Yesterday, the following author interview was featured in The Cedar Rapids Gazette Insights and Book Section and the following book review was featured in their online edition. Here is the review and interview in its entirety.
HYDRAULIC LEVEL FIVE
By: Sarah Latchaw
Published: September 3, 2013
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
I am thrilled to introduce you to Sarah Latchaw and her book HYDRAULIC LEVEL FIVE. Sarah actually grew up in the same small town in which we live.
Sarah has always had a love for reading, but after hearing her high school English teacher share stories and then taking courses in creative writing at Iowa State, she felt she had a story to tell. HYDRAULIC LEVEL FIVE began as a fan fiction type of story and gained followers online. Sarah then realized this story needed to be on bookshelves. After numerous changes and rewrites, HYDRAULIC LEVEL FIVE was published by Omnific Publishing in the Fall of 2013. Her next book, SKYGODS, the sequel to HYDRAULIC LEVEL FIVE comes out in August 2014.
Hydraulic Level Five is a term used in whitewater rafting. In the book, HYDRAULIC LEVEL FIVE, symbolism is used to show the dangers of whitewater rafting and the pitfalls of relationships. Latchaw merges the two together to create a story of love, heartbreak, and forgiveness.
Kaye and Samuel have been childhood friends, lovers, a married couple and are now divorced. Samuel is now a published author and even has one of his books being made into a movie. Now living the celebrity life with book tours and red carpet events, Kaye seems so disconnected from his life. Their divorce has been final for seven years and Kaye is a wreck because Samuel is coming back to Colorado for his sister and Kaye’s best friend, Danita’s wedding. What is breaking Kaye’s heart is that he is bringing Caroline, his gorgeous editor, as his date.
HYDRAULIC LEVEL FIVE is set in Lyons, Colorado, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Kaye runs a successful PR firm and gets a rush on the weekends with her friends by participating in various extreme sports including, whitewater rafting, mountain climbing and skydiving. Each chapter begins with a different whitewater rafting term that symbolizes what is going on with the characters in that chapter.
Throughout the book, the reader is also treated to snippets of Samuel’s novels, as well as the memoir he is writing about his childhood with Kaye. In these, we are given pieces of Samuel’s and Kaye’s life that we might not initially see. With the story in a story, we are exposed to Latchaw’s wide range of talents in her writing.
Besides Kaye and Samuel, the loving, close-knit Mexican-American family, the Cabral family, are a big part of the story line. Reading about the culture and traditions of this Hispanic family was a nice addition and gave the characters a firm foundation because every one of them were connected to the Cabrals in some way. Kaye’s love and devotion to this family is challenged by Caroline. But, Kaye is determined to find out what made Samuel choose to give up on their marriage and not look back. An incident at one of Samuel’s book signings, some pranks, and a shocking revelation about Samuel, culminate in a life-changing revelation for both Kaye and Samuel and the future of their relationship.
With Kaye and Samuel’s relationship there were numerous highs and lows. The reader is one minute frustrated with their immaturity and the next fighting tears over their strong emotions. In the following snippets from the story, you can see the depth of their love for each other even among their failures.
Sarah Latchaw is a wife and mother of two young children. Her free-lance writing, book deals and supportive husband have given her the opportunity to spend her days raising her children and experiencing all their firsts. It is challenging to work her writing around their schedule, but at this time in her life, her kids are her main focus. Too soon, they will be off to school and she can spend her days writing for hours. For now, she works in her writing during nap time and after the kids go to bed.
Sarah’s favorite parts of the stories she writes are the settings and the characters. She pulls them from real-life experiences and people she has met to make the story authentic and help the reader identify with the characters. She remembers playing out make-believe stories on her elementary school playground, including vampires, even before vampires were popular. These memories from her idyllic childhood of playing on the porch, riding bikes out on the black top, playing at the city park mixed with the great storytelling by her English teachers prompted Sarah in her love of writing.
I had the opportunity to chat with Sarah about her life and her current book as well as what is coming next. I think you will find Sarah as delightful as I did.
FOR THE READER.” WERE THERE ANY SURPRISES FOR YOU IN EITHER BOOK?
structure and labels and being in control of situations. Kaye is his complete
opposite. For example, when Kaye does something rash and storms the bookstore during Samuel’s book signing, it has a domino effect on the rest of the story. I am working through that process now with SKYGODS. As I am editing and thinking about changes, everything has a domino effect that could change the rest of the story.
I also wanted to challenge myself by writing a book within a book. I wanted to experiment with different prose styles, which offers surprises in itself.
IRISH, ENGLISH, MIDDLE EASTERN, NATIVE AMERICAN, BUT I HAVEN’T READ A BOOK
WHERE THE CHARACTERS WERE MEXICAN AMERICANS, WHERE DID THAT CHOICE COME FROM TO
HAVE THE CABRAL FAMILY IN YOUR BOOK?
heroine and led me to want to write more books
with strong female characters. As a child, I also loved ANNE OF GREEN GABLES because of the nostalgic aspects of the story. You can find the influence of both of these books in my writing. I wanted to touch that nostalgic corner of my reader’s minds, capture that feeling of flipping through an old high school yearbook or photo album to explore “whatever happened to that beautiful boy?”. What woman hasn’t walked in Kaye Trilby’s shoes at some point and had her heart battered a bit by someone she cared for? I’ve had many readers contact me sharing how cathartic it was to read Kaye’s story; the pain of her collapsed marriage touched them, as did her healing and her eventual triumph over heartbreak.
I still love to read and will read pretty much anything with a good plot. I’m currently reading the OUTLANDER series by Diana Gabaldon. I’m loving it because of the great
research, the historical aspect, the strong setting, and strong characters. All things I love in a good book.
sister in Colorado. After surfing the
hydraulic, the adrenaline rush helped me forget that I almost drowned.
cultures. I haven’t been to Japan, China, or the Himalayas even though I have done a lot of travelling in the past. I love to explore other cultures and people. Maybe once our kids are grown I’ll
go back to the skydiving. Right now, the most important thing to me is raising our children to be good people, have a strong relationship with God, have love and compassion for others and grow up to be responsible people.
To find out more about Sarah, visit her website at http://sarahlatchaw.com/. You can also find Sarah on Facebook, HERE and Twitter, HERE.
Coming in August 2014 from Sarah Latchaw: