Hi friends! I'm Sarah, and I was born with Turner syndrome, which means I am missing an X chromosome. I had heart surgery when I was born, have some minor hearing loss, took growth hormone shots, and now take birth control to stimulate menstruation, though I've known since I was eight that I can't have kids of my own.

I'm also a writer! My debut novel, about a twelve-year-old girl who also has Turner syndrome, is being published by Macmillan on March 31st. I have always wanted to be a writer and have an MFA in creative writing from Brigham Young University. I never found books about girls like me when I was growing up so I'm unbelievably excited to share this story!

So, I'm here to answer anything I can about Turner syndrome and/or traditional children's publishing. AMA!

Links: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780374313197

Insta: https://www.instagram.com/sarahallenbooks/

Proof: https://imgur.com/8aig9bC

ETA: Wow, I had no idea this was going to blow up so big!! I've got to step away now and work on my second book, or it won't get done! I apologize for anybody's question that I've had to leave unanswered. I don't come to Reddit very often and now need to go back to the writing! If you're interested in this kind of thing, please feel free to follow me on Instagram!

Comments: 973 • Responses: 105  • Date: 

csl5121180 karma

Do you sign notes 'XO'?

SarahAllenWrites1614 karma

Lol, I used to actually. I wrote an essay in high-school about Turners that started "XO does not stand for hugs and kisses."

adeiner941 karma

How did your parents explain this to you in a way that was honest without being scary? Was it gradual conversations or a one-time thing?

SarahAllenWrites1764 karma

Great question! When I was eight years old they took me out to dinner, which felt special because I had lots of younger siblings and it was just me. They actually had pictures and charts with them, and explained it to me over chocolate cake and let me ask any questions. The shots didn't sound fun, but nothing too bad. Honestly I was kind of a science geek so it sounded kind of cool!

jacybear753 karma

Brigham Young


Lots of siblings

Checks out.

Blissfulystoopid348 karma

I don't have many questions myself, but just chining in that they sound like great (and quite clever) parents!!

SarahAllenWrites337 karma

I couldn't have asked for better! They've helped me so much, with this and everything else.

adeiner72 karma

Awesome, thank you for doing this and answering my question!

SarahAllenWrites62 karma

My pleasure!

SuicideBonger66 karma

Hey is Turner Syndrome the one where the subject can present with a constantly-being-happy disposition 24/7?

SarahAllenWrites153 karma

No, that's just me ;)

SuicideBonger100 karma

My bad! I looked it up and I was actually thinking of Williams Syndrome.

SarahAllenWrites60 karma

Ooh interesting. Someone should write a book about that one!

GreyFoxMe40 karma

Williams Syndrome might actually be part of what makes dogs so friendly.

SarahAllenWrites54 karma

My patronus is a golden retriever, probably.

carpe_vinum69 karma

What a wonderful example of communication.

SarahAllenWrites58 karma

They are pretty spectacular!

Seashellcity806 karma

Hi Sarah! I am an elementary school librarian and just added your book to my "to order" list. Why did you decide to write a story for middle grades students as opposed to YA or writing a memoir?

SarahAllenWrites599 karma

Oh yay I'm so honored!! And great question. This story worked best as middle grade, and really my author voice naturally falls into the middle grade voice. I guess I'll just always be an 11 or 12 year old at heart! Though I'd love to write YA one day.

lettadaloki515 karma

Not trying to be disrespectful in any way to your condition, but I was wondering why stimulate menstruation? Is this a personal choice, or do you find that it helps your body?

SarahAllenWrites791 karma

Totally fair question!! And believe me, I've asked if it's possible to skip it altogether! It actually doesn't have anything to do with having kids, it has to do, at first, with physical development, but then actually hormone regulation and replacement like this has to do with bone density. If I don't have periods, my chances of getting osteoporosis go way up. Dumb, right? ;)

Stillwindows95254 karma

You’re an actual boss.

I think if I was in your position personally I’d mostly feel sorry for myself as I usually do about absolutely anything in life but you’re really making the most of life and are clearly doing better than many people without turners.

