A to Z Blogging Challenge: 26 Post Recap

A2Z-2013-BADGE-001Small_zps669396f9Wow, what a month! 26 posts in 30 days. Sorry, make that 30 posts because each week I also posted a quick recap. Phew!

I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into. It challenged me to go beyond just those things I knew I wanted to post and to think more creatively about what I wanted to share. As a result, I wrote a series of writing advice articles, expose pieces on my book series, and a number of other things I ordinarily would not have thought of. Oh, and I met some really awesome bloggers along the way. Pretty cool.

That said, I’m not convinced I would do it again. It limited me on what I could post about, and I ended up with a ton of posts I had to push until May (I know I could do several posts per day, but that’s overkill), and it was incredibly time consuming. BUT…I definitely recommend everyone try the challenge at least once. It will challenge the way you organize your thoughts, in a good way!

Z is for Zen

Ahhh...As writers, we all have certain settings that inspire us.

I have never loved sunny days and warm weather. I crave the cold, and the storms, the wind, and the snow, and I am never in more of a mood to be creative than I am when the rain is pouring down in sheets outside the window and I have the perfect cup of coffee at my side.


This is my zen. What is yours?



Y is for Yearly Writing Goals- Check In (Rome Construction Crew Update #1)

557820_297142597061870_1978263614_nBack in January I published my writing goals for the year 2013. I posted them here so I could hold myself publicly accountable. Since we are nearing the fifth month of the year, its a great time to revisit the list and see what progress I’ve made. It is also good timing because I’ve recently joined the Rome Construction Crew, and most of my goals involve writing.

Continue reading

A to Z Blogging Challenge: Week 4 Recap

A2Z-2013-BADGE-001Small_zps669396f9In case you missed any of my A to Z Challenge posts from Week 4, here you go!

And here are the posts from A-R:

W is for Writer

206158_361060320659355_1737173104_nI am a writer. I’ve also been a great many other thing throughout my life, but I’ve never not been a writer.

I started writing when I was seven, and the contents of my imagination both shocked and inspired my parents. Growing up, I was the kid with the imagination. The creative one. The one who excelled in English and Journalism (and even won awards for it), and who read anything she could get her hands on. I was the kid who enjoyed getting reading assignments over the summer. I was the one who wrote short stories that nearly got me expelled.

I wrote my first novel in junior high. It was terrible, but I kept writing. I published my first novel, St. Charles at Dusk, in 2011. Shortly after, the story turned into a series, and I’ve now written five books in The House of Crimson and Clover series. It won’t stop there, either. I love knowing that I have so many more stories to look forward to.

I created this blog to promote my work, but the content has expanded beyond that original intention. I’ve also met many other great writers and, through those friendships, have learned that the best way to be a member of the writing community is to share your experiences with others, in hopes that they might learn you the way you learn from them. The writing community is an ecosystem of writers sharing with other writers, and I’m proud to be a member of it.

I’ve created a Writing Tips page (a replica of this post) that will contain all articles I’ve written related to writing tips, tricks, and experiences that I think are helpful to others. By coming directly to this page, you won’t have to search through the page to find what you need. It’s easily accessible from the top and left navigation menus on the homepage.

In addition to writing articles, I also have established a Guest Author Program, where other writers can be featured and promote their work. Check this page out for details.

Finally, I have a page specific to my NaNoWriMo adventures.


Happy Writing!

Writing Articles

Character Biographies (To Bio or Not to Bio?)

Fictional Genealogies

Fooling the Overachiever Into Submission Using the Scientific Method

Incomplete (You’ve Won NaNoWriMo: Now What?)

Location and Setting

Mitosis (How to Outline When You Suck at Outlining)

Write Badly and Often


V is for Versatile, Very Inspiring, Family, & Sunshiny Blogging!

This month has been devoted to the A to Z Blogging Challenge, so when I was nominated for a few awards, I was worried I might have to wait until May to thank them and pay it forward. Thankfully, two of these awards start with the letter “V,” and so, voila!

The first award was given to me byvib-blue the lovely Jenny of jennythewren’s book blog. She was kind enough to award me the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, which always makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. (Me? Inspiring? Aww!). Jenny is also participating in the A to Z Challenge, so you should cheversatile-blogger_thumbck out her posts!

