Superhero Sarah The Rebel On Writing For Marvel’s Comic Universe. Plus: Legs, Poop And A Tank Top

Superhero Sarah The Rebel On Writing For Marvel’s Comic Universe. Plus: Legs, Poop And A Tank Top

Today Is All Geek (And Rebel) All The Time

You may recall a couple of episodes ago we called upon the Army of Fred to tweet a few people who we wanted to have as guests on the show. Well, one of those was Sarah the Rebel and thanks to YOUR efforts she’s here!

Sarah is an author, podcaster, gamer and all around geek.

But what makes her a rebel? Well, you’ll have to listen for the back story but she confesses to not following the “rules” of social media or doing any of the conventional things that your average marketer might tell someone to do. Fits right in with our mantra to challenge the status quo.

The Entrepreneurial Journey Starts With A Bang

We asked Sarah how her journey began and she told us she’s been mentally writing a book since she was ten years old and has always wanted to write. But she didn’t actually write much for a long time. Instead she moved out to Los Angeles and started working for a video game company, managing writers for a gaming website where ultimately she wanted to write for video games.

And that worked out well for a while until one day she got a call from Marvel to write a book. If you think we’re skipping a few steps… we’re not. It was just that sudden. According to Sarah there was no gradual buildup toward her dream. One day she was working and the next day she was asked to author Marvel’s Agent Carter: Season One Declassified.

What does she attribute her good fortune to? Well, following her passions, for one. Instead of staying on the east coast dreaming about doing something, she saved a little money, packed her bags and took off. For another, she networked the heck out of L.A. She went to events and meetups and connected with people however and wherever she could. Passion plus drive equals fortune.

True story: when Sarah got the call from Marvel, she had a moment to think, “Me? You must be looking for another Sarah.”

Sarah Disses Game Of Thrones

We take a brief detour to discuss a comment Sarah made about how she no longer likes Game of Thrones. I think she’s lost her mind so I challenge her to explain. And she has a point… she says that it’s one thing to read about the craziness and use your imagination, and another to see it in vivid color images on the screen. As a self-described feminist, she doesn’t appreciate the violence against women.

When it comes to the last season, I tend to agree. It seems more like a writer sitting in a room asking, “What would George R.R. Martin do?” as opposed to what George R.R. Martin would actually do. Sarah agrees, so we’re friends again.

She also says that the book doesn’t translate the same way onto the screen so that begs the age-old question: which is better? The book or the show?

After The Shock Settled

Once Sarah came to terms with her imminent fame, she jumped right in. Except what she learned was that when it came to starting such a project, a lot of it involved long stretches of sitting around waiting. She had a list of 80 people (yikes!) to interview and they were typically busy on the set of Agent Carter. Unable to do much but wait, she did. By the time she’d managed to interview everyone on the show, her three month project had dwindled to one, which was all the time she had left to write the actual book.

How did she manage? Well, for a two week period she worked during the day, got home at 8PM and then wrote from then until 10AM when she went back to work all over again. Sleep? Sarah laughed at sleep! Or maybe that was just the hysteria of being awake for two weeks.

Sarah And Marvel Get In A Fist Fight

With a BAM and a POW! Ok, it wasn’t as dramatic as all that but she’s a superhero, right?

As Sarah reminds us, Agent (Peggy) Carter is a story with a feminist slant. It’s a story revolving around sexism in the workplace but the editors of the book didn’t want Sarah to say the words sexism or feminism in the book. Ever. And it turned into a problem at some point when Sarah’s principles clashed with the editorial staff’s requirements. There were things she refused to change and that turned into a bit of a ruckus. No fist fights, though.

In the end, Sarah refused to make the change but the editors made it for her. She assumes they won’t be asking her to write again.

But the experience reminded her that she could write and led her to more writing gigs, including writing for video games. As a result she achieved her two big life goals: write a book and write for a video game.

Remember, passion plus drive equals fortune.

Superheroes (And Rebels) Win The Day

Sarah is currently working on her next big thing: a book called Avarice Touched that she’s co-authoring with her geek-minded cousin. As of this recording, they’re 300 pages in and “not near the end.” We anxiously await the publication!

Of course, if this all sounds rather idyllic, Sarah assures us that it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns. She had lot of really tough times, too, from numerous brushes with homelessness to losing friends to becoming very ill. But if her story proves anything, it’s that in spite of all the down times, being a creative entrepreneur can be tons of fun.

