In this fourth spotlight edition, I talk with author Sydney Scrogham about writing (you'll love her response to being self-published vs. being traditionally published) and equestrian life! I met Sydney through social media. Her Twitter feed is filled with wonderful insights for authors.
One day a tweet of hers was particularly interesting to me so I retweeted her words of wisdom. That single RT caused two authors to unite because moments later I received an invitation from Sydney to join her over on Facebook too. Of course, I accepted the invitation! From there, I learned she was a fellow equestrian with a lovely horse named Snowdy. I was hooked (and learning a lot from her posts) so I read and reviewed her book, Chase. When I launched the Equestrian Author Spotlight on my blog, Sydney reached out. That's how history is made!
So saddle up and get ready for a great ride with author Sydney Scrogham because she writes her horse books in the fantasy world Agalrae where the horse-like Alicorns live!
A little bit about Sydney ...
Sydney Scrogham loves creating happy endings. She started writing when she was 12. Her first book, Chase, was published by Koehler Books in August 2015.
When she’s not writing, she’s at the barn with her horse Snowdy or catching up on reruns of the best TV show ever – Castle.
She is a new resident to the Indianapolis, Indiana area.
Isn't that neat? Now, Let's get to know Sydney Scroham even better in her interview answers ...
What is your favorite horse memory?
When I was 12, I remember my dad wrote me a letter for Christmas that said he was going to get me a horse. It was the biggest day ever of my young life. And now, over ten years later, I still have a horse… and that letter.
What is your favorite horse book (besides your own of course)?
Definitely The Scorpio Races. At first, I didn’t like the malicious turn on horses, but as I read, the story and one of its lead equine characters Corr really grew on me. Now I want my own water horse.
What advice can you share that might help aspiring authors?
Just do it. Write what you love and get it out there. I watch people “waiting until they’re ready,” but the truth is that you’ll never be ready. So just do it afraid. Learn as you go. It’s much more fulfilling to jump off a cliff and try to fly over and over again instead of never having the courage to jump.
Which do you prefer to self-publish or traditional publishing?
I never thought there would come a day when I turned down a traditional publishing contract… but the truth is that I turned down two offers for Ariel’s story. It was so hard to do because two years ago, maybe even a year ago, I would’ve taken it. That was what I wanted.
But as I hired my editor, proof reader, formatter, cover designer, something shifted. I began to see something specific for this book’s future and suddenly the terms in the traditional contract weren’t good enough anymore. (Don’t get me wrong, I’d still take a deal with one of the big five!)
I kept asking myself why I would surrender my vision for this story just to have someone else do what I can already do AND take less pay AND do all my own marketing? No way. So I jumped and did self-publishing this time. My first was hybrid. And this book has been 10x more rewarding because I did everything. Definitely going to be self-publishing again in the future.
Your book is part of a series, would you share little about it?
My series is going backward. That was unintentional. But as I wrote Chase, my first book, he’s a character that is at the back end of a long line of guardians. Well, what happened with his predecessors? Don’t they have stories, too? Indeed they do, and as I write them, I’m discovering a richer depth to my story world that I never anticipated. One day in the future, all of these characters may meet in the human realm… (I write my story in the fantasy world Agalrae where the horse-like Alicorns live.)
Any amusing stories about writing this book?
Well, this book was my way of working through a bad breakup. Some of the things in the story actually happened to me, and this was my way of dealing with those things.
No, I won’t tell you what they are.
But when it came time to print the book, I realized, crap, what if my ex gets upset about this? So I had to approach him and basically explain this private process that had taken place and it was incredibly embarrassing, but at the end of it, he did give me full permission to release the story as it is.
What was your favorite chapter to write and why?
Possible spoiler alert… the chapter where Ariel comes to her moment of healing. When I read back through that, it’s like someone else wrote it. It chokes me up every time and quite a few of my beta readers cried through that moment. It’s powerful when someone realizes they’ve been less of who they’re meant to be all their life, and then suddenly they become who they’re designed to be.
Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp?
Redemption. Sexual abuse is such a hard thing to write about because I kept thinking what’s going to happen when someone who’s been through this trauma reads my story? Will they think I’m being insensitive? For that reason I found it helpful to write a little letter to my readers at the beginning of the story, saying its truly my intent to leave people filled with hope and an overall, “Wow, I feel great now,” after reading Ariel’s story.
What’s next? Future goals for your writing?
I’m working on a story about forgiveness next. The lead character is Rebecca, who shows up in Ariel’s story, and who is actually a half-elf human.
Want to discover more about Sydney's work?
Find Sydney Scrogham Online
These Author Spotlights really make my spurs jingle! I so love learning about the journey of other authors and am honored that they are giving me the gift of their time. Many thanks to author Sydney Scrogham for this wonderful interview! I so appreciate the support of a fellow author! I think it is so important to support each other, promote dreams and our horse book series! #authorsunite
Recently, I answered questions for Sydney Scrogham's Dreamer Spotlight Series. I loved her thoughtful questions. I especially liked that she looked at the light and the dark side of being an author. It was hard (but also therapeutic) to reflect on her question about a time I almost abandoned finishing my book.
Thank you for the opportunity, Sydney!
If you are an author that writes about horses and would like to be spotlighted let me know. I’d be happy to include you too. Helping out fellow horse book authors makes my spurs jingle! Visit my contact page to fill out a request!
Miss one of my Equestrian Author Spotlights? Review them here!
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Carly Kade writes for anyone who loves horses, handsome cowboys and a great romance. Creative writing makes her spurs jingle!
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