Former Big Rapids midwife pens new fantasy book

BIG RAPIDS – Career changes can be a daunting challenge, and one former Big Rapids midwife gave up a life of catching babies for one of writing page-turners.

Sarah Branson’s new book, “A Merry Life,” takes readers to the 24th century New Earth, where new nations have arisen to replace those that died with Old Earth, which was plagued by floods, fires and pandemics that changed the planet and decimated its human population.

The publication marks Branson’s first authored book release. The first in the Pirates of New Earth series, “A Merry Life” was published by Sooner Started Press in April.


Branson first moved to Big Rapids from Oregon with her husband to pursue nursing school as he began work at Ferris State University in the journalism department.

Once Branson completed school, she became a nurse-midwife, delivering many babies in Big Rapids.

After starting a family, Branson and her husband moved to Petoskey to continue work and eventually ended up in Connecticut.

Bronson said she always had an affinity for writing and first began imagining her story at age seven.

“I’ve always enjoyed writing, and I always thought it’d be a great thing to do,” Branson said. “But I never kind of felt like I had a story to tell, so it was simply a sideline thing. I traveled as a kid. My dad was born under a wandering star, and we moved every couple of years or so.

“At one point, we took a freighter to Australia when I was in about third grade, and the captain of the ship talked about being on the ship and traveling,” she added. “He talked about pirates, and I started kind of conjuring ideas of pirates in my head at that point. It’s been kind of a long time percolating. ”

‘A FORCE OF NATURE’

Cultivating characters was a unique part of the book-writing experience for Branson.

Her main character, Kat Wallace, is one of the have-nots of New Earth – and she is on a mission. After escaping torturous enslavement, she sets her sights on ending the human trafficking that is flourishing.

Branson said creating the character of Kat came from some real-life experiences.

“She’s this headstrong young woman, and it is set in the 24th century so it’s a speculative fiction and a science fiction,” Branson said. “It’s what I would consider women’s fiction because it really is about her emotional growth through her life. I kind of came upon the inspiration for my protagonist in a friend I met in real life. She showed up in my life, and she’s a bit of a force of nature.

“It’s about growing and becoming more empowered through your life,” she added. “Not just as a young person, but as a mother with children and having the ability to do all kinds of things. Women do all kinds of awesome things and then go home and make sure that suppers on the table at night, so there is the message that we can be whoever we need to be. ”

After leaving Michigan, Branson spent six years teaching science and history to middle and high school students in Brazil and Japan before returning to the United States, where she recently ended a successful career as a midwife to write full time.

Through her travels and myriad experiences, Branson has developed a deep appreciation for people’s strength and endurance. She draws on her past and her imagination while creating stories about strong women and men finding adventure and love, carving out paths in worlds that are constantly changing.

Branson said making the transition to writing full time and publishing her first book has been exhilarating.

“I loved seeing it come to the initial draft, which was really a big, long stream of consciousness,” Branson said. “It was a lot of fun just putting that down on electronic paper. Through the editing process and through collecting a team to assist with all this, to see that come about has been amazing.

“To be more at the forefront of having to talk about my book and talk about me has been a shift for me that I did not think I would like,” she added. “I find that I’m really enjoying it because I really do feel like it’s a good story. I’m having a lot of fun encouraging people to take a chance on it and have a read. Hard to say what I liked the best because right now I’m kind of in the honeymoon stage of loving it all. ”

The second book in the Pirates of the New Earth series, “Navigating the Storm,” is due out in July 2022.

Branson will be holding a reading from noon to 2 pm June 11 at Artworks in downtown Big Rapids, at 106 N. Michigan Ave.

For more information about the author, visit Branson’s website at www.sarahbranson.com. For more information on Schuler Books & Music, visit their website at www.schulerbooks.com.

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