Hello everyone! Welcome back to the Author Spotlight Series with The Writer’s Alley! And, today we’re honored with the amazing Sara A. Noë. She’s here to give us a brief history of her journey with some writing tips! Sit back and enjoy her story.


“I want to be an author when I grow up” was a sentence that was never uttered out of my mouth as a child. I was always a creative type from the moment my fingers learned how to hold a pencil—drawing, writing poetry—but writing a book? Never crossed my radar. I wanted to be a landscape architect.

That is, until I wrote my first full fantasy novel in high school, and then I was infected with the writing virus. After coming within a hair’s breadth of traditional publication as a high school senior and then watching the dream slip away when my mentor became disinterested in me, I obsessively threw myself into writing a new series at Purdue University while pursuing a landscape architecture bachelors of science and a minor in creative writing. My life plan was to design parks by day and write novels by night.

Life has a funny way of veering in different directions just when you think you planned your roadmap. I realized partway through college that landscape architecture was a noble and innovative field, but it wasn’t for me. I lacked the passion. I completed my internship and graduated with honors but then hopped from odd job to odd job while spending every spare minute writing and editing. I wanted to publish traditionally because self-publishing has such a negative stigma about sloppy, unedited, and overall poor quality books flooding the market. I wanted the prestige of signing with a literary agent.

And yet, as the query letters went out and the rejection letters inevitably trickled in, the idea of giving up all the rights to my story left an uncomfortable pit in my stomach. After reading about bestselling author Terry Goodkind’s experience with his cover art, I worried a publisher wouldn’t honor my opinions and I might end up hating my own book. The more research I did, the larger that pit grew with each query letter I sent. I may not have always been a writer, but I was always an artist, and as hard as I tried to convince myself an experienced publishing house would do a better job designing the book than I could, the thought of surrendering my story felt like passing off an incomplete piece of art for another artist to finish and then own the copyright.

I wanted my book to be mine, from cover to cover—every aspect, inside and out. I had a vision for what I wanted it to be. Eight years after I began writing my seven-book series, I hired an editor, designed and created the cover in Photoshop, formatted the layout, and independently published the first book in the Chronicles of Avilésor: War of the Realms series, A Fallen Hero. Book II: Phantom’s Mask is scheduled for a 2020 release date.

My experience proves that even when you think you’re walking down the wrong road, you’re actually leveling up for the next leg of the quest. Landscape architecture not only taught me how to use Photoshop and provided me a basic understanding of graphic design and layout, but also expanded my knowledge to develop detailed settings in my writing. My odd jobs interacting with the public as a casino cashier, a travel agent saleswoman, a server, and a customer experience adviser taught me to overcome my introverted mindset and talk to people with more confidence, and then later, my job as an e-commerce specialist taught me skills in website management and email content. These “wrong roads” left me prepared when I stepped foot on the right one.

Holding my novel for the first time brought a rush of tears to my eyes. The monetary and time investments are colossal, but every penny and every second is worth it to pursue my dream. I just finished my first book signing tour, where I visited seven cities in three states to sign copies of A Fallen Hero at Barnes & Noble. These characters have pulled me into their world for over a decade; they wouldn’t let me rest until I told their story. I hope to someday forge a full-time career writing novels.

I’m just getting started.

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Get your copy of her wonderful novel! And, give her a follow on all of her social media! Thank you for joining us at The Writer’s Alley!!!!

See you next time!