I'm thrilled to welcome Sara Fitzgerald to the blog for my ramp-up to the holidays event. Her book fits in well with the holiday stories I've been reviewing and I think she has good tips on writing. If you have any questions for her, leave them in the comments and we'll get her to answer them.
Sara Fitzgerald has a daughter with autism and was involved in getting the S.B 57 Autism Services Amendments passed. Sara was named Writer of the Year by the League of Utah Writers in 2006. She is also the author of the Christmas Story, Saving Savanna.
She lives with her husband and daughter in the Rocky Mountains. She enjoys spending time with her family.
What is your favorite advice for an emerging writer?
Don't listen to all the noise about writing. Write because you love it. Because it is part of who you are. Follow your bliss.
What is your writing process?
I have a [computer] program that helps me outline, but I do a lot of "pants" writing.
Can we see an excerpt from your most recent book?
“Hi Kate,” Dr. Harrison motioned for her to sit down across from him.
He tugged on his burgundy tie, took off his glasses, scrunched up his nose, and then replaced his glasses. Dr. Harrison looked down at Ann’s thick file, full of test results and the special study from the University Research Autism Clinic. Finally, his gaze rested on Kate.
She saw sadness in his eyes. He had always seemed so understanding and had been such a good resource for her family. He had placed Ann into the special research study headed by Dr. Emily West, the top field expert on autism.
“I am sorry,” he said. “Ann has autism. Everything would suggest it. Dr. West confirmed it through her studies with Ann.”
Kate’s heart sank. Her hands turned crimson from clutching them so tightly. The lump in her throat swelled. She knew this…why was hearing the final diagnosis so hard?
Why did you decide to write this story?
I wrote A Miracle for Ann because of my daughter. Savanna has autism. When she was first diagnosed, private insurance did not cover treatment for autism. My husband and I struggled to pay for the expensive treatments she needed. We had many miracles from God to help us along this journey.
I got involved in helping get the “autism” bill passed so private insurances now cover autism. We were blessed to have her attend Pingree as a toddler and now Spectrum Academy.
Savanna is our miracle child. We prayed for her every day for seven years. She has blessed our lives with so much love and joy. I dedicated this story to my husband, Russ, and Savanna.
I think some of the best stories are written from the truth you know. Although A Miracle for Ann is fictional, the emotions are real. I hope you enjoy reading this story, and wish you happy holidays this years.
What kind of research did you do for this novel?
My daughter has autism, so I have been living this with subject for over ten years.
What do you hope readers get from this novel?
A Miracle for Ann is fiction, but the emotions are real and raw. It felt great getting them down on the page and sharing our story with the world.
Purchase A Miracle for Ann
Thanks, Sarah, for sharing your time with us. We wish you the best of luck. I'll be reviewing A Miracle for Ann next month, and I'm very excited to share my thoughts with readers and followers on social media.
Other Titles by Sara Fitzgerald
Mine for Keeps
Just What the Doctor Ordered
Anything for Charity
Available on Amazon