Sara Codair

Read Sara Codair’s “You Can’t Bribe The Dead.”

1. What made you want to become a writer?

I’ve always loved to make up stories. As a child, if I got bored, I’d just run around imagining some scenario in my head. Some of the characters were original, others were borrowed from my favorite TV shows. When I would get too many stories in my head, I would write them down. The stories didn’t diminish with age. At 28, I write more than ever.

The idea that I could be an author came later, in high school, when I decided reading was actually fun and not terribly boring. Seeing how other people put their ideas on a page made me realize that I could do it too if I learned how to translate ideas from the chaotic form they are born in to coherent, well-crafted prose.

2. What is your genre or writing style and has it changed over time?

Well, realism without the magic tends to be boring. Magic without the realism can feel shallow. Usually, if I can combine the two, I can have a deep story with the fantastical elements that I love.

3. What has helped you the most in the writing pursuit?

Obsession, flash fiction, and Jim Butcher.

  • Obsession: I will give up without it. Unless I am obsessed with something, I don’t always stick with it.
  • Flash Fiction: The ability to complete a story in one sitting made finishing, polishing and revising less overwhelming.
  • Jim Butcher: On a reddit forum, he shared a fun metaphor with aspiring writers. I don’t remember the exact wording, but it was something like this: if you are in a group of people being chased by bear, you don’t need to be the fastest runner, you just need to be faster than the person next to you. This keeps me inspired despite the hundreds of rejections I have received.

4. How would you describe your writing practice?

Addiction? I write, write, and write. I can’t sleep if I don’t write. I can’t function if I don’t write. My head will explode if I don’t write. I NEED to write.

Of course, there is more to it than simply writing. There is also revision. Without revision, my stories would just be mind vomit. Revising, resting, revising, getting feedback, revising, getting more feedback, revising and editing—essentially going through lots and lots of drafts, transforms the chaotic ideas into literature.

5. What are you writing now?

My big project is my YA novel, tentatively titled Out of Focus. Its urban fantasy grounded in realism. It has magic, demons and elves, but it also has mental illness, domestic violence and awkwardness. I’ve lost track of how many drafts there have been. I need to make a few more revisions, edit it, and start sending it to agents.

In addition to that, I usually a piece of flash or a short story I’m working on. These are a good way to justify procrastination. Sending the novel out means getting rejections. I can handle short story rejections, but the novel is my baby…

6. Where can someone find out more about your work?

My website,, has a list of my publications. If the work is available for free online, that list will have a direct link to it. If it is in a book, it will link to a place where you can buy the book. Additionally, I post micro stories or poems on my blog, along with recipes, reflections on my work as a writing teacher, and cat photos. Additionally, I tweet about writing @shatteredsmooth.

If you want to support me and other writes, you can save 10% off of an anthology I am featured in, 100 Voices, by using the coupon code 100V86 on Centum Publishing’s website: