Sariah Wilson: Escapes and Happily-Ever-Afters - Writer's Digest

Sariah Wilson: Escapes and Happily-Ever-Afters

Bestselling author Sariah Wilson shares why she believes readers need laughter, how she came up with the idea for Roommaid, and why writing advice can be tricky.
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Sariah Wilson is the author of Roommaid (October 1, 2020; Montlake) and many other stand-alone and series novels. She has never jumped out of an airplane, never climbed Mt. Everest, and is not a former CIA operative. She has, however, been madly, passionately in love with her soulmate and is a fervent believer in happily ever afters—which is why she writes romance. She grew up in southern California, graduated from Brigham Young University (go Cougars!) with a semi-useless degree in history, and is the oldest of nine (yes, nine) children. She currently lives with the aforementioned soulmate and their four children in Utah, along with three cats named Pixel, Callie, and Belle, who do not get along. (The cats, not the children. Although the children sometimes have their issues, too.)

Sariah Wilson headshot

Sariah's book Royal Date was selected as one of the first winners in Amazon's Kindle Scout program. Her novella Royal Design helped launch Amazon Publishing's Kindle in Motion technology, and she had her own Kindle World for The Royals of Monterra. Her book The Friend Zone was selected by Amazon as one of the Best Romances of 2019. You can visit Sariah online at www.sariahwilson.com.

In this post, Wilson shares why she believes readers need laughter, how she came up with the idea for Roommaid, why writing advice can be tricky, and more!

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Name: Sariah Wilson
Literary agent: Sarah Elizabeth Younger of Nancy Yost Literary Agency
Title: Roommaid
Publisher: Montlake Romance/Amazon Publishing
Release date: October 1, 2020
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Previous titles: Royal Date, Royal Chase, Royal Games, #Starstruck, #Moonstruck, #Awestruck, The Friend Zone, Just A Boyfriend, and others.

Elevator pitch for the book: A former heiress in desperate need of cheap accommodation agrees to become a roommaid, cleaning and caring for an anxiety-ridden dog in exchange for free room and board. Problem is, she has no idea what she’s doing and then her new roommate tells her his one rule—absolutely no dating.

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What prompted you to write this book?

(I’m not supposed to say money here, right?) The idea actually came from a TIME magazine article that was published approximately fifteen years ago about this phenomenon where people were asked to clean in exchange for room and board. It was one of those things where I thought, “That would make a good story,” filed it away in my brain, and here we are.

How long did it take to go from idea to publication? 

Once I pitched the idea to my editor, it didn’t change. And from pitch to publication was probably a little less than a year. My publisher moves a bit faster than other traditional publishers.

Were there any surprises or learning moments in the publishing process for this title?

There was, actually. The entire premise hangs on the fact that the heroine is moving into the apartment to clean and look after the hero’s dog. This means that he has to be offstage, because if he were around all the time initially then there wouldn’t be any need for her to have moved in. But that’s not really great for a romance. I learned that I should 1) never do that again, and 2) I had to find ways to bring the hero back into the story even when he was traveling.

Wilson

Were there any surprises in the writing process for this book?

Not really. I’ve written enough books now that I have a pretty good handle on how things will go and how long it will take me to get it finished. And since my brain knows that I can write books in less than a month, I find it hard to get started until I have thirty days left before my deadline. It’s not fun; I don’t recommend trying to do a 90,000-word novel in a month.

What do you hope readers will get out of your book?

The hope I have is that I make my readers laugh and sigh and swoon and generally forget about their troubles for a few hours. Life is so tough right now that we need our escapes and our happily-ever-afters.

If you could share one piece of advice with other authors, what would it be?

Read. Read, read, read. All the time. And when you’re figuring out how you write, listen to what other authors have to say, but only take what works for you. I’ve been in so many classes and conferences where authors get up and say, “This is the only way things can be done!” and it’s blatantly untrue. We all have our own unique ways of writing our novels, and part of the learning process is taking what will help you and discarding the rest.