Interview with Sara Beth Williams – Author of When Hearts Collide

When Hearts Collide
Sara Beth Williams
Anaiah Press, LLC (2018)
ISBN 978-1947327344

Sara Beth Williams lives in Northern California with her husband, two daughters, a loveable old lady pit bull, and a spunky Pomeranian. When she’s not held hostage by the keyboard, she loves playing guitar, reading, teaching little kinders, and spending time with her family. She loves connecting with readers!

Hi Sara Beth, Welcome to Reader Views! Tell us a bit about your writing journey. When did you start writing and what got you into contemporary Christian romance?

I’ve been writing stories since 6th or 7th grade, loosely based on my favorite classic reads. In high school, I wrote lots of poetry, then later on I began to pick up writing stories again. I couldn’t pin down what genre I wanted to write in. I wasn’t as avid a reader back then as I am now.

In 2013, I began to read contemporary Christian romances, and I thought to myself, wow, the story idea I have fits perfectly into this genre! From there, I finished the rest of the first draft of what is now “When Hearts Collide” in 4-ish months, then began to seriously research how to publish my novel. Also I should note, I devoured every Christian romance book I could get my hands on.

What is your debut novel “When Hearts Collide” about?

A reckless mistake landed Jay Mathews behind bars as a teen. His inescapable guilt led him to God. Focusing on serving the God who redeemed him and getting his life in order, the last thing Jay wants is a girlfriend. Until he meets Lacey Bennett.

Burying a past she’d like nothing more than to forget, college and theater are Lacey’s only goals; falling for the one type of guy she swore to avoid—a Christian—is nowhere on her radar.

As their relationship deepens, past secrets collide, threatening to shatter the love they’d built.

What inspired you to write this story?

I’d had the beginnings of the story that is “When Hearts Collide” in my mind for many years after I graduated high school. It was inspired by a YA book I read in high school that I cannot remember the name of, and it’s almost Romeo & Juliet-esque. I remember reading a handful of contemporary YA Romeo & Juliet retellings and being inspired by those. It took quite a few years for me to pin down what genre I wanted to write in though, and in 2007 I lost a huge chunk of what I had written when my flashdrive broke.

Tell us about your writing schedule.  What is a typical day like?

Right now, I still work during the day, so I write mostly at night, once the kiddos are in bed. I typically write from 9 to 11pm and sometimes later, if I’m not too tired. On lovely rare occasions when I’m home during the day, I’ll write in the mornings for several hours.

What do you love most about being a writer?

I love the power of creating. (building, designing graphics, painting) I can’t really paint, but I can paint with words. That’s how I like to envision writing. Words have power. I love creating visual imagery in writing and I love evoking emotions in readers.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

The most fun and surprising thing I learned while writing “When Hearts Collide” was how your characters can and will take on a life of their own. It takes practice, but when you are able to craft a character well enough, they will guide you, and your story will be much better because of it. There’s a saying in the Twitter writing community that side characters will often demand their own story. That’s what happened to me. As I finished writing the first draft, I then began to simultaneously work on early drafts of book 2 and 3, telling the stories of my side characters.

Tell us about your upcoming projects.

The 2nd book in my contemporary romance series entitled “A Worthy Heart,” will release in July, 2019. I’m currently seeking launch team members!! After completing final edits for “A Worthy Heart,” I will dive back into revisions for my third book of this series, as yet untitled. (Titles are not my strong suit.)

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received, about writing, or about life in general?

Writing toward publication can be a long process. Don’t give up. More importantly, do not rush. Don’t rush into self-publication, don’t rush into rational publication. Carefully consider all your options before making decisions. Don’t let impatience rule you. Your stories will be all the better for your patience.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

There’s quite a bit of advice on my blog, (shameless plug!!!)  One of the best pieces of writing advice I picked up from all over the web over the last several years is – infusing the 5 senses into your writing whenever possible. What are the characters seeing, tasting, touching, hearing, smelling? This will greatly enhance your writing.

Sara Beth, thank you for joining us today at Reader Views!

Thank you.


Website & Blog:


Twitter: @WilliamsSaraB

Instagram: @sarabethauthor2018

BookBub: @swilliamsauth



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