“While most of us are not robotics engineers with the ability to build our own perfect partners , Kelly’s story is basically an outsized version of what a lot of people deal with in the modern dating world.” says Sarah Archer, author of The Plus One, a romantic comedy with a robotic twist. Archer continues by saying that often times in today’s society, technology can take away the spontaneity and fun of getting to know future partners, rather giving us the option to shop for exactly what we want.
“It can take the human element out of the equation, reducing people to the characteristics in their bios, and encouraging us to target what we think we want rather than being open to what life has to offer. So while Kelly’s story has a sci-fi element to it, at its heart, it’s a romantic comedy that hopefully is relatable to a lot of people.”
Though Sarah admits that the robot boyfriend idea is pretty far from her own experience, she notes that much like her protagonist is able to create the perfect mate, those in the online dating world essentially have the option to do the same. “Dating sites and apps have given people the ability to essentially “shop” for a mate, choosing what they want from an array of options that would have been unthinkable ten to twenty years ago.”
Beyond The Plus One, Archer has found an array of success in various writing and media outlets, including publications in a variety of literary magazines, and writing projects in film and television.
“I’ve dabbled in different sorts of creative writing for almost as long as I can remember, but when I moved to LA at the end of college to work in television, I turned my attention primarily to screenwriting. After moving out of LA for my husband’s schooling, I finally had the time to try something I’d wanted to do for ages: writing a novel. That’s how The Plus One came about, and now I’m hooked on the novel form! It allows you to dig into the characters and story in a way that nothing else quite does. However, I hope I’ll always be able to move between different media as a writer. Some ideas live best as a short story, some as a poem, some as a film, so it’s wonderful to be able to follow where the story leads.”
When asked of strong females in her life, Archer says she is thankful to have always had the support of her mother and grandmother, who are successful and inspiring in their own right. She also notes that much of her inspiration is derived from some ladies we may be familiar with…
“ I find inspiration and encouragement in women making waves in our society. J.K. Rowling is an idol of mine, both for her writing talent and the foresight and generosity with which she’s used her position to help others. And currently, a woman from history is a major source of inspiration to me: Harriet Jacobs, about whom I’m writing a screenplay. She escaped slavery in 19th century North Carolina, after spending seven years hiding alone in a tiny garret, then went on to become a prominent author and abolitionist. As I’ve gotten to know her through my research, I’ve been amazed at her strength and compassion, even in the face of dire circumstances. It definitely puts my own struggles in perspective!”
When asked what advice she has for young women looking to succeed in their future careers, Sarah noted the importance of never being afraid to ask for help. “Reach out to people you admire and ask if you can do an informational interview to learn about how they achieved success. Ask for introductions to people you want to meet. The worst that can happen is someone says no. Looking back at my career thus far, many of my regrets involve opportunities that I didn’t take because I didn’t want to bother someone or ask for a favor.”
Archer leans on a favorite scripture from Matthew as a reminder to look at the bigger picture, and consider the impact you will leave on the world once you are gone; “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6: 20-21)
Adding, “The things you should spend most of your life focusing on are those that will outlast your life. What work can you do that will change the world for the better even after you’re gone? How are you impacting the lives of those around you? With all the noise and hubbub of modern existence, it’s important to center yourself on what really counts.”
In addition to screenwriting projects, Sarah is currently working on novel number two, another romantic comedy, this time to do with pets, her own little guy, William the pug has acted as a muse.
For those in North Carolina, Sarah will be speaking at Uwharrie Vineyards in Albemarle on March 7th at 2 PM in an event sponsored by the Friends of the Stanly County Public Library.
Continue to follow Sarah Archer and her future endeavors by following the links below.
Keep writing, sister, I’m reading and cheering you on!