Sara Shepard is the author of the popular NYT bestselling series Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game. She takes us behind the scenes of her newest book, Follow Me, the second book in The Amateurs series.
We unpack how ghostwriting can help hone your craft and develop your own novel, and how ghostwriting created opportunities for Sara to develop the “Pretty Little Liars” book series with Alloy Entertainment. For “Pretty Little Liars” fans, we dive into detail about the book series and Sara’s thoughts on the TV series adaptation.
Further into our conversation, we talk about coping with imposter syndrome as a writer, ways to overcome writer’s block and unlock new plot lines, how outlining can help you keep track of complicated plot lines during your writing process, and how to manage the pressure of strict deadlines.
We also talk about how to protect your emotions when writing about dark and intense scenes or characters, how to create a villain readers won’t forget, and how to write action scenes that will captivate your readers.
We discuss the importance of community and support when you are going through a hardship and the importance of giving back and showing gratitude to your fans and support.
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“Don’t worry about getting it perfect.”
“As a writer, you have to put yourself in your character’s shoes and understand what they are feeling and the temptations that go with that.”
“There are ups and downs and sometimes what you are doing is really popular and sometimes it’s not. It’s ok when it’s not. You still write what you love and still do what you love to do.”
What You’ll Learn From This Episode:
- How Sara’s career explorations lead her to becoming a published author and novelist
- How ghostwriting can help hone your craft and develop your own novel
- How to understand and cope with imposter syndrome as a writer
- How Sara and Alloy Entertainment developed the concept for her series “Pretty Little Liars”
- How to manage the pressure of strict deadlines
- Sara’s thoughts on the TV series adaptation of “Pretty Little Liars”
- Ways to overcome writer’s block and unlock new plot lines
- How outlining can help you keep track of complicated plot lines during your writing process
- The importance of understanding that your story’s first draft may transform into a completely new story
- A look into the world of Sara’s new series called “The Amateurs”
- How to protect your emotions when writing about dark and intense scenes or characters
- How to create a villain readers won’t forget
- How to write action scenes that will captivate your readers
- The importance of community and support when you are going through a hardship
- The importance of giving back and showing gratitude to your fans and supporters
About “Follow Me”
The second book in The Amateurs series by the #1 New York Times best-selling author of Pretty Little Liars, Sara Shepard. With the perfect mix of mix of mystery, suspense, and romance, the newest installment in this thriller series takes Seneca, Maddox, Aerin, and Madison to the beach to solve a twisty kidnapping. It was the perfect night for a party. That is, until twenty-one- year-old Chelsea Dawson disappeared. The social media star was last seen enjoying a beautiful summer night at the Jersey Shore with her friends. But after an explosive fight with her ex-boyfriend, she vanished without a trace. When the Amateurs hear about the suspected kidnapping, they notice a jarring detail about the victim: she looks exactly like Aerin’s sister, Helena, who was murdered five years earlier. Seneca is convinced she knows who killed Helena, and she can’t shake the feeling that the same person has taken Chelsea.
Desperate for answers about the two girls, Seneca will stop at nothing to find out if the cases are linked. When Maddox receives an invitation to the Shore from none other than their primary suspect, the Amateurs begin an intense new investigation. Full of disturbing secrets, startling twists, and horrifying revelations, FOLLOW ME trails the team as they stalk down a twisted path—one crafted by a brilliant killer.
Learn More About Sara Shepard
Sara Shepard is the author of the first book in this series, The Amateurs, as well as two New York Times bestselling series, Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game, and the series The Perfectionists. She graduated from NYU and has an MFA from Brooklyn College.
Books & Resources Mentioned in Sara’s Episode:
Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene
“First, Plot and Character. Then, Find an Author” New York Times article by Motoko Rich and Dinitia Smith
Gossip Girl by Cecily Von Ziegesar
On Writing by Stephen King
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King