Sarah Lampkin, Author of ‘To Dream Is To Die’ talks to Kendall Reviews.

I’m Sarah [Code Name: Sassy]. Self-proclaimed gym rat, book addict, and whiskey lover.

By day, I work as a Technical Writer/Editor and by night…I play video games. Okay, I’ll be honest. I write, and THEN I play video games. When I’m not writing or gaming, you can usually find me on the floor, burrowed under a blanket with a cat in my lap, and a research book in my hand. Other than writing, research is my second passion and it’s how I’ve been able to expand the lore of Dead Dreamer to what it is today.

I can usually be found spending time on my Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts, interacting with my readers and other writers [and a friend here and there…probably].

My debut novel, TO DREAM IS TO DIE, will be published in January of 2019. And I am currently working editing books 2 & 3 of the Dead Dreamer series, while writing book 4. I am also currently publishing a prequel series called The Child Dreamer and posting chapters for my TAINTED WINGS novella every other Saturday to my website and Wattpad account.

KR: Coffee?

KR: Could you tell me a little about yourself please?

I am a technical writer for a government contractor, which sounds extremely boring…because it is. So to not go too insane, I play RPGs and go to the gym a lot. Otherwise I’m writing while listening to some metal or Lindsey Stirling music. Depends on the mood of what I’m writing. Otherwise I’m just your average redneck, hiding in a tree as I hunt for dinner.

KR: What do you like to do when not writing?

You can usually find me sitting on the floor, against the couch, screaming at the NPC’s in the RPG game I’m playing that day. I like to believe they can hear me. Other than that, I’m pretty much a gym rat. Waking up at 3:45am to go to the gym for a couple hours. It’s a good way to work out some things and sometimes helps me when I’m having writer’s block.

KR: What is your favourite childhood book?

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

KR: What is your favourite album, and does music play any role in your writing?

Music plays a huge role while I’m writing. I have a playlist on Spotify called Writing and Daydreaming that I usually listen to. It’s full of music that tends to give me goose bumps and allows me to travel deeper into the dark pit that is my head. That is usually when I get my best writing

KR: Do you have a favourite horror movie/director?

Ironic, considering what I write, but I don’t watch horror movies usually. I can do suspense, but horror…I tend to steer clear. Mainly because my imagination has WAY too much fun with me…and I don’t want to give the ghosts in my house any cute ideas.

KR: What are you reading now?

I’m reading a ton of research books dealing with Celtic mythology and Wiccan beliefs. 

KR: Who were the authors that inspired you to write?

Lynne Ewing was my biggest inspiration. When I was younger, I hated reading. Didn’t want to do it, ever. One day, my mom was so fed up with me, she took me to a bookstore and demanded I pick a book to read. She really wanted me to get into reading. I happened to pick up the first book of the Daughters of the Moon series. It was the first book that I had ever read where I couldn’t put it down. I finished it that night. That started my love for books. I even wrote a fan letter to her and was shocked when she wrote back.

After writing a few letters, I began writing as a way to handle my ADHD and wild imagination. Ten years later and we still occasionally writing letters to one another and my first book is finally getting published! It’s been one hell of a ride.

KR: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?

I like to tell people I’m watching a movie when I write. As I write, I’m literally watching how things will play out. I can try to plot and have an endgame, but sometimes my characters surprise even me with their actions and decisions. 

KR: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I’ll research before, during, and even after writing a book. Other than writing, I have a strong passion for research. It even helped me earn my Masters of the Arts degree in English. I tend to study Celtic, Norse, or any other European mythologies, along with wiccan behavior and traditions. It fascinates me. This past summer I was able to travel to Ireland to continue my research for my Dead Dreamer series and it was amazing.

KR: Describe your usual writing day?

Honestly, I never know when I’m going to write. Sometimes I get a wild hair, and other times I know I have a deadline, so I focus to get work done. If I’m at home, its usually at night. I’ll have music blasting and a glass of whiskey sitting next to me. 

KR: Do you have a favourite story/short that you’ve written (published or not)?

In high school, I wrote a story called Angels: Moon and Sun. It always held a special place in my heart because it was the first time I had ever tried to write something. Recently, I decided to rewrite the story for my blog and Wattpad. It’s changed so much and now it’s called Tainted Wings. I’m WAY more proud of it now.

KR: You can read Chapter 1 of Tainted Wings here

KR: Do you read your book reviews?

Yeah, I can’t help myself.
So…please be kind 

KR: How do you think you’ve developed as an author?

My tone has gotten much darker over the years. I’ve gotten very good at building suspense. But definitely a darker tone. When I write, it becomes extremely easy to fall into the thoughts of my depression. It takes a lot of self-control to watch myself mentally. Writing is an amazing thing, but I’m aware it is also dangerous for me.

KR: Any advice for a fledgling author?

Have fun! Don’t let others dictate what your story should be. Write what your heart wants to write! 

KR: What scares you?

If we’re getting deep here…camel crickets.

KR: Sorry Sarah

KR: E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?

I want to say paperback, but lately I buy a lot of Ebooks. My wrists and hands begin to ache when holding a book, so using something like the Kindle really helps me

KR: Can you tell me about your latest release please?

On January 8th, 2019, the first of the Dead Dreamer series will be released. It is called TO DREAM IS TO DIE. The series follows Brenna Whit, a freshman in college trying to fit in. One small road block: she can leave her body whenever she falls asleep. All is well until her secret is discovered and she has to fight a cult on her campus using religious teaching to destroy the Fade. It’s a coming-of-age story with a strong female protagonist who will do whatever it takes to survive. She’s not focused on romance or even school. She’s focused on surviving.

KR: What are you working on now?

Currently, I’m working on edits for books 2 and 3 for the Dead Dreamer series. I am also working to complete the novel TAINTED WINGS and maybe sending it out to some publishers. But it still has a ways to go!

KR: You find yourself on a desert island, which three people would you wish to be deserted with you and why?

You can choose…

a) One fictional character from your writing.

b) One fictional character from any other book.

c) One real-life person that is not a family member or friend.

The first person I would bring is Brenna, the protagonist of TO DREAM IS TO DIE. Her skills would be extremely useful in finding food and shelter. For the second, I might bring the protagonist from TAINTED WINGS, Hekate. Her wings could help us escape! Lastly, I might bring Marcia from TAINTED WINGS. Can’t go wrong if you have two people with wings to get you out of that bind!

KR: Thank you very much Sarah.

Sarah Lampkin

You can find out more about Sarah by visiting her official website www.dead-dreamer.com

Follow Sarah on Twitter @Lampkin_S

Eighteen-year-old Brenna Whit is entering college as a freshman and starting to meet new people, but she hides a dark secret. Because of an accident that happened three years ago, her spirit wanders the Fade whenever she falls asleep. It’s something she wants to keep hidden from the world, but when she sees someone watching her in spirit form, she fears the secret’s out. With new friends, possibly new enemies, school, and a new crush, Brenna has too much to worry about for just her freshman year of college.

You can buy To Dream Is To Die from Amazon UK & Amazon US

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