I wish you all the best with your book, I may not have or even fully understand Turners but I just know that it’s going to be really important to so many people out there.

You should know that this book is likely to change lives and you should be proud of yourself.

SarahAllenWrites185 karma

Oh my gosh I'm tearing up. You are so sweet, and thank you for making my day! Life is hard, but you got this. We all just do our best, right?

KuriousKhemicals45 karma

Have you asked about taking birth control continuously? XX females who take it for contraception don't actually need the withdrawal bleeding/period part, even if the patient has no natural periods or irregular periods for other reasons (e.g. eating disorders, PCOS).

SarahAllenWrites29 karma

Yeah, this is something I hope to ask a doctor at some point in the near future! I know I need it for a while, but I'd love to, ya know, not, at some point soon :)

NativeLiar7 karma

Hey there! Sorry for going off topic, but does not having periods really increase chances for osteoporosis? I take birth control continuously with no periods (or, like, 3 a year) and already have low bone density 😟

SarahAllenWrites12 karma

I'm just following what my docs have told me, definitely talk to a doctor who knows you and knows medically what they're talking about :)

CollectionOfElectron107 karma

The genetic home reference site says that some girls with Turner Syndrome don't go through puberty naturally, so I imagine that it might be in order to grow.

SarahAllenWrites101 karma

Yep. In the beginning it's to stimulate puberty.

lettadaloki19 karma

That's what I was figuring, but after puberty?

Jackaloup151 karma

Not OP or a doctor, but someone who also takes artificial hormones. Aside from puberty, estrogen/progesterone plays a major part in keeping someone from going into premature menopause, which comes with a whole host of health problems like osteoporosis.

SarahAllenWrites69 karma

This! Thanks for the clear words :D

QBer90034 karma

To piggyback on this comment, why stimulate menstruation if you already know you can’t have kids?

SarahAllenWrites72 karma

Above comment explains more, but essentially: stupid bone density! :)

FishFeast43 karma

But with brittle bones you could be a super villain in an M. Night Shamalayan movie so you may want to think this through.

Kidding. Thanks for the very interesting AMA

SarahAllenWrites41 karma

If this means I get to be in a movie with Paul Giamatti this might be a most excellent plan...

Itdidnt_trickle_down472 karma

I had a friend whose daughter has turners. I lost contact when she was very young and was wondering if all the cognitive problems they said she would have are true? At the time I thought they were very specific. The one that I remember best is that she would have trouble reading maps. Is this true? I've always wondered.

SarahAllenWrites780 karma

Not totally off base, actually! Turner syndrome often comes with something called Non-verbal learning disorder (raises hand) which can come with spatial awareness difficulties. My mom was told I'd likely need several tries to pass my drivers test, for example, and I was stubbornly proud when I did it on my first try (though barely!). I can drive and follow Google maps just fine, but am the WORST at remembering where I parked. That kind of thing!

jeezlouiseurthebest252 karma

Pro-tip: park next to the basket return! I have a standard color sedan and can never remember where I park it but I can if it's always next to a basket return!

Congrats on being published, representation matters!

SarahAllenWrites189 karma

Ooh this is a great idea! THANK YOU!!

APartyInMyPants246 karma

If you have an iPhone, when you park, simply call up Siri and say “I parked here.” And then she’ll drop a pin on the map where your car roughly is. Then when you want to find your car again, simply activate Siri and say “take me to my car.”

The tricky part is obviously parking garages, but I sometimes take a picture from the door of the stairs to show what level I’m on. I don’t have Turners, I’m just an idiot who sometimes forgets where he parks.

SarahAllenWrites159 karma

Lol this is great!! And great tips! We can be in the parking garage wanderers club together :)

Iknowyouare-bot50 karma


SarahAllenWrites49 karma

Thank you!!

Aardrijkskunde47 karma

I have NLD and am now a geographer getting ready to work for municipal planning departments. Maybe it's because I experience space differently?