Your Action Item

Start. Don’t feel like you have to hurry up and achieve your goals NOW, especially when things aren’t going well and you start to think you’re a failure. But as long as you believe in what you’re doing, the universe will make sure you get what you’re supposed to get out of it. The hardest thing about doing something is… well, doing it. But once you get started it becomes a whole lot easier. So get past that and DO IT. Start. Start now, wherever you are personally and professionally. Take your destiny in your hands and make it happen.

Superhero Sarah The Rebel On Writing For Marvel's Comic Universe. Plus: Legs, Poop And A Tank Top

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Ralph M. Rivera
Hi, I'm Ralph! I'm a web developer at Rahvalor Interactive, a creative marketing services company that I founded in 1999 with my wife and business partner Carol Lynn. In January 2012 we created Web.Search.Social as a branded service offering that brings enterprise-level services to small businesses in an affordable way. I'm also founder and CTO of Podcaster's Toolbox, a SaaS platform designed to help podcasters plan, produce and promote their shows. I teach web development at Manhattan College in New York City. Carol Lynn and I are home based near the Jersey shore but we're currently location independent and traveling the country for a year, working and podcasting. I'm also trying to build a flux capacitor, but that's not going as well as the other stuff I do.
Ralph M. Rivera
Ralph M. Rivera
  • This has been amazing. My son is 18 and has Aspergers Syndrome – a form of autism. He has created an independent video game company called MaddeStudios – he is one of very few games developers in the UK. This interview has given us so much food for thought. He is brilliant at programming, but not so great at marketing, promotion or anything else that involves social interaction – although his Twitter account is pretty funny at times. He works so hard and then falls down at the distribution side of things. I am no expert in any of this so I feel like I’m trying to support him with no idea of what to do or who to talk to. Listening to Sarah gave me so much inspiration and a bit of a clue how the games industry works so that I can try to help move him forwards. If anyone reads this and has any good ideas for me, please let me know. Thanks again for another excellent episode.

    • I’m so happy this was helpful! I would start with those sites she mentioned, maybe try to make some connections and go from there. It certainly seems like a “connected” industry.

  • The longer I know you guys, the more I come into my own online, and in life. I love interviews where people that are successful tell us to “be ourselves”. Even if “ourself” might be a little odd. I am quirky, I say random things that maybe everyone doesn’t get. But, in truth, I find them to be hilarious, I can laugh for hours over it. And, those who know me personally and don’t “take it personally” also find it to be really funny. I spend more time making a joke than I do anything else. I love to laugh. Life is too short and all.

    I have had so many people tell me “don’t act that way, don’t say that, don’t do that”. You guys have helped me and this interview with Sarah just solidified the point, It is ok to be me.. And btw, where is the poem Melanie? Everything ok in AZ?

    • That’s the thing… when people tell us to “be ourselves” they have to mean it and prove it! Because people SAY that but they they go and be fake-happy and motivational and it’s just another stupid marketing-ism. So it’s nice when someone says be yourself and admits to actually doing it!

      I know we’ve been VERY short on poetry lately but it’s all good. Melanie is celebrating a new grandchild and spending some time with her family. I want her to take time off and be happy but we miss her!

  • I do miss her. I am so glad that everything is ok. I was concerned. I am definitely going to have to check out Sarah now. You had me at Hello Kitty. Got two new ones last night BTW… (insert big cheesy -not the druggy kind- grin here). My collection is growing so fast, I am going to need a Hello Kitty ROOM before long. Hint Hint Bobbie!!!! I already cannot have them in my office anymore. She made the mistake of going to work for the store that carries the most of them in Athens. She is on their freight crew and sees what comes out of the box first. Yay!!! I get first pick of allllll of them. She gets to work hard and I get alllll the Hello Kitties. As life should be.

    • You lead such a charmed life. I can’t even.

      • IKR… At least once a week, my daughter looks at me and just glares while saying “you have a problem”. I didn’t have much of a childhood. I guess I am making up for it now. She has a LOT of room to talk, I drive her to grad school every day, and to teach college classes. Every once in a while she will ask, “I wonder what my students would think if they knew my mom dropped me off and picked me up every day”, I always add, “and did your laundry”..lol Oh my gosh, I found the funnest place to go when you guys come to see me, when will that be? It is called Rook and Pawn. It is a bar with every board game that you could possibly imagine in it. You get drunk and play games, any game you want. I think it would be awesome fun. What do you think? We also have a place that has some games, and karaoke at the same time. I like laughing at the singers and playing games while drinking, one of my favorite past times..:)

        • I love games! Especially while drunk. There will be no singing but I don’t mind listening to other people sound horrible 🙂 I wonder if there is a Hello Kitty game. If not I’m thinking we should jump on that ASAP. And also, tell your daughter you are never too old for toys!