By Sara Fay

About The Book

Amelia has been in search of perfection her whole life. Thrown into Hollywood, taking on the life of a starlet, a career she never wanted, she finds herself surrounded by the kind of friends that she never knew she could have.
Confronted with the problems of living in a veritable bubble she will be forced to question what she really wants out of life: perfection or happiness. Will her searchlight lead her to her own form of bliss or will her own fears and suspicions hold her back?

Recommended for readers 13 and up.

50% of Searchlight book proceeds will go to the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula. The other 50% provide scholarships for future Your Name in Ink students.

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About Sara

Sara Fay lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family and their two cats. Born with a pen in her hand, Sara relishes in any and every opportunity to write and will never turn down a character debate. She is inspired by the multi-cultural city she lives in and looks to the world around her for her characters. Sara is a Junior at International High School in San Francisco.

Q&A with Sara

What inspired this book?

I have always loved movies and been really interested in Hollywood. For movies that I was really excited about I used to watch interviews of the cast and crew where they all promised they were best friends and that they all got along really well. I always thought that was really interesting since I assumed that it couldn’t be true in every situation. In addition to talking about how close everyone was on set and how much fun they all had together, the actors would explain what it was like to live in a bubble. I thought that both aspects could make for a really interesting story where I could explore how the actors interacted on set and in front of the camera in addition to talking about what it was like to live in a bubble where your every move is watched by millions of people.

Tell us a bit of the story of the writing of your book?

Writing my book was a very chaotic but fun process. I set myself the challenge of writing what would be a 300 page book, in a month. That meant that I needed to write five pages every day. While that was a really draining process it also meant that I was really immersed in my characters and that I was almost in constant writing mode, it enabled me to write with a lot more fluidity. I would often write late at night with my music playing, a song I had picked on repeat, and just write for two hours at midnight. That was really hard but also really fun.

Did you learn anything about yourself or about writing during the revision process? What was your favorite part of the process? What advice would you give to other authors who are writing books like yours?

At the risk of sounding really cheesy, I learned a lot about what I was made of. I think that when you write a novel you pour everything into it, giving it every idea that you have. I think I grew up thinking that once you finish that first draft then there is no looking back, no rereading, nothing, that you were done. I didn’t understand how it was possible to go any deeper than you had the first time. The revision process taught me that wasn’t true. I learned that there is always deeper and that a novel is never really done, even after it hits the printing process. There will always be ideas for these characters and that is really exciting. Someone suggested to me that I write another novel from one of my other character’s point of view and that sounds really cool to me. I’m probably never going to be done writing,. The revision process is just about when to decide that I am done for now.

My favorite part of the process was definitely talking about the characters with Ann, my mentor. To me my characters will always be really cool people that seem real in my imagination. I love being able to talk about these people that I have only ever seen in my head and on paper with someone else. She always had really amazing questions like: “How would Amelia react if Joshua kissed her? Does she want that to happen?” Her questions always made me think more deeply about the characters, fleshing them out. The stories I like to tell are always very character based so I always wanted my characters to be as real as possible.

The fact that anyone would want my advice at seventeen years old is still super shocking to me. I guess the best advice I could give is that the characters are probably really real in your head, and that’s awesome, the best thing that you can do is to do them justice on paper. Go as deep as possible for every character, even the minor ones, because if every character was as real as in your head then they would be the hero of their own story, not in the background of yours.

Why did you choose the charity that you chose?

I chose the Boys and Girls club because I have had the chance to practice with my school swim team at their club. Everyone at the club is so friendly, always saying hello and asking how we are, it’s an amazing environment and I think that the help that they provide for children is really important in our society. They try to make every child feel at home, even the ones that just use their pool on Tuesday nights at 6pm. I think that is really cool and I wanted to help give back to that kindness so that they can help more children feel at home.


About Your Name in Ink

In the Your Name in Ink Program, professional writers mentor youth through a 6-9 month revision process which results in a printed or published book available through independent bookstores and other retailers. Through Your Name in Ink, youth writers:

  • experience the editorial process
  • take their writing skills to the next level
  • learn the ins and outs of how the publishing world works
  • support a cause they believe in with the proceeds of their book

“Youth authors have important stories to tell,” says Society of Young Inklings Executive Director, Naomi Kinsman. “By publishing their novels, we celebrate their enormous accomplishment. Their gift of perspective and the funds they raise make an impact on causes close to their hearts.”