The second award was given to me by two people. The first was miss Olivia Stocum, fellow author and blogger, of The Claymore and Surcoat. She has granted me the Versatile Blogger Award, which is a neat honor considering I started this blog to track about my writing and realized there were other topics that I could share with others. Like me, she writes series’ so you should stop in and give her books a look. The second blogger to give me this award is from the blog 1WriteWay, and also started her blog to make writing a priority in her life. She keeps readers updated on her writing progress so check it out.

sunshine-award1The third award was granted by Amanda of ramanda429. She has gifted me the the Sunshine Award. If you don’t know Amanda, yet, you should. She’s an up and coming writer (who knocked NaNoWriMo out of the park this month by finishing half the month early), with a lot of heart and a lot of soul. Her blog posts are all very personal, very real, and its a gift that she shares them with us. If you’re not following her, go!

Finally, the last award was granted to be my three different bloggers, all of whom I’ve wordpress-family-awardcome to enjoy a great deal. The WordPress Family Award was given to my by Amanda, Olivia, and Briana. All three of these people have been such awesome and inspiring additions to my writing world. Amanda, you’ve ventured across lines and become someone I consider a friend and sister. Olivia, I love and appreciate the heart in your posts and can’t wait to read your work. And Briana, your aspirations and dreams of writing, at your age, inspire me daily. I appreciate all three of you ladies, and consider each of you part of MY WordPress family, too!

So, since most of the rules are essentially the same, I’m just going to consolidate them here.

1- Thank your nominators and link back.

2- Display the logo somewhere on your blog.

3- State 7 things about yourself.

4- Nominate 7 people.

About Me:

1. I don’t cook. I’m especially bad at it and you might die if you eat anything I make. But there are 2-3 things that I make exceptionally well, and eating them would blow your mind.

2. I hate the heat, and love the winter. I would do very well in the tundra.

3. I’ve played World of Warcraft since 2006.

4. I’m a natural redhead. I also have blue eyes. The combination of both is relatively uncommon.

5. A lot of my ideas for stories come to me in dreams.

6. I was voted most fun to be with in junior high. Still livin large off the glory days of my youth.

7. I speak some German and can read it enough to get by when overseas.


1. Lit and Scribbles with Jae

2. Creative Writing with the Crimson League

3. Green Embers

4. Legends of Windermere

5. Joanne Phillips

6. Shaping Destiny

7. EM Castellan


U is for Using Social Media as an Author

22-Better-Grades-Social-Media-00I’m a moderately technical person. My brain works in a technical way- seeking to understand underlying principles and piece things together in a logical manner- and I’ve never had a problem grasping anything technological. Hell, my husband is a network engineer, and I’ve spent my entire career working with technology companies. But social media leaves me feeling more than a little perplexed from time to time, and, stubborn as I am, I am determined to conquer it. Why? Because as an author, it’s a necessary part of my platform. Ignoring it won’t make it less important, less relevant, less needed.

Other than WordPress, though (which has been amazing), I have not seen any significant success in any of the channels I’ve used so far. Below are my experiences with each. Oh, and yes, this is also a veiled shameless plug for my sites, so feel free to Like/Follow/Share or whatever the relevant actions involved are. I always Like/Follow/Share back 🙂



Link: The House of Crimson and Clover Fan Page

I started my Facebook fan page about two months before the release of St. Charles at Dusk, my first book. I thought releasing it early would help generate some hype, and it did…of course, it was all friends and family. I think I had around 100 “likes” when the book launched. Many of them were initially very excited, and I thought I was going to sell as many books as I had “likes,” but initial sales were very low. I learned quickly that support and excitement does not translate equally to purchasing power. Not a huge deal (no one is under any obligation to buy my book, no matter how well they know me), but it was my first wake-up call as an author.

I ran some contests to generate more page traffic. Did book giveaways, etc.

Some of the folks who were initially my biggest cheerleaders have died off. A few of them are cheering stronger than ever, and I will probably leave everything I own to them in my will.

I try to post a variety of stuff on the site, and only put up “buy my book” type posts when there is a good reason to (price drop, change in format, etc).

I imagine that when The Storm and the Darkness finally comes out, the activity will pick up again. To be fair, it’s been two years since my last book was published and updates about the current book may be less than thrilling at this point.

Also- I am currently running a sweepstakes where I will be giving away up to 40 free copies of my book. Nothing fancy to enter, just have to be a fan and click the Sweepstakes” button on the top menu.



Link: @thewritersarah

Of all the social media platforms, I find this one to be, by far, the most confusing. I’m by no means an idiot. I understand the hashtags (although, we never called them that, way to make shit up Twitter) and the use of “@” to draw attention to someone individually. I get the concept of being interactive and spending time building relationships. I just don’t understand how to USE Twitter in a meaningful way that actually keeps people interested, brings in new readers, and does so in a not-so-obnoxious way.

