Featured Employee: Sara Harricharan

Sara Harricharan

When Sara Harricharan, production control representative in Johnson City, is not brainstorming solutions at work, she is writing contemporary, fantasy novels for young adults. She has won countless short story contests and has four books published, with a fifth title in the works.

Get to know Sara…

Tell me about your journey in the company.

 I started at A. O. Smith in Johnson City as a 30-day temporary employee in September 2014 to help with data entry. I was cross-trained through several departments before I was hired on as a production control representative in the manufacturing department. In production control, I maintain steady communication between the receiving, materials and tank fabrication departments to keep the production process running. I help make sure the process runs as smoothly as possible and that downtime is minimized.

What is your favorite thing about your role?

Every day at work is different than the one before and the one to follow. The variety keeps me engaged and interested. I love puzzles – and my job involves a lot of problem solving, which requires me to think on my feet.

What is something you do outside of work?

I write novels for young adults aged 9 through 13. I have always been a book worm. At a young age, I found that I was running out of interesting stories to read, so I started writing my own. When I was a freshman in high school, I started taking my writing more seriously. By the end of my sophomore year, I had already begun the first book of my first series, The Twilight Trials.

What inspired you to become a writer?

Books are like magic to me; a practical escape for me. My sophomore year of high school was a tough year with the stress of high school and a death in my family. I’m an introvert, and my way to escape was by reading piles and piles of books. When I would read, I would remember thinking that the world could not be so bad if there were people who chose to write such incredible  stories to help someone else.

That summer, I bought and read the entire O’Malley Series by Dee Henderson. I was so captivated that I promised myself I would write a series that would inspire others to want to read and dream. My hope is that I can leave a legacy of hundreds of stories and novels behind me that encourage people to read more and keep dreaming.

How did you get the idea for your series?

Once I decided to start taking my writing more seriously, I joined a writing community. Each Thursday, we were given a very broad writing prompt, and the short story was due the following Wednesday at midnight. One of the prompts was “anger.” Immediately, I imagined a girl with fire-red hair, the power to create fire and a short temper to match. I wrote it as a short story – but even after I’d submitted the finished piece, the story was not over. The idea wouldn’t go away, so I decided to write a novel – but even after I finished her story, there was still so much more I wanted to say. So, I wound up writing another novel. By the time I started on the third one, I realized I had a series on my hands. Since then, I have published four books in the series, and have drafted three more to bring it to a total of seven books.

What does it feel like to have your books published?

All of my books are digitally published, and my fourth book is the first novel I had published in print. There is nothing that feels better than holding a printed copy of your book with your name on it. It is actual proof that you’ve taken something out of your imagination and turned it into something real.

What is a life lesson you have learned along the way?

The thing that scares you the most is something you should at least give a decent try.

What is your advice to anyone who wants to write a book or follow a big dream of theirs?

Respect the process. Anyone can start something, but not everyone finishes what they start. Be persistent; be patient. Know that it might be hard, but in the end, if you’re happy with it, the effort was worth it.  

The Twilight Trials by Sara Harricharan:

  • Trial by Fire
  • Trial by Air
  • Trial by Water
  • Trial by Earth

Sara’s Upcoming Titles:

  • Silence of Darkness
  • Trial by Metal