SarahAllenWrites40 karma

Oooh, go you, that's awesome!!! Yeah, strategic thinking and large-scale spatial awareness have never been my strong suits, but we all do what works, right?

kersskerner19 karma

I wonder if video games could help develop this as a skill. I remember a study many years ago, that demonstrated certain types of games help children develop spatial awareness early. Not that I know anything about the difficulties of Turner Syndrome, but if you can pass a drivers ed test, perhaps its just a harder skill to develop than most people, but one that can be improved with the right game.

SarahAllenWrites59 karma

This makes total sense to me. I took piano for 8 years as a child and it was a CONSISTENT struggle, I never really got it, and despite all those years I now can play absolutely nothing. However, when I got tested for NLD, the doctors told my mom that all that difficult practicing was one of the best things I could have done for the development of my brain.

MeatSatchel65 karma

Not entirely true in every case, my Sister has Turners and she's an attorney!

SarahAllenWrites29 karma

Go your sister!!! She sounds awesome :)

booknerd98424 karma

I'm also someone with Turners Syndrome! I've kinda been struggling with not being able to have kids. How did you take it?

SarahAllenWrites510 karma

Hello TS sister!! Yeah, that's a tough one. It's a bit tender sometimes, but honestly I am super excited to one day adopt and foster kids from all over. That's always been my plan.

Have you ever seen the movie Lion? There's a moment in that movie that was like a spiritual experience for me :) Love to you sis!

B10kh3d116 karma

Is it ever possible for someone with Turner's to do IVF or fertility treatment? I mean, if you have a uterus can they give you meds to develop a lining and implant with donor egg?

SarahAllenWrites342 karma

Very good question! Theoretically this is absolutely possible, and I know a few who've done it. However, TS very regularly comes with serious heart problems, and so the risk with IVF and pregnancy/delivery is that it's too much for the heart, and one doctor told me there's a 50/50 chance of aortic rupture. So...adoption for me!

B10kh3d90 karma

Thanks for the reply! Really interesting IAMA.

SarahAllenWrites64 karma

Thank you for your question!

booknerd9872 karma

yes same! i've wanted to adopt since forever!

Ah i still need to watch that movie! is that the one w/ Dev Patel in it?

SarahAllenWrites80 karma

Yep! There's a moment with him and Nicole Kidman that puts how I feel about adopting kids into such beautiful terms.

seanprefect213 karma

Congratulations. I'm curious did you ever take a class from Brandon Sanderson while at BYU?

SarahAllenWrites255 karma

I totally did!!! I'm ashamed to admit I've never read any of his books but I took his lecture class (I think you can watch it on YouTube?) and honestly he was amazing. His enthusiasm is so infectious and left me feeling like I CAN DO THE THING!

seanprefect74 karma

He's my favorite author (current)! I can't wait to read your book

SarahAllenWrites77 karma

He's fantastic! I highly recommend his podcast, Writing Excuses, as well. And THANK YOU!!!

Paradox206339 karma


SarahAllenWrites43 karma

Elantris is on my list as my Branderson introduction!!

seanprefect25 karma

Elantris is his first published novel, I like it's great but I don't think it's properly indicative of his more mature writing.

SarahAllenWrites19 karma

Yeah, I want to start at his beginning, but what would you recommend?

seanprefect44 karma

I usually recommend people start with Mistborn , Warbreaker and Elantris in that order since they're all good entry points into the much larger story. Whatever you do don't start with stormlight archive. It's perfectly readable if you do but you miss out on a lot of richness and detail if you don't read those 3 stories first.

SarahAllenWrites17 karma

Excellent. Good to know!!

pink_misfit6 karma

Not the person you're asking, but personally I always recommend his book Warbreaker and his novella The Emperor's Soul as good books to showcase his world building and let you see if you like his style before you jump into his series or longer novels. All of his books are amazing though, I have yet to read one I didn't like.

SarahAllenWrites11 karma

Woohoo, all these Branderson recs are an unexpected bonus of this AMA!

Domestica8 karma

Did you also happen to take a class at Georgia Southern University?

SarahAllenWrites40 karma

Unfortunately I haven't, but if you're thinking I'm someone else they must be a sexy beast.

Domestica8 karma

My apologies!! I took a creative writing course years ago with a very sweet girl with Turner’s syndrome. She was also a great writer

SarahAllenWrites7 karma

Aww, yay, I'm glad to hear more TS girls are writing!

