Jan 26, 2015

Interview with Sarah

When did you realize that you wanted to become a writer?
Pretty much as soon as I could pick up a pen; maybe before that! When I was very small I used to make up stories in my head and tell them to an invisible audience. These were usually accompanied by toys, specifically My Little Ponies – I would spend hours amusing myself this way!

Is being an Author all you dreamed of, or did it just happen? The best and worst thing about it?
Being an author is my ultimate dream. The best thing about being an author is being able to create new worlds and sharing these worlds with others. I cannot even begin to express the joy it brings to learn that someone aside from yourself is delving into the same, strange world that you created. The worst thing? Sometimes spending days at a time agonizing over a sentence or scene to the point where it becomes a fervent obsession to get it as close to perfection as possible; but, on the other hand, the challenge makes the end result all the more rewarding.

What was the very first thing you ever wrote? 
It was about a dragon that could talk. I think it was the first example of my penchant for anthropomorphism!

What made you create (your book)?  How did it come to you? 
I have always been a big fan of shapeshifting and the idea of being able to transform from man to beast. I also wanted to try my hand at a romance. Furthermore, I wanted to write a story set in the future. Rolling all that into one, out popped How the Wolf Lost Her Heart! 

Who is your literary hero?
Kurt Steiner from my favourite adult novel, The Eagle has Landed. It is a (mostly) fictional story set during WWII. Steiner, a disgraced Lieutenant Colonel, is ordered by Himmler to head a plot to kidnap Winston Churchill. Despite their Nazi affiliation, Steiner and his men are noble and courageous individuals who highlight the overall message: “Good men fighting for a rotten cause” as Jack Higgins, the author, put it. In one scene, Steiner rescues a Jewish girl from the concentration camps and directly defies the SS to do so, which results in him and his men being punished. He was a true hero in a bad situation and this is why he remains my favourite literary hero.

How much of your characters are based on your traits or someone you know personally? 
Hmmm …. Well, there’s quite a lot of me in several of my characters! Both Skye and Raphael have got negative and positive aspects of me in them. With regard to others, Daphne is one example where I’ve mingled characteristics of people I know, such as my sister and closest friend. Oh, and Mr. Oogberg is a combination of every terrible client or customer I ever had in some of my less desirable jobs!

Describe your main character in six words. 
Feisty, moody, insecure, brave, independent, strong. 

Describe the world you’ve created in six words.
Hmm … Different, volatile, intense, frightening, futuristic, chaotic.
What scene was your favorite to write? 
It’s a toss-up between two. The first is the scene where the main characters have transformed into their spirit animals and are running through the park for the first time. I loved implementing an ethereal feel to it. The second would be the scene where Skye is in trouble with her manager, Ned, for leaving a client on hold for ten minutes. Ned is one of my favourite characters and I always enjoy writing parts where he makes an appearance.

What scene was the hardest for you to write? 
Probably *that* scene at the end. Haha! It was a little tricky – but very enjoyable! I would also describe it as a relief – after the build-up throughout the book it was satisfying to finally be able to say, “Finally!” 

What are you working on now? 
Currently I’m working on the sequel to How the Wolf Lost Her Heart. It starts off about a month later; tensions are extremely high as war is brewing. There is a lot of backstory in this one which addresses a several unanswered questions in the first, such as how London came to be in such a terrible state and how the thugs multiplied. I am also working on a prequel which is set in 2012 and tells the story of Skye’s ancestor. The story revolves around the original experiment and how they attained the ability to transform into their spirit animals. 
Goals? Accomplishments? Improvements? 
As a writer, I am constantly learning and striving to be better. I’ve always been a firm believer that the learning experience means more than the end result. So far, my biggest accomplishment is the publication of my book, but I intend to produce many more stories in the future, particularly some children’s stories that I am very excited to share.

Are there any authors or books you recommend? 
So many! But I would say: Robin Jarvis who wrote The Deptford Mice. His stories are mystical and profound. Tom Sharpe was a brilliant author; I highly recommend Righteous Assembly for Young Adult and Adult readers. It’s hilarious! For children, Watership Down is a beautiful, magical story that will stay with the reader forever.
What's your favorite thing to do when you're not writing? 
I’m very adventurous with food so I like to try different types of cuisine – the more unusual, the better! I also enjoy walking dogs and playing the occasional game of Black Jack.