When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl. I just adored reading, so I wanted to be able to write the sort of books that I wanted to read.
Where do you get your ideas for your books?
I’m often inspired by music and lyrics that tell a story. My debut novel What Happened to Evie Del Rio? came about because I have always been fascinated by songs that have been inspired by a songwriter’s muse. Ed Nash writes a song for Evie, his then teenaged girlfriend, which only becomes a hit over 30 years later when she is no longer in Ed’s life. Can ‘The Girl in the Song’ ever truly escape her past mistakes and reinvent herself, or will her secret past catch up with her?
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
You’ll either find me going to gigs, reading, listening to music, going to the gym, watching football, travelling, socialising or trying to catch up on social media.
What do you think makes a good story?
You need some sort of hook – whether it’s an event or some sort of mystery that compels your readers to carry on reading to the end. You also need relatable characters who your readers become invested in. A couple of baddies are always a good idea – especially if they get their comeuppance!
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Being a writer was always on the top of my list but at times I also wanted to be a police officer. I then realised it might be a bit of a dangerous job to have and changed my mind! I also wanted to be an archaeologist as I was fascinated by fossils and finding out about the past.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I tend to do research as I go along. Dates etc of real-life events in particular. For What Happened to Evie Del Rio? I really enjoyed researching the songs and the muses that were the inspiration for many iconic love songs. Some of them are included in my Spotify playlist for What Happened to Evie Del Rio?
What did you edit out of your latest book?
I had to re-write the ending of my book and, on reflection, this was the right decision. There were also a couple of other chapters that had to go, along with some characters but I managed to include those characters briefly in an additional chapter that I had to write.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I enjoy reading my book reviews. I love it when people really identify with my characters and the story. Reading is so subjective so you can’t expect everyone to enjoy your writing. It doesn’t mean that you’re not a good writer, but that your book perhaps isn’t for everyone.
Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
As my book is based around my local area, there are lots of nods to places where I grew up, pubs and gigs I’ve been to, along with the soundtrack of my youth. Many of my contemporaries have enjoyed the nostalgia of the book and can really identify with it.
What is your favourite childhood book?
I was such a big fan of the wonderful Enid Blyton so it would be hard to pick just one book but The Faraway Tree Collection were particular favourites. As a very small child I adored the books about Orlando, the marmalade cat by Kathleen Hale. These books may well be responsible for me being such a mad cat lady!!
Sarah’s debut novel, What Happened to Evie Del Rio?, is available in ebook and paperback now. Find the link to your preferred retailer here.
You can find out more about Sarah and connect with her over on Twitter.