Children's Book and Sweet Romance Author
I met Savannah almost a year ago when I first joined Twitter. Having avoided social media for most of my life, I had zero clue what I was doing. Twitter seemed especially daunting, since it felt like whispering into an abyss.
But Savannah (kind soul that she is) instantly made me feel welcome and gave me the courage to stick it out. And I'm so glad I did! Otherwise, I never would have stumbled upon the online writing community, which has been an incredible blessing and constant source of encouragement.
A year later, I consider her to be one of my dearest writing friends and I'm so proud of everything she's accomplished. And I'm honored to introduce you, if you don't know her already!
Savannah Hendricks hales from Arizona (the Valentine State), which is appropriate considering she's a sweet romance author! I also love that she's from Arizona because it's not too far from my home state of California. A get-together is definitely in the works!
She's published seven books, a mixture of non-fiction, children's books, and adult romance.
Let's jump into the interview!
Savannah, seven published books is quite an accomplishment! When did your author journey begin?
I started back when I was at my final nanny job, so since 2004. I started writing children’s stories in a spiral notebook during the baby’s naps. Shortly after writing the first story (Nonnie and I) I switched to writing magazine stories for a good number of years while I waited for Nonnie and I to be picked up.
I LOVE that you started writing as a nanny. Was there anything in particular that sparked your first story?
Is it alright if I say I have no idea? Because that’s the truth. My first story was a picture book, Nonnie and I. I used to read probably twenty picture books a day as a nanny and I loved their simplicity. However, there were many that I couldn’t stand and so I started to think about what I liked and didn’t like and therefore what I wanted to see in a picture book.
That reminds me of a quote I often see floating around social media: If you can't find the book you want to read, write it. Sounds like you did exactly that! When you're crafting your stories, do you include Easter eggs (secret messages/inside jokes/personal tidbits)? And, if so, can you share one with us?
Yes, I put at least one thing into each story I’ve written. Hmm, well for Grounded in January (sweet romance), Ox and Kate discuss their top pet peeve and one is mine and one is my significant others. Also, the sweet dog, Bayou in Grounded in January is based after my wonderful Bayou. Every mannerism in the story is one-hundred percent Bayou. I lost him when he was only seven years old to cancer. He was my heart-dog and I wanted everyone to enjoy who he was and how much laughter he brought to a room because he was so very special.
Being a dog mom myself, my heart hurts for your loss. And it's incredibly lovely you wrote Bayou into your first sweet romance novel so he'll live on forever. Being able to immortalize special people in our lives is a unique gift we can give ourselves as writers.
What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
I love to write because I become completely lost in a story. I will spend several hours deep into a plot and when I take a break I feel as though I am leaving that landscape. I can honestly travel anywhere in my mind without any effort. I love the ability to create a feeling, that is my ultimate joy of writing.
Create a feeling... that's such a beautiful way to describe it! ❤️
What would you say you enjoy the least about writing?
End stage edits. So, not the first or second, or even third or fourth, but that final run through (before hitting submit) where you can’t stand to look at it anymore because you feel at that point you are just moving commas around.
Haha! Yeah, that's definitely not my favorite part, either! 😂
I do love discovering the theme of a novel. Is there a particular theme in the novel you're working on right now?
Tough question, I’m sort of juggling two WIP (works in progress). I have one in the revision stages, but something came up and made me realize I need to complete a different one. I’m not sure which one will end up out in publishers’ emails first. Both of them are sweet romance. One is completely unconventional and has been a challenge to write and the other is...a fun Christmas story with lots of laughs. I love to sprinkle humor through all my stories.
You had me at "fun Christmas story with lots of laughs!" That's my kind of story, 100%!
Since you're juggle two WIPS at the moment, is there an overarching theme you hope readers experience with all of your novels?
Yes, all of my stories from magazines to books, from kids lit or adult, all have a positive message, all stories focus on hope. They can be referred to as UpLit. This is my key message in all my stories because I had such little hope as a child.
Savannah, I love this SO much! Hope is such an important message. And I'm thrilled Up Lit is on the rise in the publishing industry. We need more!
Speaking of on the rise...it's been incredibly exciting to watch your author journey over the last several months. First with your children's books, and now with the release of your first (and far from last) sweet romance, Grounded in January.
Where do you hope (no pun intended 😉) to see yourself career-wise in five years?
Writing career wise (since I already have a career) I’d love to be a New York Times Best Seller, because doesn’t every writer? If I wish hard enough to see stars when I press my eyes together then I would be so bold as to say a movie is made from one or more of my books.
Yes! I'm confident one day soon we will be munching popcorn together, drooling over one of your sweet romances on... dare I say, The Hallmark Channel? 🤩
What's one piece of advice you'd give a fellow author trying to make it in the crazy world of publishing?
This business is full of heartbreak, even once you think you have it all made. So have thick skin or find some before you start out.
So true! I'm not sure where I found mine! It's definitely not innate. But it's been essential.
One final question before I share what every one really wants to know... where they can find your latest book!
What is one non-writing fact most people don’t know about you?
I’m terrified of geckos, I love lizards, but geckos...I lose my mind.
Haha! Okay, that has to be the most perfect way to end an author interview, ever. 😂
Savannah, thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to chat with me and give us a glimpse into your writer life. Now, get back to writing that Christmas novel because I have to have it! 😘
Click the book cover to read Savannah's debut sweet romance, Grounded in January!
Kate Wilson hates to admit it, but she's unhappy and can't figure out why. Fearful of flying yet determined to find a reason for her unhappiness, she boards a flight headed for her Washington hometown.
Inn of the Woods owner and pilot, Oxnard Swanson struggles with accepting his multiple sclerosis diagnosis, realizing his dreams of marriage and a family might be over. Determined, he bides his time managing the inn, piloting his Cessna, and training his rescue dog Bayou.
Sparks quickly fly between Oxnard and Kate, when a snow storm forces her to find refuge at the Inn of the Woods. Maggie, a wise guest, suggest the couple step outside, where the magic of the snow offers answers to their search for happiness and a second chance at love.
Kate and Oxnard find love is like a snowflake, a unique and beautiful reminder of life's continuation, as each snowflake melts into the eternal hope of spring.
I hope you all enjoyed getting to know Savannah as much as I have! To read more about her writing life, you can follow her blog, The Seashells of Life. Or find her on social media.
She's an absolute delight. 😊