Sarah J. Carlson

Contemporary Young Adult Author

Monthly Archives: June 2014




Cheap souvenirs for sale in Chinatown, Singapore.

Red lights


Red lights

Lamps for sale in Chinatown, Singapore

Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon at night


Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon at night

I tried to capture the energy of this lovely, crazy city at night. The sea of mopeds and cyclos and motorbikes whizzing, very loosely (or perhaps not) obeying traffic laws. The contrast of the new, massive sparkling skyscrapers, the mall with Gucci and Bulgari and other high end stores, the Pizza Huts, the McDonalds, with the old.

I have vanquished the inner demon preventing me from writing an awesome first chapter! (…that’s an awkward, weird title haha)


ImageSo a few weeks ago I posted about the battle of writing my first chapter for my YA novel Hooligans in Shining Armour, set in present-day Belfast. There have been three completely different start points so far and numerous drafts of each. At the time, I was super excited because I thought I’d nailed that first chapter. Well…. turned out I didn’t lol. Writing first chapters is such an art. So I’ve spent the past week writing a new first chapter. After much crafting and re-writing and getting feedback from my most trusted critique partners…. I…. AM…. 99.9% SURE… I…. actually have nailed it this time!!! I guess there’s still that .1% chance that I’m not…

Image(side note: I spent waaaay too long looking at Monty Python gifs)

Words cannot express my joy. But I may go do this in my condo elevator right now.

ImageAnyway, if you want to check out the new material for Hooligans in Shining Armour, click here! Let me know what you think.

How do you know when you’re done with your novel, like really done? 

The next generation


The next generation

A little boy runs in front of an Eleventh Night bonfire with a Union flag as a cape. To the left, a lamppost melts and an electrical transformer smokes. Tiger’s Bay, Belfast, Northern Ireland on July 11th, 2011.

I’m going through my photos from Northern Ireland as I prepare to start querying agents for Hooligans in Shining Armour ( and I felt ready share this one as a post. The Twelfth celebrates the victory of Protestant King William of Orange over Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.