Interview with Sabine Berlin, Author of And the Sky Full of Stars
Hello, everyone! How are ya? How's 2023 treating you so far? Hope you're doing well and staying warm!
I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Sabine Berlin, the author of And the Sky Full of Stars. I also got to read an advanced copy of her book and LOVED it! I highly recommend checking it out.
Now, on to the interview!
Jessica: How long have you been writing?
Sabine: I wrote my first short stories in high school using my friends and their boyfriends as my main characters. Then I didn’t do much writing until after I had kids. Several years ago, one of my favorite authors, Orson Scott Card, was coming to town to do a writing workshop. I knew I had to go just to meet him, so when a friend suggested that we try to get accepted as one of a handful of people who got to go to a week-long writing bootcamp with him I agreed. However, I couldn’t turn in any of my high school romance stories, no matter how awesome I thought Intrigue Italian Style was! So, I sat down and wrote the first few pages of a new short story and I got accepted.
Jessica: So cool! What’s your author’s journey been like, and how did you get published?
Sabine: I wrote my story while I was finishing my bachelor’s degree, and I sent it out to a few agents, but I was really focused on school and sort of told myself I would put more effort into it when I graduated. However, I got a job as an editor purely by accident about two months before graduating, and I was really good at it. I found it is always easier to fix someone else's story than to fix your own.
Jessica: I agree 100%.
Sabine: A few years ago I entered a pitmad contest on a whim and that is how I found my publisher. I signed my contract last October and have learned all sorts of things since then...like editors still need an editor, book covers can be stressful and having to tell people about how awesome you think your book is can be more stressful. Still my characters are worth it and my book came out November 8th.
Jessica: So exciting! Tell me about your book.
Sabine: And The Sky Full Of Stars is a YA Science Fiction Romance. It is about a girl named Caty who is psychic in that she can touch objects or people and see memories from them. When she runs into a new boy in town she knows he is definitely not from Earth. As he figures out her secret and that she knows what he is, he recruits her to help him find a spaceship hidden somewhere among the red rock cliffs of Southern Utah.
Jessica: I seriously loved this book. Where did you get the idea for And the Sky Full of Stars?
Sabine: Thank you! I actually had a dream where a boy and girl were standing on the shore of a lake and the boy told the girl he was an alien. Then a little while later I was down in Southern Utah and I drove through the small town of Kanab, Utah and I just knew that was where my character lived. Everything else started to fall into place after that.
Jessica: Have you written and/or published any other books?
Sabine: I have a short non-fiction story published in a collection called: Angels to Bear You Up: True Stories of the Lord's Tender Mercies. I also have one book that I self-published in a series with a group of friends called Oh My Oppa! I am a huge KDrama fanatic so that one was a lot of fun to write. And The Sky Full Of Stars is my first traditionally published novel.
Jessica: So cool. What’s your favorite part about being an author?
Sabine: I love getting lost in new worlds and meeting new characters. I always love trying to find answers to the question why. Why would a character do this? Why would a civilization become like that? Figuring out my character's motivations is so much fun.
Jessica: What’s your writing routine and process like?
Sabine: I have a full-time job, a part-time job, and a family I like to spend time with so I have to schedule my writing time and stick to it. During the week that usually means writing fifteen minutes a day and on the weekends I usually get an hour or two in. Because I don’t have a lot of time, when it is writing time, I write. I spend a few minutes reading what I wrote the day before and then I just start–NO EDITING. That is the best way to get the story out. I can edit once the words are written.
Jessica: That's exactly how I do it as well! What else do you do besides authoring?
Sabine: For Work: I have been a freelance editor for over ten years. I also work full-time at a local university focusing on helping with curriculum, accreditation, and assessment. For Family: I have three kids who all played very competitive soccer (as in lots of out-of-state travel) so if I am not working, you will usually find me at a soccer field. Most of my writing is done waiting for kids at practice or waiting for games to begin. For Fun: I love to travel, hang out with my husband and kids playing board games and building Legos, and I really love KDramas.
Jessica: What are some of your favorite books?
Sabine: My all-time favorite book is The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo. However, I read everything from science fiction to contemporary romance to horror to fantasy and anything in between. Some of my favorite authors are Orson Scott Card, Dean Koontz, Laini Taylor, Kiersten White, and Janette Rallison.
Jessica: I love Janette Rallison and Orson Scott Card. Who are some authors that inspire you?
Sabine: Laini Taylor is amazing. I sort of want to be her when I grow up. I love the Daughter of Smoke and Bones series, but when I read Strange the Dreamer, I was blown away. Every word she writes is spectacular.
Jessica: What are your best tips for someone who wants to be an author?
Sabine: Read and write. I am surprised how many people want to write a book and they are not really readers. And read in every genre you can (especially the one you write in).
Jessica: Very true. How can people connect with you?
Sabine: My website is sabineberlin.com. People can also find me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, and Goodreads.
Thanks so much for reading, everyone! Be sure to check out Sabine's new book, And the Sky Full of Stars.