Tenpat212 karma

Alright, I pre-ordered the book and I hope my 12 year old daughter loves it; anything I should tell her before she reads it?

(Let me add that I am glad to see an AMA that is not some idiots selling a new app that will change the world!)

SarahAllenWrites179 karma

Oh thank you!!! Tell her that SHE is what stars are made of!

rocopotomus7452 karma

Reading your answers has made me smile. This one in particular made me cry. I am a 45 yr old bearded bald guy crying on a city train. Thank you. You are lovely.♥️

SarahAllenWrites43 karma

I may be sweet and nice on the outside, but my response to this is, at least in part, mission accomplished

But seriously, thank you!!! Truly, this made me so happy. I'm so blown away by the connection and support this thing has started, totally not what I expected!! Thank you for reaching out, and I hope you have a lovely train ride.

edboris75 karma

How did the growth hormone shots change your body? Can someone easily tell you have a genetic problem?

SarahAllenWrites138 karma

Good question! It's actually not always easy to tell, especially in the beginning. There are plenty of people who don't get diagnosed with Turners until it's too late for growth hormone shots. I was lucky and was diagnosed right after I was born. I started shots at age 8, and they helped me reach my nice and average 5'4! Without them I'd be significantly shorter.

chipscheeseandbeans40 karma

Were you showing symptoms from birth or did your parents already know before you were born that there was a good chance you had Turner’s?

SarahAllenWrites107 karma

I was born in the 80s, and medical technology has come a long way since then. Parent's often do know about this before the baby is born. Me, I was diagnosed because one of my doctors knew the physical signs. My abnormally puffy hands and baby feet gave it away, and thank goodness!

gdan9566 karma

What was the most difficult part of writing the book?

SarahAllenWrites114 karma

The most difficult part for me of writing any book is the overall story structure. I love writing scenes and characters and little moments, but figuring out the overall board all the puzzle pieces fit together on takes me forEVER! Hopefully it works out in the end :)

Land-o-Nod55 karma

Hello Sarah,

How has your journey from aspiring writer, to published writer been? How long did it take? Have you published anything before your debut novel? Short stories, essays, etc? How do you deal with rejection and resubmitting? I'm very curious about the craft and art of writing and am interested in your experiences.

Congrats on the book!!

SarahAllenWrites71 karma

Thanks for your question!

I have written stories and poems most my life, and a small few have indeed been picked up! I can link you to my full biblio here! https://www.sarahallenbooks.com/books

Rejection really does suck. I always think I've gotten used to it, but it still stings. It's all about not taking it personally, because as personal as it feels, it really, truly isn't. The deeper I get into publishing the more true I find that to be. It's all so subjective, and about what clicks on a certain day with a certain person, so just keep going till the click happens!

STARS is my fourth book. I wrote my first book in 2011 so it's taken nearly a decade to get to this point. I have hundreds of rejections from agents and other publishers, but like Dory says, you just gotta keep swimming! Stay both humbly grateful (keep learning) and immovably stubborn (never give up!) and you'll get there.

I did write up a quick summary of the querying/publishing steps I took that you might find helpful! http://fromsarahwithjoy.blogspot.com/2019/12/5-steps-to-being-published.html

dlham1147 karma

So, what exactly are the side effects of Turner syndrome? I could look it up, but I’d prefer to hear it from someone who’s gone through it! More of, how has it affected you personally?

SarahAllenWrites53 karma

Good question! The biggest things are stated above, like having to take growth hormone shots and not being able to have kids. But honestly, I'm pretty grateful for the life I've had! Personally, probably the biggest thing is that I spent most of my childhood anxious about making friends, and pretty lonely. That changed around middle school and high school, but I always had books as my best friends, and so writing quirky characters and loving books in the first place might have come from that!

dlham118 karma

That’s good! So far you sound pretty happy with the cards dealt to you, and I’m glad! Does it cause any defects other than growth? And I’m also interested in the story and I might give it a read later!

