Sárka-Jonae Miller is a fellow San Diego writer. She is a novelist and health writer, and has more than 4,000 articles published on topics such as fitness, sports, martial arts, yoga, nutrition and natural health. She has also written about travel, beauty, spirituality, education, home and lifestyle. Her work has appeared on websites such as MethodsofHealing.com, LiveStrong.com and NaturalNews.com, as well as in the “Post-Standard” newspaper, the Washington Home & Garden online magazine and the New York Home & Garden online magazine.
Sárka-Jonae is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She is as a former personal fitness trainer and massage therapist. She is also an avid traveler, having spent time in Costa Rica, Canada, England, Mexico, and Paradise Island. She has also been to France and Thailand researching her next books. She lives in San Diego with a menagerie, including two cats, two dogs and a horse.
SJM: My debut novel is the story of a 20-something, Jan, who always has a boyfriend until one day she gets dumped, hard, and realizes that she has never been alone. Heartbroken, she decides to swear off dating and try being single. Then her parents cut her off and she learns the real meaning of independence.
JM: Would you share with us how you came to write this book?
SJM: I think we all have a little bit of Jan inside us, a girl who longs for a man to make her feel complete. A girl who believes that a husband or boyfriend is essential to her happiness. Someone who feels better about herself when she has a guy and badly when she doesn’t. I knew a lot of girls like that in high school but we were not really close. Most of my good friends didn’t really date much. However, when I went to college and started dating and my friends all started dating (though we didn’t all start dating each other, which would have made for potentially a much more interesting story), I noticed something. I noticed how terrible friends girls can be when they are focused on men. I observed how these girls were terrified of being single and no matter how smart, or pretty, or fantastic they were, they felt like nothing without a guy. All I wanted was for them to just stop dating, switch gears, and focus on themselves. So that’s what inspired Between Boyfriends. A relationship addict quits dating cold turkey and then what? That was why I wrote the book, to find out.
JM: Is there a main theme or value that you’re trying to share through your work?
SJM: Absolutely. Between Boyfriends is all about becoming independent and creating an identity separate from a romantic partner, family and socioeconomic background. There are a lot of messages in that book and there will be more to come.
JM: Have you always wanted to be a writer?
SJM: I always wanted to be a novelist, but I also went through phases of wanting to be a singer, a dancer or something where I could work with animals. I wanted to be a veterinarian, but I couldn’t imagine cutting animals open. I was too shy to take dance lessons until I was in high school, and then I didn’t have the time to catch up. I tried voice lessons and I was in choir, but there is something wrong with my throat. It hurts a lot when I sing, hum or even speak loudly. Yet I always wanted to write and now I get to. I still dance and sing for fun, and I have five rescued pets, so everything worked out.
JM: Do you have any advice for other would-be writers?
SJM: Learn everything you can about promotion and marketing. Today’s new authors must be savvy in the ways of book promotion. It doesn’t hurt to have a good publicist too.
JM: Would you share with us some of the books that you enjoy reading?
SJM: I love chick lit and books with strong female protagonists, but I also love epic fantasy. I adore the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella, but I equally love Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, Gaul Baudino’s Strands series, and Laurell K. Hamiliton’s Meredith Gentry series – all with strong female protagonists. I also adore Terry Brooks’ Shannara series, the Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, and His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman.
Lately, I’ve stumbled upon some good books, newer books. Kissed in Paris by Juliette Sobanet was so much fun to read. I highly recommend it. Falling Uphill by Wendy Nelson Tokunaga was great. I’ve recently downloaded Do or Di by Eileen Cook, Happy Hour by Anne Mitchell, and Reinventing Mona by Jennifer Coburn. I am sure I will love them all.
JM: Finally, here’s where you can learn more about Sárka-Jonae Miller and Between Boyfriends:
Thanks, Sarka-Jonae and best wishes with your writing!