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2023 IRDA Winning Author Sabrina Simon Tells All About Her Book

Violet was the winner in the Non-Fiction Poetry category of the 2023 IndieReader Discovery Awards, where undiscovered talent meets people with the power to make a difference.

Following find an interview with author Sabrina Simon.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

The name of my book is Violet, and the paperback edition was published on July 9th, 2022 while the eBook edition was published on July 11th.

What’s the book’s first line?

The first line is “am I wrong for wanting you the way I do?” Which comes from the first poem, “am I?”

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.

Violet is about love. Love found, love unrequited, love alienated, love lost, and love potentially found again. It depicts the “rollercoaster ride” or rose colored view we have of love when we first encounter it. The grim view of love in the midst of it when it’s not how we thought, wanted, or idealized, and everything in between. But at the heart, it’s romantic, and for the hopeless romantics.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event? 

The poems themselves centered on my feelings for a guy in high school. To group my poems together to make a book came from my English teacher from my freshmen year, which came full circle 5 years later when another guy I liked gave me compliments on a poem I wrote for him, which happens to be in the book. It wasn’t planned, so I think I can say it was meant to happen. I’m glad it took 5 years because I had more time to mature, and write new poems.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?

Love is universal, and has no age limit as far as the emotion itself, but love is primarily an act of the will. Anyone can see themselves in these poems. It’s the sheer relatability I believe that can draw someone in, and with poetry, there shouldn’t be a disconnect, and there’s no disconnect here.

When did you first decide to become an author?

The funny thing is I thought about being an author when I first started writing stories at 13, but renounced that because I didn’t want an unconventional career, but still found my way down that path regardless. I wouldn’t say I ever made a decision to be an author because I didn’t, but since I’m in the filmmaking world, authoring books, and writing screenplays are two peas in a pod.

Is this the first you’ve written?

Writing for me started with fanfiction, but poetry helped solidify my “style,” tone, and voice. I’ve written plenty of stories that were no good, and have a romance manuscript that I wrote a few years ago in the vault. All romance-esque like my poetry is.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?

The best part of being an indie is the fact I own 100% of the rights to my work. That was the most important thing to me when searching for a publisher, and that’s what makes it hard; all the marketing falls on my shoulders, and I have to scratch and claw to earn every book purchase. It has been demoralizing, this process, but with the success I’ve been blessed to have with this book, no matter how little, it’s been rewarding even with the challenges.

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling?  If so, why?

I wouldn’t. After attending a presentation last month on book publishing, I discovered I sold more copies than authors of one particular publishing house. That’s not to say all traditional publishers are the same in that aspect, however, if I can’t own the rights to my work, it’s not worth it.

Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)

As I’ve been humbled to hear these past few years, I have a “gift,” or “talent,” for writing, and this gift was given to me by God, so I have an obligation to use it for good instead of abusing or perverting that gift for the sole purpose of monetary gain. All I’ve wanted to do was be the creator of beautiful things, so the opportunity that I have to author a poetry book, and share it for everyone’s collective experience, and have people enjoy it is a blessing.

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