Omg I love the beginning of Unrooted. You write so well and the atmosphere is so captivating. I wish you the best luck, Sarah. I’d love to read your series <3

Oh my goodness! I thought I had answered this ages ago! Thank you so much for the compliment, nonnie! I have a slower week this week so I hope to chip away at the beginning and try to write some more. ^_^


Hey Everyone!

I promised that this year I’d talk a bit more about what’s going on with Unrooted, so I’m keeping to that. After trying again to get an agent last fall and coming up short (just barely), I did some soul searching and realized that I think I need to tackle this project from scratch again.

It’s a bit daunting, I’m not going to lie, but I also think it’s the right decision. I was consistently getting feedback from agents that something just didn’t click or that they weren’t sure how to market it. This made me realize that the version I was working with was the one I had first drafted back when I still thought it was a YA book. Essentially, I’ve been trying to stuff a more mature project into a younger skin that didn’t fit it anymore. I think the best thing to do is it stop trying to force things into the existing draft and just start from scratch again.

Of course, I’ll be keeping most of my worldbuilding, the exception being the languages. Since I’ve grown and learned so much, I am capable of making conlangs now, so I’m developing several to use for Iridia. All my characters are staying, with some name changes, but I’m giving them room to breathe and develop in a new way. 

I’ve also decided to try writing this in third person. I’ve been reading a lot more adult fantasy in the past year, and it’s more common to use this POV in this category. Not only that, but there’s a good reason in-world for switching it up this way. 

With that said, here’s a snippet from the beginning of the new rough draft I’m working on. It will probably take me a long time to write it considering the intensity of my workload this semester, but I’m looking forward to cracking away at it. Enjoy this bit, and I’ll share more here and there as I draft! 

Three drops of blood fell on the snow.

This is the way the story always begins. Sometimes
it is three drops of wine on a pure white tablecloth, or three drops of red
paint on a blank canvas, or three drops of red tallow on a white sleeping
shirt. It has happened this way many times.

This time, it was three drops of blood drawn by a
rosebush which fell onto a blanket of freshly fallen snow. It seems like an
ordinary thing, perhaps even a regular occurrence, and I will not deny that
this is true. But every time—and this I can promise—a story begins.

This story is that of a cursed gardener, an heir
to a nation’s throne, and the end of the world.

The gardener’s name was Peleu-Pomona Âstenu, though
she was known only by her title, Steuu Dacira, to most. The heir’s name was
Misila Lanoleu-Nevea Âpenenu. Though she would dislike it, we shall set her
aside for now to pay attention to Pomona, whose blood it was that dropped upon
the snow, and whose wish set into motion the end of the world.

Do not doubt, dear reader, that the smallest seed
can grow into the greatest tree or that the smallest wish can change the world.

I’ll check back in soon! 


Iridia Update

Hello, friends!

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared anything about Unrooted or the rest of the Iridia series. I think I spent time away nursing my wounds from parting ways with my publisher, so I wasn’t inclined to share much (it’s a little embarrassing when you’ve been talking up something that doesn’t end up happening). So, I’ve kept a bit quiet on here, though if you follow me on Twitter you might have seen updates now and then. But, here’s a quick rundown of Things That Have Happened.


I revised my query letter and begin sends queries again not too long after I separated from my publisher (God it sounds like a divorce). One of the first queries I got back was a request for a full manuscript, which was really exciting!


That agent replied saying that she loved my worldbuilding and loved Pomona, but that Nevea read a bit young for her. This set off a lightbulb in my head, because in the process of realizing that Unrooted is adult, I never stopped to revisit Nevea’s voice to better make it fit that category. To address this problem, I aged up all the characters by three years, so Pomona now turns 22 during the book and Nevea is approaching 21. I also made appropriate adjustments to her voice and arc to better fit an older character, and I’m thrilled with the result. I’ve since sent the revision back to that agent, but even if she decides to turn me down, I know that this change has seriously elevated the series.


For this year’s NaNoWriMo, I reworked one of the major plot lines in Book Four, which I initially wrote from NaNoWriMo 2016. While I loved the character beats, the plot was dull, so in this new version I saved some old things but also added new characters, which I think really flesh out that part of the book. I wound up with 18k more words than I’d planned, but cutting down is Future Sarah’s problem. 


Today, I revisited the timeline now that I’ve aged up the characters. Now that I don’t have the restrictions of a YA timeline (i.e. keeping the characters within spitting distance of teenaged), I can stretch things out a bit more and also, as a result, make things more realistic. As of right now, the whole series takes up four years, though I may push it to five depending on what happens when I write Book Five. 


I’ve put off querying until I was settled into the revision, and publishing is about to go asleep this month, so I’ll start querying again in January. I hope to hear back from the R&R agent then, but otherwise I’ve got a list of other agents to query now that I have revitalized the book. 

That’s about all she (I) wrote! I’m going to try to update more often this coming year, but if you’re ever hungry for more, I often share my quick-and-dirty thoughts on Twitter. ❤

Miscellaneous UNROOTED Character Portraits | Sarah Viehmann on Patreon

Today, available to $1 patrons, is a look at some sketches of miscellaneous characters that appear in Unrooted! They might not be main characters, but they’re still important. Here’s what they look like in my mind (though your mileage may vary). 

Miscellaneous UNROOTED Character Portraits | Sarah Viehmann on Patreon

The Provinces of Izolat | Sarah Viehmann on Patreon

Today, available for $7 patrons, is another look deeper into the world of Iridia. This document is one that I composed for my own reference, though very little of this information actually makes it into the novel. Enjoy this look behind the curtain!

The Provinces of Izolat | Sarah Viehmann on Patreon

Sarah Viehmann is creating original writing, book reviews, writing and reading resources | Patreon

Today, available to $1 patrons, is a look at my favorite way to procrastinate–making fake covers for my book! Take a look at the few that I conjured up when I was struggling with writer’s block. Of course, the current cover is the best of all, and you can have it for yourself when Unrooted releases this winter!

Sarah Viehmann is creating original writing, book reviews, writing and reading resources | Patreon

How are you doing, Sarah? <3 Hoping to hear great news about your series <3

Hello there! I’m doing all right. I’m at the American Folklore Society Conference right now and I’m halfway through Day 1. I don’t have quite the stamina I did last year, but the event itself is great. 

I got some bites during #DVPit on Twitter yesterday, and I just finished an important revision that I think takes Unrooted to the next level. Thank you for the good thoughts! ❤

Happy Birthday to my noble and loyal steed, Arion, a supporting character of my novel, Unrooted.


The life path of people born on this day is to learn to keep a sense of balance between their personal and their altruistic needs. Once they have set themselves clear boundaries and goals, their destiny is to redress perceived injustices and devote themselves to a cause they believe in.

To learn more about Arion, click here. I can’t wait for you all to meet him!