Warning – possible spoilers! (Tiny ones, though, and I’ll try to avoid even those; I swear I’ll give my best not to ruin it for you… :-))
We continue meeting our lovely authors, and this week I’ve chatted with Sara Jane Woodley, the author I know for her Love in Mirror Valley series. I’ve recently read The Right Wrong Match, which is the second book in that series. It was a light, fun contemporary romance that I’m sure fans of the genre will love.
Here’s what Woodley told me about her writing process, connection with characters, what she likes to read and listen, all her bookish favorites…
Author Q&A with Sara Jane Woodley
Love in Mirror Valley series keeps growing. Do you have your favorite couple?
Honestly, it almost depends on the day! I love all of the couples and the characters that I’ve written so much in different ways. Today, I’m feeling the Luke and Daisy grumpy/sunshine mix from The Right Wrong Match. To be fair, it’s moody and gray outside, so that might be why haha!
Daisy and Luke almost missed their chance at happily ever after. Do you think that often happens in life?
I do think it happens. You hear about missed connections and “almosts” all the time… but that being said, I also believe that what’s meant to be will be. And, of course, I believe in happily-ever-afters.
How much of your stories do you plot out in advance and how much just happens?
Normally, I’m a plotter–I like to plan everything out and work off an outline. But with my current project, the story and characters are driving me so much that I’m barely working off anything. It’s a little scary doing things this way, but I’m enjoying it so far. We’ll see if and when I hit roadblocks haha.
Which of your characters do you relate to the most and why?
Great question. I’d love to be a Daisy, I really would. She’s so sweet, fun, light-hearted, and optimistic. But at my core, I think I’m more of an Ivy from The Next Worst Thing–I like for things to be perfect and done a certain way, and I always want to progress and be better. Plus, I do have a thing for tall, handsome British men 😉
Do you have any fears or doubts as a writer that creep in from time to time?
Absolutely!! It’s hard not to have doubts about yourself and your writing, along with some level of imposter syndrome when publishing. Writing a book is a very personal journey, and I see at least some of myself in all my characters. It’s scary to put parts of myself out into the world like that. But the writer and reader communities—especially on Bookstagram—are so wonderfully supportive and receptive, so this helps appease the fears… at least a little!
If you could do an interview with any author, living or dead, who would it be?
Oooh, this is a very, very tough question. I’ve read books across many different genres that have given me such intense reading experiences that I’d love to speak with their authors. At the top of my list would have to be Jane Austen (of course!), and Diana Gabaldon who writes the Outlander series (love her imagination and thorough research!)
What books have you read more than once in your life?
I don’t have the best memory for books I’ve read or movies/shows I’ve seen, and it feels like a blessing in disguise! I have a few favorite books that I can reread and constantly be surprised and delighted by. Most recently, I’m rereading some of Sarah Adams’ amazing romcoms. But that being said, I don’t tend to reread that much… my TBR list is ever growing.
What traits in others are you attracted to?
Humor! I love when people can make me laugh, or if I can make them laugh. Might be why I’m enjoying the romcom genre so much 😉
What would be the soundtrack of your life?
In a couple of my books, I write about ABBA… I actually went through my own ABBA phase a couple years back during the lockdowns and it helped pump me up and keep me active haha. These days, I’m listening to mellow, easygoing music as life is hectic again and music is my safe space.
What are you currently working on? What can we expect next?
I’m currently working on the third and final book in my Love in Mirror Valley series–The Real Fake Fiancé. It’s a friends to lovers, fake engagement romance and I’m really enjoying it so far. I’m sad to leave this series, but I’m also VERY excited for the next romcom series I’ll be working on (more details on that to be shared soon on Instagram and in my newsletter!) 🙂
#MyFavoriteBookish Tag with Sara Jane Woodley
Favorite trope: Oh man, this is hard. Enemies to lovers? The banter and fights followed by an explosive kiss… it’s *chef’s kiss*
Favorite character: Mulan or Moana. Love strong female leads. And Disney movies.
Favorite movie adaptation: Hunger Games. Again, for the strong female lead.
Favorite book cover: From my books, I love the cover of The Summer I Fell for My Best Friend (from my YA series). Otherwise… too hard to choose!! I do love most of the Christina Lauren covers.
Favorite book ending: Ahh the ending is sometimes the scariest part to write because everything needs to wrap up in a satisfying way. To that end, I think I’d have to say Pride and Prejudice.
Favorite snacks while reading/writing: Popcorn! Salty or cheddar are my favorites.
Hardcovers or paperbacks? Paperbacks
Buying or borrowing books? Both! But if I love it, I’ll probably buy it.
Bookmarks or dog-ears? I like to dog-ear my books, it makes them look well-used and much-loved 🙂
Audiobooks – yay or nay? Definitely Yay! Love to listen to them while walking or running.
TBR or mood reading? Mood reading… but I AM trying to get through my TBR, so my goal for 2023 is to make progress there haha.
I’m currently reading: Falling for your Best Friend by Emma St. Clair… such a great friends to lovers story!