SarahAllenWrites19 karma

It can mean different things for different people! For me, I had to have heart surgery and wore hearing aids for a time. And thank you, if you read the book I hope you enjoy!!

OnlyPopcorn37 karma

What advice would you give other kids with Turner's?

SarahAllenWrites75 karma

Read the amazing book WHAT STARS ARE MADE OF ;)

For real, that they are wonderful and beautiful just as they are, and that this is nothing to prevent them from living the life they want to live.

mmmegan636 karma

My only takeaways from HS biology on Turner syndrome were that nipples often were placed under the armpits. Confirm/deny? Congrats on the book!!

SarahAllenWrites91 karma

hahahahaha :) Oh gosh. Ribs are more barrel-chested, and nipples are typically a little more widespread, but um, not under the armpits X'D

adudeguyman16 karma

Maybe your armpits are actually on your chest and nobody told you

nytok34 karma

What was your biggest obstacles that you’ve overcome in general having Turner’s Syndrome? Might be a bit too personal, but are you mosaic? This is awesome and want to read this; I found out I have mosaic PAIS G3/4 after lots of referrals and shuffling around doctors. Denied competing in sports, had to change in a separate locker room, relationship struggles, and even basic rights have been a few obstacles.

SarahAllenWrites42 karma

I'm so sorry you've experienced those things :/ And nope, not mosaic, I'm full XO! Mostly I struggle with the normal adult things--money, dating, moving, dating, work, dating.

nytok13 karma

Ahh, I met a lady who had TS mosaicism a while back at a UC meet and greet. She talked about estrogen therapy to prompt puberty and help with development as a teen, even though she had mosaicism it wasn’t present enough to prevent symptoms of TS. Have you met others with Turner’s too? No need to be sorry—I hope someday to write a book too!:)

SarahAllenWrites17 karma

Yes, I've met several great folks with TS and hope to meet more. One of the things I'm most excited for is meeting young readers who feel less alone because of my book. I wish you the best with your own book, I bet you have an amazing story to tell!

Muglit30 karma

What do you think of Macmillan's decision to limit ebooks and audiobooks to libraries? Did this have an impact on any of your decisions?

SarahAllenWrites25 karma

It hasn't impacted things too much yet, tbh! They've treated me so well, and my editor has really understood my story. We'll see how it all goes!

deliciouswaffle17 karma

I personally don't have Turner's Syndrome but as a graduate student, I enjoy reading stories about other people's lives in my spare time.

Personally, I'm glad I saw this here on Reddit because I would've otherwised missed it since my library is boycotting books published by Macmillan. I spend a lot of my free time discovering books and authors through my public library's Overdrive site and suggesting books to friends and colleagues.

Looking forward to reading your book and I hope everything goes well with this and future novels.

SarahAllenWrites12 karma

Oh dear, I'm sorry to hear that about your library! But I'm so glad to have 'met' you, and hope you enjoy the book!

blobofclay30 karma

I have to ask a question or my comment gets deleted. Is there a TS non-profit organization that you like?

My wife became pregnant at the end of October. In mid-December, after doing NIPT genetic testing, we found out that our baby had Turner Syndrome. The vast majority of TS babies result in miscarriage and unfortunately ours was no different. We found out that there wasn’t a heartbeat the next day. I had never heard of TS before, but have obviously become more familiar with it since the miscarriage. Just wanted to send some internet love to someone who was able to make it through all that and have such a positive outlook. Glad to see that you’re doing well!

SarahAllenWrites22 karma

Oh wow, all my love to you and your wife. That must have been so incredibly hard. Thank you so, so much for your kind words.

The Turner Syndrome Foundation does some great stuff! https://turnersyndromefoundation.org/

All my best to you guys.

ScarletPhoenix1528 karma

Congrats on the book!

Did you face difficulties finding a publisher for your work? I know that YA is having a blossoming of diverse main characters, is it the same in mid-grade or did you face some push back? Did you face a lot of ignorance about Turner's from the agents and editors you worked with?

