You guys, I am so excited to have Sarah Buhl, author of Penance. on Pretty Little Indies today! After reading her book and our emails back and forth, I've grown to enjoy Sarah and her writing so much. I hope you guys enjoy what we've put together today for you.
Penance. a love story by Sarah Buhl
(The Böhme Series #1)
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Demons of past mistakes haunt her. Mistakes of past demons haunt him.
Strangers cross paths every day. Moments are shared with a smile — the opening of a door, a nod of hello, or help with directions. Most don’t listen to that quiet intuition telling them that something different can be found in this stranger. There is connection and understanding in their eyes. There is truth in their smile. There is an entire life waiting to live. What happens if that intuition isn’t ignored and strangers begin to listen?
It happens every day, someone, somewhere, chooses to listen, and love begins.
This is the story of two strangers who made that choice.
Haunted by the passing of her sister and believing she was the catalyst to cause it, Hannah Anderson lives a walking death. Afraid to embrace life and burdened by guilt, she refuses to accept more than just getting through every day. She believes she doesn't deserve happiness.
Consumed by anxieties and self-depreciation from childhood, Wynn Hawthorne shelters himself from the world. Content to live behind his camera and within the quotes that comfort him, he avoids people. He holds himself back from experiences because people always disappoint.
Together they learn that their pasts do not define them and that forgiveness is the hardest thing in the world to accept.
Read my review here!
2. If you could choose any TV show to promote your book on, which would you choose?
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Even though it is a comedy show, he always manages to ask the right questions and plus it would be super awesome to talk to him.
3. I loved the character of Wynn. What or who inspired him?
Wynn was inspired from artists and creative people in my life. There is something to watching someone create a piece of art or music. When you watch them in their creative zone, they are outside themselves and it is freaking amazing. That is what inspired that part of Wynn. I imagine he exudes that all the time.
Also, he doesn’t like to be around people who are happy to just fit in and go along with the norm. I value that individuality in others. I like to meet people that are happy in their own skin and Wynn became that person the farther into his character I delved. Despite his issues, he understood who he was as a person and he accepts his own shortcomings. To me that level of honesty with oneself is a beautiful thing and I have met some amazing people that possess that quality. Ultimately, I love meeting real people and they are the inspiration for Wynn.
4. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
I still feel like an aspiring author myself. It hasn’t really sunk in yet that I published a book. But what I would say to someone that wants to get to the point of publishing is to take that first step and start your story. You can do it, believe in yourself. Don’t settle and don’t be afraid to go there to follow your story. I read that somewhere during my writing of penance. and I had to ask myself if I should go there several times before finally I said, “Just effing go for it.” I am so glad I did.
Also don’t be afraid of what others think. Just write what you need to write. Maybe I am too idealistic or too much of an INFP (by the way that is a Myers Briggs personality type), but I think if you aren’t afraid to tap into the story you need to tell, you will be successful no matter how many of your books are purchased. I always saw it as this—as long as one person felt my book, I would be happy and I am extremely happy with hearing the response to penance. Don't focus on the sales or on the attention, but being happy with your finished product. Write for yourself first and foremost.
5. How much does inspiration from art play into your writing?
Artists and my love of art play a big role in my writing, especially in the Böhme series. It is a core element in each of the stories. I have always loved creating art and also studying art history. My husband and I are both photographers and my love for photojournalistic portraits played a big role in Wynn’s style of photography. I love realism in photography, but surrealism in art and Magritte is my favorite, so that is how he ended up in Penance. I wasn’t planning on having him be part of it, but amazingly he found his way there. The cover of Penance was actually homage to Magritte and it fit perfectly.
6. If you were allowed to have only one painting in your home, which would you choose?
I would be scared to have one in my home! If I could have one though, it would be Son of Man by Magritte. But I would be constantly worried about something happening to it because I am clumsy, my daughter is clumsy and I have two dogs that get into things. With our history, we would manage to destroy a priceless work of art.
7. We've discussed literary tattoos before. Which one would you go get right now if you could?
The one I have wanted for years now is from Ray Bradbury and it is actually the same quote Wynn has on his forearm. J But I don’t need any further explanation as he did. It is my favorite quote of all time, “I don’t talk things, sir. I talk the meaning of things. I sit here and know I’m alive.” I also would want to finish my Little Prince tattoos.
8. If you could visit one place for a girls weekend with Hannah, where would you go?
I must confess…I am pretty geeky. My first thought was—I want to go to Comic Con with her!
9. What was the last book that you read that had a profound impact on you?
The Fault in Our Stars was the last one that did, there are so many that have stuck with me through the years, though. But that is the most recent one. John Green is amazing. That book made me cry my eyes out and it wasn’t just the story itself, but the amazing way that man can string words together. I mean seriously—“My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations,” that is just beautiful.
10. Lastly, what's up next for you? Any projects we should be looking out for?
I have been working on a dystopian novel for the last year and it taps into my more “in your face” side and less on the emotions. I am hoping to have that finished later this year, but…it might lose out to the next Böhme series book.
The Böhme have been speaking louder to me. Blake’s has been screaming at me lately as has Gabe’s. I plan on tapping into each of the artists in some way. I want to go into the past as well and look at Wynn and Hannah’s parents and possibly Sid and Petra.