Junior Communications Major Sarah Sapp has a young adult and fantasy novel, In My Wildest, set to be published within the month. She took a few moments to sit down with Jarrad Scott McDaniel to discuss the story, the process of writing and her expectations as the book goes to print. An exclusive excerpt from In My Wildest follows the interview.
What was the original purpose of your book?
I was bored in class, and so I started creating a story in my head, so I wasn’t bored anymore.
What was the process of writing like?
Terrible, but fun. I started writing but I didn’t have an outline, so I just kept on writing, and I had to keep going back and change my writing, which is why it took such a long time because I started my junior year of high school.
So, it took you four years?
It took me a year and a half to two years to write the story completely and then I edited it… and had it edited when published.
Is the publishing of your book a proud moment for you?
Yes. It’s certainly satisfying that I got it done. But I won’t be fully satisfied until it’s in print. Print, because that’s what a real book is.
What was your favorite part about the writing process?
Sometimes I would be writing something not really sure how it was going to tie-up, and then God is good… And so all of a sudden it would totally make sense and I would think, oh my gosh, I’m brilliant, even though it wasn’t me.
How much of this book is your creation, and how much is it God’s inspiration in your writing? Do you see a distinction between the two?
I don’t know… I literally would just write. And then if I had an idea I would assume that it was God… because I don’t create my ideas, they come to me.
What do you hope will come from this book?
I hope that I can finish the series. I hope that people say that it makes a lot more sense [as a series] because it is an illustrative book of the spiritual realm. So I hope that it clarifies things for people who may have questions.
How do you think the book will change your life personally during the remainder of your time at OKWU?
I don’t think it will change much. Honestly, it has been such a long process that I don’t think about it unless someone brings it up. It’s really fun to talk about, but I’m so busy I don’t really think about anything besides what I have to do.
Outside of In My Wildest, what are your ambitions as far as writing goes?
I really want to write a story about human trafficking… not like a documentary but like an actual story. And I have several book ideas, but they’re not full ideas. I would love to, with my writing, be able to fund stuff in the future so I can travel and do non-profit work. That would be awesome.
What specific people would you like to thank?
You will see this in my acknowledgements page… but my publishing editor, Lisa Despain. My first editor Amy Everett, who did so much… she made the book way better and she did it for free, which helped a lot… And my mom, who read the entire story and gave me feedback along the way.
Thank you, Sarah.
You’re so welcome.
The Kindle version of In My Wildest is available currently on Amazon. The print version will also be available on Amazon in the coming weeks. Until then, enjoy the following excerpt provided by Sarah:
from In My Wildest
8:09. Part of me feels like it’s five, and part of me feels like it’s eleven. But, it’s not. It’s eight-oh-nine. P.M. to be exact, and it’s been that way for a whole minute and a half. Or so it seems. Logically, I know my clock changes in exact minute intervals. But, it feels otherwise.
I don’t know why I’m looking at the clock or what good it does me to decide how awake or tired I feel. I’m just doing it because I feel like I have to—and it’s only topping off my already overflowing batch of insanity. I mean, how insane can one person be?
I wonder if this is normal for teenage girls or even teenagers in general. Actually, humans in general, the entire population of earth go- ers—minus nonhumans. Okay, see? I’m so tired that my thoughts ar- en’t making sense. Well, they sort of are, but not really. Yeah, not really.
What am I supposed to do? I can’t decide what I want to do, that’s for sure. That’s a lie. I can decide, but it’s just not possible. I don’t think. What I want is Levi, and what I want is for him to want me as much as I want him—but I don’t think he wants that. He got so short and bothered with me earlier. I think he wants for his mission to be something or someone other than me. That’s what makes sense, anyway. But then again, does anything make sense lately? Not for me. I mean my dream, Levi, his stories, my senses—they’re all going against nature. See? My own senses aren’t making sense. That just doesn’t make a smidgeon of sense. Everything’s becoming otherworldly, other-realmly. It’s too much to understand, and that’s making me even more confused.
I don’t even remember most of today. It seems like a blur that happened a long time ago. This morning… that was like a whole lot of hours ago. A whole bunch of hours that passed by slowly at times and quickly at others, and then not at all. Like now. It’s eight-ten. Hasn’t it already been eight-ten? I don’t know.
And then there’s James. I’m not going out with him, and no one can make me. I don’t think. That’d be against the law, right? Something labeled along the lines of… well shoot, I just don’t know. But I know one thing for sure. He is not laying a finger on me—or an arm, or a lip. What am I thinking? I’m not going out with him at all. Period. End of story.
Oh. And there’s also Sal. Sal Hannon—didn’t I just see him yester- day? Or was that this morning? Gosh, that was a long time ago.
It doesn’t matter what I remember though. I can’t get over to- day—I can’t get over Levi. I can’t get over him like I can’t get over the height of 5’3’’. Really, I haven’t grown in a while. Years. And I was even shorter back then.
I know why nothing is making sense! Oh what a relief. I didn’t take my medicine this morning. That explains it. I’ve been out in the heat, working, sweating, thinking, planning, wondering, listening. It’s been a long day and an even longer one because I am tired. I’m supposed to be tired, because I skipped out on my medicine!
That’s funny. It makes sense now, why my head feels fluttery with whizzing bees and sloshing water. The bees can’t work; they can only buzz and dodge out of the miniature tsunami waves inside my skull— and so nothing is making sense. Except that. That made sense.
What was that?
I stumble over to my window, where something keeps plunking against the glass. It’s sort of loud, and it needs to be quiet. My brain is thinking about going to bed.
With definite effort, I manage to hoist up the ledge and peer out into the not-quite-black sky. It’s summer, and therefore it’s sunny all the time. Well, supposed to be, but this is a weird town. But it’s never light at night. That’d be like Alaska. Are there trees in Alaska?
Someone is down there on the ground and I can’t tell who it is. It’s just a smudged shadow.
“Hello!” I whisper. It sounds like a yell, but I do whisper. It’s just a loud whisper.
“Come down!” It’s also a loud whisper, but it sounds like a boy.
“Who are you?” My head swoons as I exert more sound, too tired to even hold myself up. I feel weird.
“Levi!” Levi? “Jump, I’ll catch you.”
What? Actually, I don’t care. It’s Levi. I’ll go, I suppose. But, just because he said please. Didn’t he?
Before I can think any further, I roll myself out the window, ready to be caught and off my feet. I land in his arms. My heart is already pounding when I look to find his eyes. I miss their blue, and I don’t care what he has to say about it. But I don’t find them. All I see is blackness, and my eyelids feel really heavy. I think I’ll close them for a little bit.