• The Book Goat

Sonia Hartl: Have a Little Faith in Me

September is here! I'm very excited about September (gee I wonder why) but that's not what this post is about. This post is about celebrating my fellow debuts! I know you're going to love all the fresh books coming at you this month!

Have a Little Faith in Me

by Sonia Hartl

When CeCe’s born-again ex-boyfriend dumps her after they have sex, she follows him to Jesus camp in order to win him back. Problem: She knows nothing about Jesus. But her best friend Paul does. He accompanies CeCe to camp, and the plan—God’s or CeCe’s—goes immediately awry when her ex shows up with a new girlfriend, a True Believer at that.

Scrambling to save face, CeCe ropes Paul into faking a relationship. But as deceptions stack up, she questions whether her ex is really the nice guy he seemed. And what about her strange new feelings for Paul—is this love, lust, or an illusion born of heartbreak? To figure it out, she’ll have to confront the reasons she chased her ex to camp in the first place, including the truth about the night she lost her virginity.

September 3rd, 2019

Introduce yourself and your debut novel!

Hi! I’m Sonia Hartl and my debut novel is HAVE A LITTLE FAITH IN ME about a girl who tries to win back her born again ex by pretending to be a Christian.

What’s the most surprising part about your debut journey so far?

The most surprising thing is how much awesome support I’ve gotten from my publisher. There are tons of articles and posts about querying, but not as many about being on sub, and even less about what happens after a book sells. I thought you just worked with an editor and then flung your book out into the world, but there is a whole team, and they are all doing everything they can to make sure the book has its best chance to succeed.

Give a shout-out to a fellow debut!

This is such an amazing year to debut, and because of the Novel19s ARC tour, I’ve had the chance to discover some of my new favorite writers. Some of my new autobuys going forward include Lillie Vale, Hannah Capin, Nina Moreno, Erin Craig, Jen Dugan, and Katy Loutzenhiser.

What’s a cool thing about your book that isn’t in the blurb?

The Girls of Cabin Eight unfortunately couldn’t be in the blurb, because there are only so many words a blurb can be, but they were some of my favorite characters to write. They believe completely different things than my main character, but the cabin becomes a found family for CeCe when she is in over her head and way out of her element.

What was the hardest scene to write?

The entire scene that takes place when Paul asks CeCe, “Did you say no before you said yes?” I spent longer on that scene than I did the entire rest of the manuscript combined, it was so vitally important for me to get it right.

What advice would you give to a new writer?

Write what makes you happy. Don’t worry about the market or what anyone else is doing. If you love what you’re doing, everything else is just icing on the cake.

How do you develop your plot and characters?

I just sit down and start writing, and figure it out as I go along. I do generally like to start with a setting though, so I usually have a specific place/situation in mind. Then I build a character who is most likely to clash with that setting/situation and then I have instant conflict to keep the story moving.

What book or author has most influenced your own writing?

Ann M Martin was most influential to me. She’s the one who really showed me how powerful female friendships are when I first started devouring books in one sitting.

Share a favorite song!

A link to HAVE A LITTLE FAITH IN ME by John Hiatt, for obvious reasons ;)


Thanks for interviewing, Sonia! I'm so excited for your book! I can't wait to read it on 9/3/19!




#interview #novel19s #september

meet sofiya!

Sofiya Pasternack is a mental health professional, the highly-distractible author of Jewish MG and YA fantasy, and prone to oversharing gross medical stories.

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