishing
Genre: Romantic Suspense

(formerly The Dragon Roars)

Their Secrets Protect Them … But Secrets are Hard to Keep

No one in the army can find out that Captain Jesse Christensen has become a believer. He and bookstore owner Meryn O’Reilly are forced to meet in secret, facing imprisonment or worse if they are found together. Their relationship deepens, but so does Lieutenant Gallagher’s hatred for the Christians in their city. As Gallagher’s power grows, it becomes clear that his connections go much further up the chain of command than anyone realized, putting all believers, especially Jesse, in extreme danger.

Meryn wants to give her heart to Jesse fully, but her past holds her back. Although circumstances conspire to keep her silent, she needs to tell him her secret. When he finds out what she has been keeping from him, nothing will stand between them anymore.

Or nothing will ever be the same.

PURCHASE: Goodreads | Amazon


The Morning Star Rises flaming books LA

Title: The Morning Star Rises (Seven Trilogy #3)
Author: Sara Davison
Publisher: Ashberry Lane/WhiteFire Publishing
Genre: Romantic Suspense

In the Midst of all the Fear and Confusion, Only One Thing is Clear … This Isn’t Over Yet

Jesse Christensen is out of the army, but the real battle has just begun. Major Gallagher has taken over the city and his oppression of believers has intensified. But is Gallagher acting in a professional capacity, or is he carrying out a personal vendetta?

Meryn O’Reilly faces a dark and uncertain future after shocking revelations devastate her life. She is determined to follow God’s call, but her plans could cost her everything. She and Jesse struggle to surrender fully to a God who is always in control, even when circumstances suggest otherwise.

With the world descending into chaos around them, Meryn and Jesse face the greatest barrier to their love yet—a barrier that may prove too strong to breach.

PURCHASE: Goodreads | Amazon


~ About the Author ~

Sara Davison - headshot 1

Sara Davison is the author of the romantic suspense novels The Watcher and The Seven Trilogy. She has been a finalist for eight national writing awards, including the Word Award for Best New Canadian Christian author, a Carol, and two Daphne du Maurier Awards, and is a Word and Cascade Award winner. Sara has a degree in English Literature and currently resides in Ontario, Canada with her husband Michael and their three children, all of whom she (literally) looks up to.

CONNECT WITH SARA: website | Facebook | Twitter


~ Meet the Writer ~

WHAT ARE YOUR INITIAL RESPONSES TO THE FOLLOWING WORDS OR SENTENCES?

Plotting: Mixed emotions – at times plotting can be exciting, if ideas are flowing, at other times it can be drudgery.

Editing: Same answer as above. Editing can be drudgery, as there is far less creativity involved than in the actual writing process. Having said that, the editing process can also be extremely exhilarating as the writing and storylines become better and stronger with each successive round.

Spelling and Grammar: Thankfully, something that comes fairly easy to me. As an editor myself with a degree in English, the spelling and grammar aspects of writing are a strong suit. I do edit myself as I write, which apparently I’m not supposed to do, but I’m not able to write any other way.

Reviews: Definitely mixed emotions. I read them with extreme trepidation every time, although thankfully the reviews of my books have been almost all positive. I know a lot of authors who don’t read them, and that is likely a good strategy. I can’t seem to keep myself from doing so, however, and am always grateful to people who take the time to not only read my books, but to leave a comment online afterwards.

I am quite disciplined about my writing time: My initial response to this was to laugh. I am the opposite of disciplined about my writing time at this point in my life. I have my own editing business and my clients and their work usually make it to the top of my to-do list, along with being a good wife to my husband Michael and mother to our three kids, older now but still all at home, church and ministry activities, etc.. My writing tends to fall down the list behind all of the above. I do go away for a week twice a year for uninterrupted writing and get a lot done during that time. Otherwise I fit it in around everything else that is going on in my life the best I can.

What is your favourite part of the writing process?

I tend to be the kind of writer who writes when inspiration strikes, not on any kind of regular schedule. When that happens, and the words are flowing and scenes and characters and storylines are coming together beautifully, I get really pumped up. My heart is pounding and the blood is flowing, and I feel God so close to me. Writing is an incredibly spiritual experience for me. When I write, to paraphrase Eric Liddell of Chariots of Fire fame, I feel God’s pleasure. It’s at those times that I know without a doubt that writing is my calling, my ministry, and my passion.

What is your least-favourite part of the writing process?

My least favorite part are the times when the words are not flowing and I feel blocked or stymied or can’t figure out how to get the scene in my head to come out through my fingers the way it is supposed to. Usually I will walk away from it at that point, unless I have a deadline I absolutely have to meet. Even then, I can tell the difference between chapters I wrote when the creativity was flowing and those I forced, and I usually need to go back and re-write the chapters I really had to work to get out.

