When I tell people that I am a published author, I usually get asked, “How did you do it?” If I wanted to be sarcastic, I could just tell them I sat in front of a laptop and began to type—but that’s not what they mean…usually. What most people really want to know is how I formed a story and where I got the patience to actually write it. Was it easy? Was it frustrating? Did it take long? Those are the questions I am going to answer here.
The story that is now my debut novel Sapphire, was the product of many that formed in my mind over the years. I adored fairy tales and loved any book and movie with adventure. Over time, the things I watched and read inspired me. I wrote the first “version” of this story for one of my high school English classes—though I will tell you that it ended very differently. It was your typical fairy tale—prince meets girl, they fall in love, overthrow his parents and rule together—well kind of like a fairy tale…either way, this slowly led to the evolution of Sapphire.
During my senior year of high school I began writing Sapphire. I wrote two pages in Spanish class and passed them along to my friends. They loved it. Their enthusiasm gave me the push to keep going. A year and a half later, the first draft of Sapphire was complete.
How did I find the patience to sit there and write? The best answer I can give is that it was the drive to get Layla’s (my protagonist) story out of my head and onto paper. I was so determined to finish it and share it with my friends and family that I just kept going. Sure, there were frustrating moments of writer’s block and it took a long time to finish it, but it was worth it. Two and half years of editing and rewriting later, Sapphire was published by Soul Fire Press. The key is not to give up.
Sapphire takes place in the mythical kingdom of Asteria and follows the story of sixteen-year-old Layla Fallon—a commoner that dreams of royal balls and adventure. After persuading her aunt and uncle to allow her to attend a ball, she is swept off her feet by the prince. He offers her a life that she never thought she could have—a life that would mean turning her back on her family. But the thought of the prince’s love was tempting. Love from a prince who saw only her in a crowd of beautiful women in exquisite gowns. Love from a prince who visited her everyday just so he could win her heart. Love that was strong enough to blind her to rumors of rebellion and the true nature of the royal family.
But just when Layla begins to imagine her life as a princess, she learns the truth about her murdered parents and is given a sapphire that changes everything. Her life is turned upside down and she is forced to flee from everything she has known. It is a story of hardships and determination; of adventure and romance; but most of all, it is Layla’s story.
About the Author:
Sarah Fay Olson is the author of Sapphire, her young adult debut novel. She currently resides in Montana where she is pursuing a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the University of Montana. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the violin, horseback riding, reading, watching lots of TV and movies, and playing with her dog “Buzz Lightyear.”