SarahAllenWrites43 karma

STARS is my fourth book, and I spent nearly a decade getting my other books rejected. So I've definitely gone through that crappy part of trying to get published. But real talk? People have been WONDERFUL about this book, and I do think that the fact that it's a unique #ownvoices story helped get their attention. Still had to be a good book, but honestly I think it helped. And yeah, people have been super supportive!

zeekblitz26 karma

Have you ever considered having corrective surgery on your neck? Also is the character in your book ever teased about her physical deformities?

SarahAllenWrites77 karma

Yes and yes! My character is teased for her scars and her hearing aids. That is taken from personal experience. I had a very short time when I talked with my mom about having surgery on my neck, but pretty quickly decided against it. Keloid scarring can be a big issue, and honestly, I decided it's not any kind of deformity, I yam who I yam and I'm adorable! I even got brave enough to rock a pixie cut at one point, though I'm growing it out now :)

coolcat383723 karma

Was it hard sharing this information with your close friends?

SarahAllenWrites46 karma

Maybe it should have been, but even though I've always been pretty dang awkward, I've also never been shy, so from the beginning I've always been pretty willing to talk about it openly in classes and stuff. I went to a really great, small school, so I had a safe space I'm more and more conscious of the older I get. Probably would have been eaten alive in other circumstances!

Chtorrr22 karma

What would you most like to tell us that no one ever asks about?

SarahAllenWrites55 karma

Hmm, good question. Two things.

First, my biggest celebrity crush is Colin Firth because he is the pinnacle of all things good and wonderful.

Second, I've never been a serious enough relationship to have this conversation with someone I'm dating, and I'm curious and anxious to see how its gonna go one day.

HotcupGG48 karma

If it helps with anything, my girlfriend of 2 years, who I live with and love very much, has TS. It has no effect on our relationship at all, except she's a bit short (5'2) so kissing can be difficult when standing up.

SarahAllenWrites26 karma

Awwwwww this is adorable and sweet and makes me so happy. Thank you, and well wishes to you both!!!

davidjung0317 karma

In the same boat as another guy who replied (I'm the boyfriend). Took some time to accept our future looks different than what I pictured, but she's the best person ever and I love her.

SarahAllenWrites12 karma

Honestly this is making me teary. You guys are so sweet.

foxesandboxes20 karma

Hi Sarah, I'm a librarian and thrilled to have books that reflect the experiences of all of our patrons. I am, however, concerned that by publishing with Macmillan, your book will not be able to be accessed by a large group of readers. There's more info about that here: https://www.npr.org/2019/11/01/775150979/you-may-have-to-wait-to-borrow-a-new-e-book-from-the-library. I am a huge supporter of diversity in children's publishing and don't mean any disrespect to you! But I was wondering about children's publishing: were you aware of the issues surrounding Macmillan and what do you think authors themselves can do to make sure their books are more easily accessible to children while still making money for their work?

SarahAllenWrites14 karma

I can't speak broadly, only to my own experience, but I know that Macmillan has treated me incredibly well. STARS has already been shared at school and library conferences around the country, educator newsletters, etc, and I hope it can reach all the readers who want to read it! I've been incredibly fortunate to work with a passionate team and incredible editor who really gets my story and has helped me make it into something better than I could have on my own. We'll see how it all goes, eh?

SookLineAndHinker19 karma

As this book is a reflection on you and how you were growing up. How much of yourself did your write into the character and how did you decide which bits you wanted her to have? Was it difficult to balance personal information with wanting to inform/inspire?

SarahAllenWrites26 karma

Good question! While Libby and I have the same genetic disorder and some of the same experiences (shots, heart surgery, hearing aids) she is still different from me in many ways, and has a different family dynamic than mine. I definitely wanted to show a character with TS while also just telling a good, heartfelt story!

itijara18 karma

Hi Sarah, my wife is teacher for kids in middle school (ages 11-14) with learning disabilities and has one student with Turners. Is there anything you wish you could have told your teachers to make your academic life a bit easier? Or just anything you wish you could have told your teacher to do when you were that age?

edit: I said she teaches special needs earlier, but that wasn't quite accurate, so I switched it to learning disabilities.

