A baby-eating, grog-guzzling troll finds she’s unprepared for life after college when her students attempt to turn her into a midnight snack. Now, unemployed, she turns to crime to make rent. Her crew has one objective: rob The Covered Bridge, the Fort Knox of the cavern city.
Interview with Sarah J. Sover
Sarah J. Sover’s debut novel, DOUBLE CROSSING THE BRIDGE, will be published on August 13th 2019 by the Parliament House. The novel is humorous fantasy.
Q - Where did you get the idea?
Sarah J. Sover - I love to combine things that shouldn’t be combined, so when my husband and I were talking about a sitcom starring trolls, it only seemed natural to take it to the next level. DOUBLE-CROSSING THE BRIDGE is How I Met Your Mother meets Ocean’s 11 with the humor of Deadpool and characters that could have been created by Jim Henson.
Q - What’s the story behind the title?
SJS - I’m a sucker for word play. My dog’s name is Roadie because I found him hit by a car back when I used to play guitar. So when DOUBLE-CROSSING THE BRIDGE came out of a brainstorming session, I knew it was the one.
Q - No spoiler, but tell us something we won’t find out just by reading the book jacket.
SJS - There are over twenty references to classic and contemporary heist flicks hidden throughout the book.
Q - Tell us about your favorite character.
SJS - DOUBLE-CROSSING THE BRIDGE has an ensemble cast, so picking a favorite is difficult. I kind of love the brilliant and beautiful head of security who gives my playboy Kradduk a run for his money. She’s tightly wound with a moral compass that is entirely at odds with the inner-workings of TCB Corp.
Q - If you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would it be and what would you do?
SJS - I’d go kick it with Kell, the tattooed molent bartender. Constantly underestimated but no less sure of himself, he seems like a blast to snag a drink with.
Q - Are your character based on real people, or do they come from your imaginations?
SJS - Some traits are based on specific people, some real, some fictional. My cast is nearly entirely non-human, so some leaps of imagination are required.
Q - How long did you take to write this book?
SJS - My writing process is atypical. It took about a year to get the bones all in place and another to get the story fleshed out.
Q - What kind of research did you do for this book?
SJS - I read Donald Westlake and researched troll lore. But the best part was subjecting my husband to hours upon hours of heist movies in the name of research, frequently with our own versions of grog—scotch for him, beer for me.
Q - What did you remove from this book during the editing process?
SJS - I have an additive process. I reordered things, but I didn’t cut anything.
Q - Are you a plotter or a pantser?
SJS - Pantser, all the way. It makes for some interesting twists but also for some extreme frustration.
Q - What is your favorite part of your writing process, and why?
SJS - Discovering the story. I begin with a spark and write from there. Finding out what it turns into is exciting.
Q- What is the most challenging part of your writing process, and why?
SJS - Once I know the story, I struggle to keep momentum through revision after revision. I get bored and lose focus easily, so I really have to beat myself up to get it whole and shiny.
Q - Can you share your writing routine?
SJS - I have two young children. I only get about 30 minutes of writing in per day under normal circumstances. Some days, I don’t write at all and others, I have to steal time during naps and after bedtime. I have a dedicated writing space that is always buried, currently beneath DOUBLE-CROSSING THE BRIDGE swag, so I do most of my writing at the dining room table or hiding in a corner of the bedroom.
Q - Have you ever gotten writer’s block? If yes, how do you overcome it?
SJS - I don’t really believe in writer’s block. I’ve lost all will to keep going, but that’s not really the same thing. In those times, I take a week or two off and set a drop-dead date. If I haven’t picked it up by then, I force myself to push through. Eventually, I get my groove back and go back to fix whatever nonsense I wrote when I was only focused on getting the words down.
Q - If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
SJS - Relax and embrace who you are. You don’t need to change the world overtly to have an impact on it.
Q - How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
SJS - My first book was an epic fantasy, and it’s on the shelf until it learns how to behave. DOUBLE-CROSSING THE BRIDGE is my second novel, and I’m nearing completion of my third.
Q - Do you have any writing quirks?
SJS - I’m basically just a bunch of quirks soldered together to form a person.
Q - Tell us about yourself.
SJS - I’ve got an awesome husband and two incredible little girls. The 1yo started climbing everything, so I’m aging faster than I find acceptable. To make up for it, I dye my hair and watch superhero shows on Netflix. As for pets, my dog has been dead for four years, but nobody told him, and my snake, Santana, is 14.
Q - How did you get into writing?
SJS - I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember. It wasn’t until 7th grade or so that I knew I wanted to be one professionally, though. I wrote bad poetry, some of which can be found in school literary magazines from the 90s.
Q - What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
SJS - Everything. I don’t get much personal time these days, but when I do, I blues dance, garden, and paint. I like to go to the theater, metal concerts, breweries, and do anything else that pops into my head at the exact moment that it does.
Q - Apart from novel writing, do you do any other kind(s) of writing?
SJS - I had a short story published in You Want Stories?: The JordanCon 2019 Anthology, and I’m in the middle of writing another one. I gave up poetry a long time ago. The world thanks me.
Q - Share something about you most people probably don’t know.
SJS - I was a wildlife rehabilitator for a few years, and I had a special talent for working with raptors.
Q - Which book influenced you the most?
SJS - So many… As a kid, I first fell in love with reading thanks to The Secret Garden. In middle and high School, I loved the classics. Jane Eyre, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, and Pride and Prejudice were some of my favorites. As I got older, I got into some of the new age philosophy style books like Ishmael, The Alchemist, and The Celestine Prophecy. Then I went through an Arthurian Legend phase that eventually led me to the fantasy genre.
Q - What are you working on right now?
SJS - I’m working on a fantasy noir about a fairy godmother who goes rogue to hunt down the serial killer who slaughtered her first princess.
Q - What’s your favorite writing advice?
SJS - Just do it. LOL! I’m really not kidding though. There are so many routes, and different things work for different people. Whatever works for you is the right way to get it done.
Q - The book you’re currently reading
SJS - I’m currently enjoying The Queen Con by Meghan Scott Molin. Next up is Shrouded Loyalties by Reese Hogan.
Sarah J. Sover’s Biography
Sarah J. Sover writes fantasy crossover novels while raising two energetic little people. A Georgia Southern Bell Honor's graduate who grew up living near Detroit, London, Miami, and Atlanta, Sarah's background is as varied as her answers to the dreaded "where are you from" question. She's done everything from wildlife rehabilitation to data management, leaving notebooks filled with bad poetry in her wake.
Sarah resides in John's Creek, Ga with her brilliant husband Alex, two vibrant daughters, cranky old dog, and seemingly immortal snake. In addition to writing, Sarah loves craft beer, blues dancing, binging superhero Netflix shows, hobby jumping, Disney, and groove metal.
Links to Sarah J. Sover