Game Changer Interview: Sara Letourneau

Game Changer Interview: Sara Letourneau

Name of Your Business

Heart of the Story Editorial & Coaching Services

How Does Your Work Enable You to Connect to and Fulfill Your Life Purpose/Passion?

I’ve been writing ever since I learned how to hold a crayon. It’s not just a hobby – it’s a way in which I want to contribute to society. On top of all that, I enjoy helping other writers improve on their craft and write compelling, memorable stories that only they can tell. 

Who Is Your Ideal Client and Why?

Writers! To be more specific, writers who have a passion for their craft and are fully committed to ensuring their stories, poems, and other projects are soundly constructed, smoothly written, and error-free, and to becoming a more confident and creative version of themselves. 

What Unique Offerings Do You Provide?

Right now, my services include a variety of editing and literary coaching packages. In terms of editing, I do manuscript critiques, developmental editing, line editing, copy editing, and proofreading. (All of these terms are explained at the Heart of the Story website.) My specialty genres are fantasy, magical realism / speculative fiction, YA, and literary fiction. However, I’m happy to consider other genres if the project seems like a good fit. And with literary coaching, I offer guidance on the novel-writing process, blogging, time management, project clarity, and much more. So in that way, I’m also a cheerleader and accountability partner. In the near future, I’m planning to offer poetry workshops in the Boston area as well as website copy writing / editing packages to authors and entrepreneurs. 

Who Was Your Role Model Growing Up? How Did That Person’s Actions Impact You?

Growing up, most of my role models were authors and other writers. When I was in middle and high school, I loved reading books by Scott O’Dell, Ann M. Martin (Baby-Sitters Club series), and K.A. Applegate, as well as Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries. Then I started reading fantasy literature and poetry in college, so my literary heroes and heroines at that point were J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, and Mary Oliver. I also listened to music constantly when I was younger (I still do now, actually) and paid close attention to lyrics and whether the artist wrote / composed their own songs. In particular, I found a lot of comfort and artistry in Darren Hayes’s lyrics for Savage Garden songs like “To the Moon & Back” and “Crash and Burn.” Altogether, I think these and other writers and artists have influenced me to follow my own creative path and to embrace my talents.

Favorite Place to Escape and Refuel?

Anyplace with a water view, especially the beaches of Cape Cod. I also went to Iceland for the second time recently and absolutely love the natural beauty there.

Top 3 Ways to Treat Yourself to Self-Care?

Meditation, journaling / writing poetry, and aromatherapy. I also find Reiki and mandala coloring to be very therapeutic.

How Do You Express Yourself Creatively?

I write poetry and have had the privilege of having several poems published in online and print journals. I’ve also written blog articles on the craft of writing for several websites, and I have a regular column at DIY MFA that focuses on literary themes. 

Last Memorable Book You Read and Why?

I recently finished On the Come Up by Angie Thomas. It’s a YA contemporary about a teenage rapper who finds herself in the center of a controversy when her first recorded song goes viral. So it’s an homage to the author’s favorite music genre (hip hop) and a story about fighting for your dreams, being who you are (and not what others want you to be), and the power and consequences of free speech. And like Angie Thomas’s first novel, The Hate U Give, it focuses on one black teenager’s experience with all of the above and sheds light on how racism is still impacting blacks in America today.

Favorite Movie and Why?

I could watch the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter movies over and over again and not get tired of them. The final HP film in particular brings me to tears every time.

“Go to” Quote or Mantra that Grounds You?

Every night, before I go to bed, I complete this sentence: “Today, I’m grateful for [fill in the blank].” It reminds me that, no matter how trying the day was, there’s always something to be happy about or thankful for. It’s a practice I’ve been doing for 6 or 7 years now, and my life has changed so much for the better because of it. 

Accomplishment Are You Most Proud of?

I don’t know if I can list just one! I’m proud of launching Heart of the Story. I’m proud of my poems and how I’ve grown as a poet. I’m also proud of how I’ve grown personally over the past few years. I still have a lot to learn, accomplish, and experience. But I’m also braver, wiser, and more mindful than I was 3 or 4 years ago. 

Best Lesson Learned in Life So Far?

Don’t be afraid of following your heart. Sometimes that’s the best compass to use.

Advice to Younger Self?

Sometimes people might not understand why you do what you do – and that’s OK. Don’t define your life by trying to make others happy. Put your own happiness first.

What Do You Love Best About Yourself (physical trait or personality characteristic) and Why?

I love my appreciation of nature and the simple things in life. I also love how brave I’ve become over the past couple years. I used to not pursue things I wanted to do because I was scared that I’d fail or something bad would happen to me, or because I was afraid of what other people would think. Now I know to push past that fear regardless.

Any Advice for Women Considering Joining the SheBreathes Collaborative?

I’ve only been a member for a couple months, but I already love this community. It’s so warm, welcoming, and supportive; and I really appreciate the focus on mindfulness, wellness, and empowerment. Everyone wants to see one another succeed with their business, projects, and goals. If you live in the Walpole area, and if this sounds like a group you want to be part of, then what are you waiting for? 🙂 

Any Message You Have for Our Community?

Thank you so much for the warm welcome! I’m looking forward to becoming more involved with the SheBreathes community and helping writers further develop their talents – and learning from everyone I connect with as a result.

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Exclusive offer for SheBreathes readers:

Are you looking for an editor for a book you’re writing? Do you have a story idea you’ve been itching to work on, but have no idea where to start? I’m happy to offer a free consultation with SheBreathes readers who are interested in either editing or coaching! That way, I can learn more about you and your project, and we can see if we might be a good fit. Visit the Heart of the Story website for more information.

Click here to view the website Heart of the Story Editorial and contact Sara