I am so pleased to welcome author Sara Davison to I & R today. Sara is the author of the romantic suspense novel, The Watcher, the romantic suspense series, The Seven Trilogy, and the suspense novel, Vigilant, book one of The Night Guardians Series. This book is now a finalist in our book of the year awards and Sara is giving away a signed copy to one lucky reader!
Sara has been a finalist for eight national writing awards, including Best New Canadian Christian author, a Carol Award, and two Daphne du Maurier Awards for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She is a Word and Cascade Award winner. She currently resides in Ontario, Canada with her husband Michael and their three children, all of whom she (literally) looks up to. Get to know Sara better and sign up for her newsletter at www.saradavison.org or find her on Facebook - Author Sara Davison or on Twitter - @sarajdavison.
Sara, welcome to Interviews & Reviews!
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Two incidents from my childhood stand out to me. The first happened when I was in fourth grade and our class took a trip. Afterwards we wrote about our experience, and my article was chosen to go in the school newsletter. I can still remember how it felt to see my words in print and know that other people were reading them. That was the moment I knew I wanted to write. A short time later, I was in our town's library, a large old house with squeaky wooden floors. I was nine or ten, and I distinctly remember wandering up and down the aisles, running my fingers over the spines and thinking, All these people have written books. It can be done. I can do this. And my course was set.
That is awesome! What is the most valuable lesson you have learned as a writer?
To be teachable. When you're starting out as a writer you have no idea what you don't know. My deep desire is to produce works of excellence that glorify God and raise the bar for Christian fiction. To do that, I have to be open to learning and taking constructive criticism and to taking every possible opportunity to hone my craft. My goal is for every book I put out to be better than the one before, which means I need to learn more, go deeper, and take more risks with each one. I can only do that if I dedicate myself to learning everything I can about the craft and business of writing.
Wise words. Vigilant is a non-stop adventure that keeps you riveted from the opening pages. What inspired you to write this story?
That's such a difficult question for me to answer. I have a lot of author friends who constantly take note of events happening around them or people they meet that inspire story ideas for them, but my mind doesn't work that way. The simplest answer is that God gives me the stories, as they tend to come into my mind at unexpected times. That's not to say the seed wasn't planted by something I read or saw, but it is rarely a conscious decision for me to choose a story idea and run with it. In the case of Vigilant, I likely was inspired by a couple of different news stories about children being abused and the helplessness I felt when I heard that, but by the time the idea for the book emerged in my mind, I was not able to tie it into any one story or event or news broadcast. Having said that, I wrestled with the storyline because I knew it would be controversial, and it dealt with a grey area that offered the readers no black and white solutions, but in the end I believe it is important for believers to ask themselves difficult questions such as what God would have them do in a situation like the one my characters face in Vigilant, and to search the Bible to see what it has to say about helping the helpless and the vulnerable.
What kind of research did you have to do, where CAS and the police are involved?
I consider myself a fairly lazy writer and don't tend to do a lot of research for my writing. I research what I need to in order to make the story as credible and accurate as possible, but for the most part I just like to make stuff up. Then I ask someone who is an expert in that field - in this case a friend who was a former police officer and another friend in social work - to read it over and point out any errors I may have made so I can correct them.
Who are your favourite characters in Vigilant?
Daniel is my favourite. He has always had a special place in my heart because he has such a desire to help people and do the right thing, but he falls short of that mark in this book (and he knows it). I love Gage too, because he is so broken but has somehow managed to survive a horrific past and still find the courage to love Nicole and to risk his life for the sake of those in desperate need. And I love Nicole, whose heart pulls her in two different directions, but who chooses to honour her promise to Gage even though it's such a difficult decision to make. And I love Connie and Joe too, who are the epitome of selfless, unconditional love, which brings such healing and happiness into Nicole's life. So basically, they're all my favourites :)
What is the most important message you want people to understand after reading your book?
The message I always hope and pray that readers take away from my books is that they are never alone. We live in a broken world and Jesus promised us that we would experience trouble, but he also promised us that he would never leave us or forsake us. In Vigilant, this is the lesson that Nicole finally comes to learn - that God is the only one who can promise to never leave us.
Is there going to be a sequel? If so, any idea when it will be out?
Yes! Guarded, book two of The Night Guardians Series, comes out February 1, 2020, and book three, Driven, will release sometime late 2020 or early 2021.
I know many people, myself included, will be looking forward to that. Thank you for stopping by and visiting us Sara.
If you haven't read Vigilant yet Sara has graciously offered to give away a signed copy! So fill out the form below to enter. This giveaway ends August 10th.
Congratulations to Frances Bott. The winner of Vigilant. Expect an email from me soon!
She must choose between the man who represents the law and the one who may have taken it into his own hands.
Neglected by her parents for most of her life, Nicole Hunter keeps everyone, especially men, at arms’ length. So when Attorney Gage Kelly walks into the diner where she is waiting tables one evening, she fights her attraction to him with everything she has.
Gage and his brother Holden grew up in an abusive home, and Gage has baggage of his own. But the connection between him and Nicole is too strong to ignore, and Gage manages to convince them both that their relationship is worth the risk.
Then children begin disappearing in the night.
When Detective Daniel Grey starts to close in on the child snatcher, and enlists Nicole’s help, she faces her deepest fear. Everything and everyone she has clung to so tightly could be ripped from her, leaving her completely alone.
Except for one.