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Indie Author Spotlight Interview: Adriana Sargent

Author Adriana Sargent
Indie Author Adriana Sargent

Let us get to know you:

  1. Where are you from? Does that have any impact on your writing?

I am originally from Alaska, but spent my teenage years in a small town in Texas. I don’t think it had much impact on my writing because my mind was always in some wild made up world. 

  2. How old were you when you first started writing your own stories?

Probably around 11. I finished my first when I was around 13 and it was awful, but it is my mother’s prized possession. She’s always asking if I want it back and I ask her to burn it. 

 3. What do you do to relax?

I take baths, I write, I read, and  I smoke cigars and drink bourbon on the rocking chairs in front of my house like the old (33 yo) lady I am. 

 4. Was there any one moment in your life that made you want to become an author?

It’s been a dream of mine since I was a child. It was why I started writing. I have always had so many ideas in my mind that needed an outlet and when I thought about sharing them with other people I was terrified and excited. 

5. How many unfinished novel ideas do you have lying around?

I have 7 that I started over the last 10 years, 4 sitting in the notes app on my phone,  1 currently in progress and 1 in drafting stages. 

 6. While I love to rep all Indie Authors I like to spotlight those that are part of marginalized communities, would you say you are a part of such a demographic? How do you think this influences your writing?

I am mixed (black and white) and part of the LGBTIA+ community. I remember growing up I always thought I would never see anyone like me in media. When I did, they played very stereotypical roles which made me want to be a different ethnicity. It was hard. One of my favorite shows was ‘That’s so Raven’ because she may have fallen into some stereotypes, but at least her family was similar to mine. The LGBTQIA+ representation I saw was the “butch” lesbian, or flamboyant gay man. 

Needless to say, I never saw anything that represented me or my community. I never want anyone to read my stories and see themselves how I grew up seeing myself. I am all about inclusion and empowerment and I will do my best to make all facets of myself and my community proud. 

7. If you could change any one thing about our world today, what would it be?


8. Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

Introvert. Absolutely. 

A bit about your writing:

9. How do you go about writing? Are you a planner or do you just write?

Oh I fly by the seat of my pants. I am a pantser all the way. I have tried to plan and it usually ends with writers block. That’s what scared me about having a series as my first published works. I have put myself in a corner, in a way. I have learned that I can still write whatever else I want at the same time. That’s the glory of being an indie author. 

10. Do you have a preferred writing environment? Such as a Cafe, home office, or just anywhere?

If I have my laptop, I can write there. Home, cafes, restaurant bars, hotel rooms, airplanes. Especially when inspiration strikes. 

11. Are you a full-time or a part-time writer? How do you think that affects your writing?

I am a part-time writer. I can only write in my free time and when I’m off work, which means I don’t get to write as often as I like to.

12. What do you find to be the most difficult part about writing? The easiest?

Finding time and getting out of my own damn head. I have had the worst imposter syndrome since I started writing, but I sure punched her in the face and published anyways. The easiest is knowing my characters. I am a character driven person in any media I consume, I will watch a tv show for years, even if it repeats (supernatural) specifically for the characters. So if there is anything I take pride in, it’s my ability to write a well developed character. 

13. What comes first, plot or characters?

Characters, funnily enough. I will think of a character, imagine what their life was like, who they were, and how they grow. 

14. Is there any writing advice you would like to give to a writer working on their first novel?

Don’t quit. Your story is important and will mean something to someone. Even if you only receive one review and one dedicated reader, it makes it more worth it than you could ever imagine. If you hit writers block it could be one of two things. Your characters/story is telling you something or you have take an unintentional turn/plot-hole. 

15. Why did you choose to go with Spectrum books , an indie publishing company?

I know how hard it was to publish in general, but I knew it was even more difficult for LGBTQIA+ writers. I wouldn’t say it is a niche community, but the way our stories are looked at you would think it was. Add being black on top of that, I knew my best bet was indie. 

Spectrum is an indie publisher based in London that specifically publishes LGBTQIA+ stories by LGBTQIA+ authors. Their goals and mission statement was so inspiring to me and while I queried with about 5 indie publishers I had high hopes for Spectrum. I can’t express how excited I was when Andrew (the director) reached out and expressed the desire to publish Through the Embers. I almost cried on video chat, but screamed as soon as we hung up. 

Book Specific:  

16. What was your inspiration for this book? 

I have been writing Through the Embers for over 11 years at this point and it is the most treasured story I have ever created. I remember I was watching a very popular movie that featured a popular blond elf and I thought. What if he was a she…and what if she was an assassin. Aife was the very first character I created, I did tribute to her by having her as the opening Point of View. 

17. Do you have a favorite character? Scene?  Personally I love Aife, but also I’m a bit intrigued by Katrina, she’s kind of a badass.

It’s absolutely Aife. She just has such a complex, heartbreaking story (you learn more about in Volume 2) and she’s so unapologetically herself. Sometimes I wish she would have kicked Gregorovich’s ass and made those loyalty tests worth it, but survival was first on her mind. She took what she was made to be and turned it into a method of survival and honestly, who could blame her for that? 

18. I love that in your book no one commented on Aife’s being attracted to women in a negative way. It’s nice to see our community just existing. Was this a conscious choice when you were writing?

Absolutely. Something I dislike most about LGBTQIA+ work is how being queer is such an important part of the story. I wanted to write something where it wasn’t the focus, but it wasn’t ignored. Aife and Titaia liked the same sex, it wasn’t ignored, it went acknowledged ,it just was. I would love nothing more than for that to become the way of the world. No one is ‘coming out’, we just are who we are. 

19. There were a few surprises in the book (Don’t want to spoil them for other readers) I have to know did any of the twists surprise you while you were writing? 

I’m going to be completely honest, when I read this question I said aloud “what twists”? I have been so immersed in this story for so long that I fully believed there were no surprises. 

When I told you that I am a pantser I mean that in the sincerest sense. My characters tell me where it goes and I’m just as surprised as everyone else. When you read the end of Through the Embers Volume 2 you will know what I mean. As I was writing even I was in denial and when I wrote those last few chapters I cried for hours. So I can confidently say, yes. I was as surprised as everyone else! 

20. Were there any parts of the novel you found challenging to write? 

The entire middle. I knew exactly how it began and had an idea of how it ended. My best friend said; “it’s like January describing December, and December thinking everything is alright.” 

21. Now, Through the Embers is Book 1 in The Crown Quartet series, with Book 2 releasing Dec. 16th, 2023, how do you feel now that you’ve already published a book? Are you still nervous for release day?

I am an absolute wreck. I don’t know if this is a feeling that I will ever get used to. Knowing that people are able to read parts of my soul and see into a mind that I barely understand is terrifying. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything though. Even just one person reading and enjoying 26 letters that I’ve turned into a story is amazing. 

22. Would you be willing to share a quote or excerpt with us from the Sequel?

Oh. It’s funny, when I was doing final edits for Volume 2 I read a part that hit my heart in a way that I didn’t understand. I was talking to my friend Kate about (coauthor of The Fractured City) and just said how much it took my breath away. It’s not something that is world ending for anyone except potentially me, but it is something that will stick with me. I’m sure all of us have felt that way at one point or another. Loneliness is the worst companion and can show us sides of ourselves we never knew existed. 

“A part of me wanted to betray her trust, to break her heart into pieces just so I wouldn’t have to be alone in my pain.” 


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