SarahAllenWrites21 karma

Oh man, your wife is amazing I can already tell! I wish I had a good, informed pedagogical answer. Non-verbal learning disorder is the main academic struggle, and just the fact that my teachers were encouraging and there to help and answer questions when I had them made all the difference. I am never going to be good at math, but I'm still grateful to teachers who treated me like they liked me, and like I was smart!

Norgeroff17 karma

What color is your toothbrush?

SarahAllenWrites17 karma


Norgeroff9 karma

That my favorite color!

SarahAllenWrites10 karma

Mine too :D

foiverundweggli13 karma

What question hasn't been asked that you would like to answer?

SarahAllenWrites31 karma

Where someone buys a book doesn't usually make a difference for the author (usually), but when makes a big difference. Pre-orders tell the publisher the level of interest in a book, and are even tabulated as part of the week one sales total for things like the NY Times list.

And for anyone who is interested in preording a book to support an author but isn't able to afford it (100% understandable!!) then early requesting at your local library is also a great option ;)

foiverundweggli11 karma

Thank you so much for this great answer! I'm a student with limited funds but I will definitely make sure to early request it as I can't wait to read it!

SarahAllenWrites11 karma

THANK YOU!! Thanks for a great question and your support. Truly it makes all the difference!

stinksnots13 karma

What dessert is your guilty pleasure?

SarahAllenWrites23 karma

Oooh, anything with caramel or sweet and condensed milk. I'm a sucker for stuff like blondies or caramel apples or bread pudding or dulce de lece.

SCD59212 karma

What ignorance can you quell to redditors who constantly bark that your sex/gender is determined by your chromosomes?

SarahAllenWrites38 karma

Very good and fair question, but to be honest I don't think I'm the best person to answer! Though I have this genetic anomaly, I consider myself cisgender female and I don't feel qualified to speak about anybody else's experience. It all just comes down to kindness and respect, right? Treat people how they want to be treated.

chipscheeseandbeans10 karma

What do you think about the trend in testing embryos for genetic disorders? It could mean that in the future very few babies will be born with conditions such as Turner’s.

SarahAllenWrites23 karma

Good question, and I'm not sure I have a good answer. All I know is I am very, very grateful to be alive, Turners or no. (97% of fetus' with TS are miscarried.) Also...now I need to go watch GATTACA again!

GolfCartMafia8 karma

LOVE Gattaca!!

SarahAllenWrites8 karma

So good...and scary!

purplehippomom9 karma

Ok... got a message that my comment was removed for not asking a question, so let me correct that.

Hi! My sister has Turner’s as well. She found out in her teens, and it was quite the learning experience for us all.

Congrats to you and I wish your book much success!! 😊

My questions, how long did it take you to write your book from start to finish? How many edits did it need? How did you decide on your storyline?

SarahAllenWrites12 karma

Oh wow! Yeah, I was pretty dang lucky to be diagnosed as a newborn, it's pretty common that it happens in adolescence. And thank you for your kind words!!

I wrote the first part of this book in my MFA program, and then finished it a couple months after that. I edited it for a few months and then spent about a year querying agents, another few months on submission. I went through lots of edits with both my agent and my editor, and it's so much a better book because of them! Editors are genius.

3odi089 karma

I've always thought about writing a book but I'm still young and I don't think anyone will get me seriously. Do you have any tips or tricks from where I could start?

SarahAllenWrites23 karma

Age doesn't matter, on either end of the spectrum! Seriously, you got this!! My biggest advice, truly, is to read as much as you can. Read in your genre and out of your genre, and read books that have been published in the last five years. Then secondly, write the book only you can write. Whether its contemporary or romance or sci fi or fantasy, there's things YOU particularly have to say, and that's what will make your story great.

Naive_Drive9 karma

Did you refer to your novel as "middle grade" because of Bojack Horseman?

SarahAllenWrites19 karma

Unfortunately I have never seen Bojack Horseman! Middle grade is the industry term used for books targeted at roughly 8-13 year olds. But now I have another cartoon to watch!

ooby_do5 karma

Great cartoon but be warned, it's a bummer.

SarahAllenWrites5 karma

I've heard...I am warned!

cjmadson9 karma

What do you like on your pizza?