Where is your favourite place to write?

Twice a year I go with two author friends to a cottage where we spend a week writing. The three of us have been doing this for several years, so we know how to let each other work. We get up, enjoy breakfast and often read a devotion together, then go off and write for a few hours. Then we have lunch, write some more, take a break to go for a long walk by the water or head into town for coffee and browsing the shops. After that we work a while longer until dinner. After we eat, we sit around the fire and read to each other and get feedback on what we’ve written. Those weeks are by far my most productive and relaxing of the year, so the cottage has become my favorite place to write.

What is your worst habit as a writer? 

Oh boy, hard to just pick one. I have a messy desk and a cluttered office. I don’t keep regular writing hours, but write when inspiration strikes or whenever I can fit it in around the other activities in my life. I don’t have enough time or money to invest into doing the kind of marketing and promotion needed to draw attention to my work in a completely saturated market. I’m kind of a disaster in terms of bad writing habits. On the plus side, I never miss a deadline, and I do write and promote my work as much as time and budget will allow, while (most of the time) also living up to my other responsibilities to work, church, and family. Basically, while I could do better, I do the best I can with God’s help, given the season of life I am currently in.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

I have never had to work hard to find names for my characters. I very rarely do research on them or spend time perusing lists. Somehow the names almost always come to me as I start to write, and once they do I have a very hard time changing them, as the characters come to me with their names and that is who they are to me.

Which of your characters has been the most difficult to write so far and why?

Lieutenant Gallagher, the main antagonist in The Seven Trilogy, has been the hardest to write, because he is so evil and cruel. It can be hard, even scary sometimes, to try to get inside the mind of a person like that. The biggest challenge of all is creating enough sympathy in the mind of the reader to help them understand, if not justify, the actions of that character, always the biggest challenge for a writer.

Which of your characters has been the easiest to write so far, and why?

Jesse Christensen, one of the main protagonists in The Seven Trilogy, has been my easiest character to write. I love dialogue and humor, and Jesse is very articulate and funny, so his scenes were pure enjoyment to write.

What is your go-to snack when writing?

Chocolate and coffee. With copious amounts of both, there is little I can’t accomplish 🙂

What do you do when you get writer’s block?

Unless I have a pressing deadline, I walk away. Inspiration usually strikes me when I am driving, or in the shower, or out walking, so as long as I have the luxury of time to do so, I’ll wait until that happens before diving back into writing.

What is the strangest thing you have ever researched?

I’m not sure it’s strange, exactly, but I do often look up information on guns or bombs or other weapons. For this series I also researched Muslim holidays and mosques, as well as martial law and capital and corporal punishment, including the types of whips used to carry out that corporal punishment in the past. Like most suspense/thriller writers, I do worry about being red-flagged by the government at some point, but I’m hoping if I show them my books I will be able to avoid being taken into custody or having my computer confiscated. 🙂

What is the hardest thing about being an author?

Definitely the hardest thing about being an author is the rejection and self-doubt. It is an extremely tough business that can be soul-crushing at times. The fact that only a small percentage of authors actually make a living at it can be discouraging as well. I have to constantly remind myself that I am not doing this for money or fame or bestseller recognition, I am doing it because God gave me the stories. If he did, then he must have someone in mind to read them. If I am obedient to write and market the stories to the best of my ability, I can’t worry about numbers or awards or any other kind of recognition after that, I can only trust that the books have served the purpose God intended, and rest in that.

What is the best thing about being an author?

The best thing is knowing that I am following my calling. I believe with all my heart that my writing is not just a job, it is my ministry. It is one of the key ways that I serve God and that he uses me to further the kingdom. And I feel blessed every day to be able to follow that calling by writing down the stories he gives me.

Who are some authors that have inspired you as a writer, and why?

The author who has inspired me the most is Madeleine L’Engle. She wrote one of my favourite books, A Wrinkle in Time, that was so different, so out there, that no one really knew what to do with it. She believed in that story with all her heart though, and despite rejection after rejection, didn’t give up on it. As we all know, that book finally did get published by someone willing to take a chance on an unknown author with a wildly different book. A Wrinkle in Time went on to win awards and to become one of the most beloved young adult novels ever. I completely relate to Madeleine L’Engle’s journey, and admire and am deeply inspired by her faith and her persistence.

What’s something you know now that you wish you had known when you first started?

So much. As someone once said to me, you don’t know what you don’t know when you first start out. I made a vow early on to be teachable, and to learn from other writers and by reading everything I could get my hands on and taking every course I could. I was (and still am) determined to be excellent at my craft because I firmly believe that we honour God when we give him our absolute best, with no shortcuts. I am still on that journey, and continue to take every possible opportunity to learn, but I also mentor new writers as I believe in giving back as a thank you to all those who have invested in me along the way.

What came first, the characters or the plot, and how did the story develop from there?

The plot definitely came first, after the seeds were planted during a course I took on Revelation. Plot usually comes first for me, as my characters tend to develop and become fleshed out, including revealing their back stories to me, as I write, rather than beforehand.

Where did you get the inspiration for this series?

My pastor at our last church taught a series on Revelation that transformed my thinking on that book and on the study of the end times. As I worked my way through that course, the storyline for the The Seven Trilogy began to develop.

What was the first part of this series to come to you?

I write romantic suspense, so it was the romantic storyline that came to me first, but not just the one between Jesse Christensen, the Army Captain sent in to keep an eye on the Christians, and believer Meryn O’Reilly, the greater love story between God and humanity. The rest of the story fell into place after that.

Where did you get your inspiration for these characters?

That’s a good question that, unfortunately, I don’t have a good answer to. I have author friends who find inspiration in the people they meet wherever they go, but my mind doesn’t work that way – not consciously anyway. The storyline always comes to me first, and as I begin to plot that, the characters just seem to come. I get to know them as I write, not beforehand.

How did you get to know these characters?

As mentioned, I’m not the type of writer who meticulously fleshes out her characters before she begins writing. I know so many authors who know their characters intimately – their likes and dislikes, what they look like, their backgrounds, etc. before they begin writing. My characters reveal themselves to me as I write, which makes the writing that much more interesting.

What did you find most difficult about writing this series?

My greatest challenges were writing the scenes with the two antagonists in the series, Annaliese Pettersson and Lieutenant Gallagher. They were both so cruel and evil that it was difficult for me to really get inside their minds as they were such dark places. The additional challenge was to provide enough of an explanation of what they themselves had been through in life to create at least a sliver of sympathy for them in the minds of the reader, always a huge challenge for any writer.

The other difficulty in writing this series was portraying the various trials the believers had to go through. More than once Meryn comes close to being sexually assaulted, and in one scene she undergoes corporal punishment, and those scenes are always emotionally draining to write. Just imagining the persecution the believers faced in the book, and putting that into words, was difficult, although it was inspiring, even for me, to see how God was with them always, giving them strength and courage to face whatever circumstances they were in.

What did you enjoy most about writing this series?

I loved portraying God’s presence in the lives of the believers, and the reminder that, whatever we face in life, as followers of Jesus Christ we are never alone. I also loved writing the dialogue (always my favourite part) and interaction between characters, especially developing the relationship between Jesse and his commanding office and best friend Caleb.

What was the most interesting piece of research you did for this series?

The study of the book of Revelation, the inspiration for this series, was by far the most interesting research I did. Initially I was apprehensive about the book, but I came to love it and to see it as one of the most beautiful and powerful books in the Bible.

~ Giveaway ~

the seven trilogy blog tour giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY (1) winner will receive:

  • a set of all 3 books in The Seven Trilogy (US/CAN only)
  • $25 Amazon gift card

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight January 7, 2019 and lasts through 11:59pm January 21, 2018. Void where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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About Fiction Aficionado

Homeschooling mum, word lover, reader extraordinaire, and follower of Christ
Image | This entry was posted in Author Interviews, Christian Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Speculative Fiction and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Meet the Writer (+ Giveaway!): Sara Davison

  1. James Robert says:

    Good Morning! Thank you for the book description.These tours are great and we have found some terrific books so thanks so much.

    Like

  2. Jodi Hunter says:

    These sound awesome.

    Like

  3. Hope Welborn says:

    I enjoyed learning more about the books and about the author, Sara. Can’t wait to read the whole series!

    Like

  4. Great interview! I learned quite a bit about this new-to-me author!

    Like

  5. diannekc says:

    I really liked the description of the book. Sounds like a great series.

    Like

  6. oh have mercy!! Sara! We’re practically author-twins!! Much of how you answered, could have been answers I might have given! Enjoyed the interview – and loved the book!!

    Like

  7. carylkane says:

    Wonderful interview! I’m excited to read this series!

    Like

  8. Kay Garrett says:

    Thank you for being part of the blog tour for The Seven Trilogy novels by Sara Davison hosted by JustRead tours. I really enjoyed reading about and learn so much more about the author and the books through your interview. I can’t wait for the opportunity to read this series.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    Like

  9. Marisela Zuniga says:

    Thank you for sharing this great interview

    Like

  10. Dianna says:

    Love that part in the author bio where she (literally) looks up to her children. Ha!

    Like

  11. Debbie P says:

    All of these sound like fantastic reads.

    Like

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