So far my tweets have either been WordPress reposts, tweets about the Spartacus finale (HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, PLEASE TELL ME I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO WATCHED THIS GLORIOUS GIFT OF A SHOW), and updates on my writing progress. I get some favorites and retweets, but I’m still not sure I am doing it right. It seems like “doing it right” will require a huge time investment that I don’t know if I can make.



Link: Sarah M. Cradit Author Page

Awhile ago, I created my author page and linked my WordPress to it so anyone who ventured over there would be able to keep up with my updates and would know where to find me. So far, I am not sure how to tell whether this has been successful (my stats don’t show any clicks directly from Goodreads to my blog), but its a pretty nifty feeling either way to have your own author page on the largest social media site for readers.

Once my next book is released, I am going to start utilizing the contest and giveaways features and see how they pan out.



Link: House of Crimson and Clover

I don’t have much to say here. My experience with this platform is very new. I’d resisted the wave of women flocking there when it launched, because I could see how addicting it could be. But when it occurred to me that I might be able to leverage it for my writing, the metaphorical light came on, and I created a page.

So far, I don’t know how to tell if its had any traffic, or being used by anyone other than me. But I do rather like being able to and see all my images from the series in one place so I guess even if no one else uses it, at least I have it for me.



While I use LinkedIn, Google +, Instagram, and Flickr, I’ve not determined yet if they can or should be used for this part of my career. I do try to share my links to StumbleUpon, but haven’t received more than one or two hits from that.

The most important thing I’ve learned (and I learned this not just from my own pages but from observing those of others) is that you can’t make every post a pitch or an attempt at a sale. People need to get to know the real you. They want to know about those long nights you stayed up writing, and they want to know what you’re reading, and what you thought of the last episode of Game of Thrones. If they connect with you, they are more likely to want to connect with your books. Anne Rice’s Facebook page is a perfect example, although it may also be a terrible example in that she did not have to build her fanbase using it. Her posts, however, reveal herself as a real person fans can connect with.

Any other experiences, tips, or general social media woes to share?


T is for Travel

History, culture, and architecture have always struck my fancy. So it is no wonder that travel- a means to see, feel, hear, taste, and experience these things- is so dear to my heart.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Although I’ve been successful in my career (my day job, or, the “thing I do other than write”), my wanderlust has always been strong and I knew that if I wanted to see the world…really, truly see it, I would need to get creative. There would not be enough vacations in my lifetime to see all I wanted to see.

I started learning ways to monopolize on business trips. If I was going to Romania, and my plane ticket was cheaper if I took an overnight in Vienna, then it was a win/win for everyone. Where I saw opportunities to see something new, I seized them. And along the way, I learned some tricks for seeing more with less time, and getting creative with the time you do have.

Vienna, Austria

These experiences have inspired me to write travel guides so that others who share the desire to see as much of the world as possible in what short amount of time we have on this planet, might find them and take something useful away on their own voyages.

So far, I’ve been to 17 countries, and most US states. I have written, or will be writing, guides for most of these countries, and some of the states as well.

I’ve replicated this post as its own page called Travel Guides, which can be accessed by the main page navigation at the side and top.

My old passport on the left, and new on the right. The pages were full so I had to renew early.
My old passport on the left, and new on the right. The pages were full so I had to renew early.

Travel Guides

Below are the guides that I have either written or will write. Those with links are already created, and those without are coming soon.

Agra, India

Budapest, Hungary

Copenhagen, Denmark

Dublin, Ireland

Gibraltar, UK

Istanbul, Turkey

London, UK

Malaga, Spain

Marrakech, Morocco

Montego Bay, Jamaica

Moroccan Roadtrip

Munich, Germany

New Delhi, India

Romania (Part 1)

Romania (Part 2)

Taipei, Taiwan

Vienna, Austria

Boston, Massachusetts

Chicago, Illinois

New Orleans, Louisiana

Southwestern Maine

Countries I’ve traveled to but will not be creating guides for unless requested: Canada, Mexico, Philippines. Same goes for any US states not listed above.

Other Travel Posts

Hop On, Hop Off Travel Buses- 10 Insider Trips

Scarves From Around the World

Sarah’s “Sorry I Can’t Die Until I Go There” Bucket List


S is for Sullivan

Sullivan Coat of Arms
Sullivan Coat of Arms

The Sullivans are the family that make up the “Clover” half of The House of Crimson and Clover series. The Sullivans are a family of Irish lawyers in New Orleans, who have worked hard for everything they have. They are proud, loyal, and have come a long way from their Irish roots.

You can find my posts on the “Crimson” family, The Deschanels, here. Continue reading