SarahAllenWrites15 karma

Man these food questions are making me feel boring. I'm a good old fashioned margarita pizza girl. Nothing else should get in the way!

shinecone8 karma

Congrats on your book publishing! I hope it will reach other kids who are in similar situations.

I ask not to be nosey, but because I've gone through a lot of fertility treatment- why do they want to stimulate menstruation if you will not be birthing children?

SarahAllenWrites11 karma

Good question! It's all about adolescent physical development, at first, and then has to do with bone density. I actually have to do it to prevent osteoporosis!

shinecone6 karma

Today I learned something! Thank you for sharing your experience.

SarahAllenWrites6 karma

Thank YOU for listening!

TrueFigure17 karma

Do you have super powers?

SarahAllenWrites9 karma


mythicfirebird7 karma

I see that you mentioned you ended up with some non verbal learning disorder. Could you elaborate more about how this affected you as a young child? Did your parents have any difficulty at all utilizing additional supports to help you learn? Were you able to catch up developmentally to your peers after a certain age Thanks

SarahAllenWrites16 karma

Good question! I was tested for NLD at age 14, and at that time the doctors asked if I wanted any special or help or accomodations. I didn't. I was already in a really lucky situation. I went to a small private school where all the teachers knew who I was, and worked in small manageable classrooms, so I was able to do just fine. In fact I got almost all A's and now have a graduate degree! But I credit the thought and care my parents put into my educational/academic situation from the beginning.

Snape_was_a_dick6 karma

Why simulate menstruation?

SarahAllenWrites8 karma

It has to do with hormone regulation and bone density. Don't wanna get osteoporosis! Wish I could avoid it though :)

displayheartcode4 karma

Hi, Sarah!

I've also been debating about writing an #OwnVoices story when it comes to my disability (Cerebral Palsy!). What has the emotional process been like for you?

SarahAllenWrites3 karma

DOOOO IIITTTTT!!! It has been absolutely incredible. It has been so refreshing and validating to share this story and feel the support I've had, and I hope it would be the same for you. Definitely follow Cindy Baldwin on Twitter for some great discussion on OwnVoices disability rep! https://twitter.com/beingcindy

Ouisch3 karma

A publishing question for you - how did you get Macmillan interested in your manuscript? Did you first send it to an agent? Did you have a finished manuscript or just an outline/pitch idea when you first started shopping your book idea?

SarahAllenWrites6 karma

Good question! I did indeed go through an agent. STARS is my fourth book and I queried those to hundreds of agents before it all finally worked. I've written up a quick summary of how it went down if that's helpful! http://fromsarahwithjoy.blogspot.com/2019/12/5-steps-to-being-published.html

WizardessUnishi3 karma

What is your favorite word?

SarahAllenWrites6 karma

Chimerical: highly unrealistic, wildly fanciful.

And if anyone knows what that's a reference too we are instant BFFS :)

Rage-Fairy3 karma

Hi Sarah.

My question is why would you cause a period purposely if you're never going to have kids anyway?

SarahAllenWrites5 karma

Good question! It's not about having kids, it's about hormone regulation and has to do with bone density and other things. It's to prevent osteoporosis!

WizardessUnishi2 karma

When did you first wanted to be an author?

SarahAllenWrites3 karma

We have home videos of my dad teaching to memorize certain lines of The Cat in the Hat when I was about two.

Since about then ;)

WizardessUnishi2 karma

How long did it took you to finish your book?

SarahAllenWrites3 karma

I wrote the first half in my final semester in my MFA program, and then finished it in the 2 or 3 months after that, so in total the writing took me 5-6 months. Then lots more time editing and querying after that!

cahaseler1 karma


SarahAllenWrites1 karma

I've added another link to a photo, I hope that works!

Bad_Karma211 karma

I always thought stars were made of burned trash. Am I wrong?

SarahAllenWrites2 karma

Only a little.

Recon_by_Fire-8 karma

How many copies do you think this AMA will sell?

SarahAllenWrites8 karma

Ah, so you've sussed out my master plan mwahaha ;)