Q & A

Are your characters imaginary or based on reality?

My characters are all imaginary, but sometimes there will be little bits of reality in there too. From opinions that I’ve overheard to the colour of someones hair.

When and how do you write?

I write mostly when the mood takes me, although I do try to have a disciplined approach. I aim to write a few hundred words of fiction every day but I usually end up writing non-stop for a week and then doing nothing for a few days. I once wrote 40,000 words in a week and my eyes didn’t work by the end.

Do you enjoy writing and how do you approach it?

I love writing! I love creating the individual scenes and moods through words. If it’s done well, it’s a real skill. As to how I approach it, that depends what ‘it’ is. There’s normally more pressure with a novel because more things need to be interwoven to make the plot work and characters develop properly, so that takes more concentration. Other things are more frivolous, like my blog.

What do you want to achieve?

I’d like to be recognised as an author that people enjoy reading. I don’t have any highbrow aspirations, I’m never going to write literature, but as long as my stories entertain people and they’re well-written, that suits me.

Who have you taken inspiration from?

People who I enjoy reading myself and who write well. My favourite novelists in the genre that I write in are Catherine Alliott, Adele Parks, Carmen Reid, Polly Williams and Marian Keyes. I also like Penny Vincenzi. The very best books will inspire me to put them down and get on with writing my own. I get frustrated by badly-written books.

What advice would you give to aspiring novelists?

Plan well. Be ruthlessly honest with yourself about your writing. Get others to read it and give you their opinions. You need to be as good as you can be to succeed. And never give up.

Are you sad when you’ve finished writing a book?

No, relieved! And euphoric. The characters only exist in my mind until the end of the story I’m telling, then I’m happy to leave them behind. But the feeling of having finished a manuscript and knowing that you’ve done your best, the plot has come together and it’s a good story is an amazing one.

Do you have any writing habits or superstitions?

No, I think I’m pretty boring like that! Anything goes.

Are you writing another book?

Yes I am, and I’m very excited about it. It’s only in the early stages though, 20,000 un-edited words.

Do you suffer from writers block?

No, I don’t think I do. The only time that I find it hard to write is when I’ve over-done it and I need a break. A good nights sleep usually sorts me out. If I try and struggle on I end up writing rubbish. The other thing that sometimes happens is that I’ll write myself into a dead end, from where it’s impossible to progress the story well or easily. Then I’m ruthless and I erase the lot and start again.

If you have any other questions just use the comment box below, I will add the most interesting / frequent ones to this page.

One Response to “Q & A”

  1. Bob Baillie says:

    It was lovely to meet you Sarah. I will seek out your novel and be as ruthless as you are! X

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