Thu, 29 October 2015
WSS #0157: Superhero Sarah The Rebel On Writing For Marvel's Comic Universe. Plus: Legs, Poop And A Tank Top
Today Is All Geek (And Rebel) All The Time
You may recall a couple of episodes ago we called upon the Army of Fred to tweet a few people who we wanted to have as guests on the show. Well, one of those was Sarah the Rebel and thanks to YOUR efforts she's here!
Sarah is an author, podcaster, gamer and all around geek.
But what makes her a rebel? Well, you'll have to listen for the back story but she confesses to not following the "rules" of social media or doing any of the conventional things that your average marketer might tell someone to do. Fits right in with our mantra to challenge the status quo.
The Entrepreneurial Journey Starts With A Bang
We asked Sarah how her journey began and she told us she's been mentally writing a book since she was ten years old and has always wanted to write. But she didn't actually write much for a long time. Instead she moved out to Los Angeles and started working for a video game company, managing writers for a gaming website where ultimately she wanted to write for video games.
And that worked out well for a while until one day she got a call from Marvel to write a book. If you think we're skipping a few steps… we're not. It was just that sudden. According to Sarah there was no gradual buildup toward her dream. One day she was working and the next day she was asked to author Marvel's Agent Carter: Season One Declassified.
What does she attribute her good fortune to? Well, following her passions, for one. Instead of staying on the east coast dreaming about doing something, she saved a little money, packed her bags and took off. For another, she networked the heck out of L.A. She went to events and meetups and connected with people however and wherever she could. Passion plus drive equals fortune.
True story: when Sarah got the call from Marvel, she had a moment to think, "Me? You must be looking for another Sarah."
Sarah Disses Game Of Thrones
We take a brief detour to discuss a comment Sarah made about how she no longer likes Game of Thrones. I think she's lost her mind so I challenge her to explain. And she has a point… she says that it's one thing to read about the craziness and use your imagination, and another to see it in vivid color images on the screen. As a self-described feminist, she doesn't appreciate the violence against women.
When it comes to the last season, I tend to agree. It seems more like a writer sitting in a room asking, "What would George R.R. Martin do?" as opposed to what George R.R. Martin would actually do. Sarah agrees, so we're friends again.
She also says that the book doesn't translate the same way onto the screen so that begs the age-old question: which is better? The book or the show?
After The Shock Settled
Once Sarah came to terms with her imminent fame, she jumped right in. Except what she learned was that when it came to starting such a project, a lot of it involved long stretches of sitting around waiting. She had a list of 80 people (yikes!) to interview and they were typically busy on the set of Agent Carter. Unable to do much but wait, she did. By the time she'd managed to interview everyone on the show, her three month project had dwindled to one, which was all the time she had left to write the actual book.
How did she manage? Well, for a two week period she worked during the day, got home at 8PM and then wrote from then until 10AM when she went back to work all over again. Sleep? Sarah laughed at sleep! Or maybe that was just the hysteria of being awake for two weeks.
Sarah And Marvel Get In A Fist Fight
With a BAM and a POW! Ok, it wasn't as dramatic as all that but she's a superhero, right?
As Sarah reminds us, Agent (Peggy) Carter is a story with a feminist slant. It's a story revolving around sexism in the workplace but the editors of the book didn't want Sarah to say the words sexism or feminism in the book. Ever. And it turned into a problem at some point when Sarah's principles clashed with the editorial staff's requirements. There were things she refused to change and that turned into a bit of a ruckus. No fist fights, though.
In the end, Sarah refused to make the change but the editors made it for her. She assumes they won't be asking her to write again.
But the experience reminded her that she could write and led her to more writing gigs, including writing for video games. As a result she achieved her two big life goals: write a book and write for a video game.
Remember, passion plus drive equals fortune.
Superheroes (And Rebels) Win The Day
Sarah is currently working on her next big thing: a book called Avarice Touched that she's co-authoring with her geek-minded cousin. As of this recording, they're 300 pages in and "not near the end." We anxiously await the publication!
Of course, if this all sounds rather idyllic, Sarah assures us that it wasn't all rainbows and unicorns. She had lot of really tough times, too, from numerous brushes with homelessness to losing friends to becoming very ill. But if her story proves anything, it's that in spite of all the down times, being a creative entrepreneur can be tons of fun.
Your Action Item
Start. Don't feel like you have to hurry up and achieve your goals NOW, especially when things aren't going well and you start to think you're a failure. But as long as you believe in what you're doing, the universe will make sure you get what you're supposed to get out of it. The hardest thing about doing something is... well, doing it. But once you get started it becomes a whole lot easier. So get past that and DO IT. Start. Start now, wherever you are personally and professionally. Take your destiny in your hands and make it happen.
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Direct download: 0157-superhero-sarah-the-rebel-on-writing-for-marvels-comic-universe-plus-legs-poop-and-a-tank-top.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 12:00am EDT