Sarah E. Sauer is a childhood brain cancer survivor. She is also an animal lover. Sarah’s love of animals was something she drew on for strength throughout her illness. In her first children’s book, Sarah shares her love and respect for wildlife animals through her photos she took for her high school digital photography class. Sarah is currently studying early childhood education and hopes to share her love and knowledge of animals to promote and develop an appreciation of wildlife in young children. She currently lives in Corydon, IN with her family and her horses, llamas, donkey, cats and dogs.
VS: How long have you been writing?
Sarah: Ever since I was little, I would write stories. My mom gave me a journal and encouraged me to write or draw stories. I would write about things that I did and I would also make up stories. My sisters and I loved the writing Round Robin and loved the stories we would come up with.
VS: What inspired you to write your book?
Sarah: My high school photography teacher told me that I had a talent for telling a story through my photos. I was inspired to use my animal photographs to teach children to look for the details and beauty in each animal they see.
VS: Is your family supportive of your writing?
Sarah: My family has always been very supportive of my writing. My mom was a big advocate of using ones imagination. They have always encourage my sisters and me to read and to write.
VS: Can you share with us a little about your current book?
Sarah: My book is a simple photo journal book of pictures of different wild and domestic animals. Some are just of the animals head and neck, some full shots, some side shots and some focusing on their eye or their mouth. I want children to look and see more than just a flamingo or an elephant. I want them to look closely and see the smile on the elephant’s face. The text is one simple sentence about what I see when I look at each animal, for example...I see a horse with a tear in his eye...I want the young reader then to share what they see as they look closely at each picture.
VS: What did you find to be the most challenging part of writing your book?
Sarah: The title. I knew what I wanted to do with my photos but I wanted a title that was not only catchy but expressed the essence of my book and photos.
VS: What part of your book do you feel really stands out to you personally?
Sarah: I hope that my love and passion for the beauty of God’s creatures can be felt as each child looks at the photos of the animals in my book.
VS: Do you have any other works in progress? Can you share a little about them?
Sarah: Yes, I am currently writing a book in third person, about my journey with cancer as a child. There is going to be a magical creature that will accompany the young girl on her journey. I hope that with my next book, I will not only inspire but also help other children dealing with cancer and its treatment. I hope it will also be a source of help to parents, siblings and teachers by giving them some insight into ways they can help a child deal with cancer.
VS: What do you think are the basic ingredients of a good book?
Sarah: A good plot and interesting characters make a good book. For young children, it is colorful, bright and interesting pictures that they can relate to.
VS: What do you feel as parents we need to do to help our children see success?
Sarah: To believe in themselves and recognize that we all have strengths and weaknesses, and to focus on one’s strengths are, which will help overcome one’s weaknesses. But most of all, to know that no matter what happens in life, and there will be things that happen that we have no control over, we DO have control over the choices we make in how to respond to those difficult times in our life. We can take something bad that happens to us and turn it into something good.