Interview With Ingrid Sterling

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always written. But it wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized I wanted to take it to the next level.


How many books have you written?

All the Way Out is my first published novel. But I’ve written countless short stories. I’m currently finishing up novel #2!


How long does it usually take you to write a book?

It depends. When I was writing ATWO, I wasn’t working a full-time job during the day so had lots of free time. With my second novel it’s been slower thanks in part to a new job and Covid.


How did you come up with the idea for your book?

I wanted to write something in college – it’s such a transformative time and I loved my college years. I also wanted to write something that would play with the jock/nerd tropes (they’re both kind of nerds, really!) and also let me share my love for Chicago, a place I spent a lot of time when I was in college.


Who are your favorite authors?

I love Hemingway and Shakespeare the most!


Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I’m a very visual writer – I see the scenes almost like a movie. Sometimes it’s hard to get out of that choreography/dialogue and into a character’s headspace.


Where is your favorite place to write?

In my pjs, under a blanket! Preferably with a cat nearby. 🙂


When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?

I know their general motivation, attitude but definitely get to know them moreas they unfold on the page.


What is the easiest thing about writing?



Do you use images to develop your character’s looks?

Yes, I usually “cast” the characters so I have a general look and sometimes even general mannerisms.


Are your characters based on people you know?

Not in this novel, no.


Do you use your experiences in your books?

Definitely! I was a music student, like Liam, and also went to a big university that has a big football program. All the excitement surrounding their team was something I could definitely relate to!


Do you ever get writer’s block?

For sure! I often find the best solution is to re-read what I already have and get back into the mindset. Maybe put on some moody music, too.


What do you think makes a good story?

For me, I think it’s important to feel what the characters are going through. So whether that is love or sadness or frustration, I want to be able to follow those feelings.


What has been one of your most rewarding experiences as an author?

Getting to meet people who are excited about this story has been so rewarding!


What do your friends and family think about you being a writer?

They’re all really excited to read it! Since I’m using a pseudonym, not everyone in my life knows. But those closest to me and my family are super proud.


Do you like music or silence when your write? Do you outline or do you just write?

It depends. If I’m really into getting the nuts and bolts of a scene, I prefer silence. When I’m outlining, it’s often nice to have music in the background so I get into the mood of the scene. I’m very much a “planner” so those outlines are really critical for my finished product!


What do you love best about your current book?

I love the journey of the characters. I love that it’s multilingual. I love the references to Plato and other ancient texts which were such a big part of my college life. I love their love story! And I love all the music and the sports included.


What is your next project?

My next project is a book currently called “Wow and Flutter.” It’s a throwback to my generation – starts in 1998! This is a story of 2nd chance love – maybe even 3rd chance – and transitions from NYC in 1998 to LA in 2004. It’s the story of Alex Murphy, a recent high school grad who is obsessed with the band The Key Frames and their lead singer Jesse Parker. On Alex’s birthday, he and Jesse start a whirlwind summer romance that is cut short when Jesse’s band gets their big break in LA. Young and unaware just how deep his feelings ran, Alex and Jesse break up when Jesse moves.

After college and with the band having seen a modicum of success, Alex finds himself working for a record label in LA, desperate to get Jesse Parker to leave his current label and join theirs. Hearing his first lover’s name after so many years jogs his memory of that perfect summer in New York and he reaches back out to Jesse. Jesse is a New Year’s eve kiss, the two men rekindle what they’d lost. But when the New Year dawns, Alex’s boss hears of his connection to Jesse Parker and orders him to use his relationship to coerce Jesse to their label.

At first, Alex refuses until the draw of working with Jesse and the possibility of his own success is too difficult to resist. But will Alex ever tell Jesse the true nature of their working relationship, even as their romantic relationship becomes even more intense? Will the pressures of the Hollywood biz break them apart or draw them closer together?

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