20 Questions for Sarah Lynch:
Here’s another Stevie interview for you. This time the delightful Sarah Lynch stands under the spotlight. Sarah is another Indie author who has helped me in my journey through author- land. The link below is to Sarah’s author page where details of all her books can be found.
1. What is the most vivid memory from your childhood?
I suppose it might be obvious to say this but I have this memory of writing a story I thought nothing of. I wrote it like, “Blah blah, I’ll just write this.” A bit blasé. It was at junior school ‒ and my teacher stuck six gold stars in my exercise book after he read it!
2. Do you think there is such a thing as a North-South divide in Britain?
Do I think…? I often roll my eyes when watching breakfast news, let me say that. I think for people in the arts in particular, it can be incredibly hard up here. I also have a funny story about a training course I went on with a bunch of southerners (in my journalist job) but I’ll save that for a book. All good fun.
3. Have you ever visited Haworth parsonage and longed to be transported back in time?
I have visited Haworth and might even call my journey there somewhat of a pilgrimage. I’ve been reading and studying all four Brontës for years but it still fascinates me how such relatively unworldly people from a strict religious background came up with all those epic tales of romance. (Being transported back in time is a difficult one ‒ do you think they will have WiFi by now?)
4. If the Bronte women had lived in modern times, do you think their works would interest a literary agent now?
It’s hard to say though somewhere in the annals of my mind I’m recalling that Charlotte did receive some rejections back in the day. Even though Jane Eyre has since become regarded as the greatest novel of all time, no way did she have it easy. A lot of friends have told me they were uninspired by novels like that at school ‒ but maybe you just gotta have a lot of words for a really outstanding novel. In my experience, there are few agents fond of tomes. There are publishers out there who will deal with you directly but most won’t see unsolicited work without an agent. Good job Charlotte lived in the times of being able to contact a publisher direct (those days before Harry Potter changed everything).
5. Do you think you might return to journalism when your daughter is older?
Never say never. I know they’d always have me back.
6. Tell me a bit about the latest book that you are working on now.
UNBIND is a romantic thriller and its heroine came to me very clearly before anything else about this book did. I often get carried away with writing and sling myself into a novel without pre-planning. Because I saw this heroine so clearly, I knew I could take this book to the next level. The next level is something I am always striving for. The pre-planning of UNBIND has been extensive to the point where I made myself not touch the laptop and actually relegated my outpourings to paper alone, so I ended up with reams of notes. The strongest weapon in my arsenal is for building suspense and everything else I’ve learnt along the way, I am pouring into this novel. Currently it is in first rough draft status and there’s some really tough editing to do, but it will make this book something so beyond anything else I have yet written.
7. Who is your favourite author?
I can’t say I have one, really. I read widely and my tastes change. I guess Brontë has always stuck throughout my life, somehow. Right now, there are some indie authors out there who have my attention and I know that their best is yet to come. This is the power of Indie and it’s exciting and breathing new life into the book world.
8. Have you ever published any poetry?
Not yet. It is in my plan to eventually collect all the bits and pieces I randomly produce and one day make an anthology. I wrote poetry before I ever wrote a novel but I find poetry a lot more personal.
9. Do you prefer writing science fiction, romance, or erotica?
I absolutely prefer writing thrillers. (I only realised this recently, and it only took me eight novels…) People who read my work might have picked up on the fact that I just can’t seem to write anything without a twist or something “thrilling” added in there. I have always, always been fascinated by psychology so that kind of explains it. The sci-fi novels I wrote were definitely as much thriller as romance but I just love puzzles and patterns and trying to find ways of shaking readers up with an angle they might not have considered. I like manipulating words and making people think.
10. Which of your many books sells the most copies? Why do you think that is?
A Fine Profession and A Fine Pursuit have been my biggest sellers. I think part of that is because the marketing machine for erotica is already out there and lots of writers that are starting out are making use of it.
11. Do you think there is too much sex depicted in films and on TV?
I hardly watch TV anymore but sex sells, doesn’t it? I know this because when Game of Thrones is on, my Facebook feed fills up. (Although I guess people do like the fantasy elements, too.) In recent years I’ve watched a few dramas with my husband and gone, “There was sex in the first five minutes and nothing after.” He’s said, “Yeah, wouldn’t have bothered if I’d known!” I honestly think that an adult audience aren’t that bothered either way as long as it’s a good yarn. Personally I do like some sex in films and TV. Sex is a part of life, so why hide it? When done right, sex can only complement a story. I do think that nowadays Hollywood is too bogged down with sales (to keep their struggling studios open) so they dumb everything down for a certificate 12A. Even the Fifty Shades film has been vanilla-ised. Apparently an 18-certificate version will be available on DVD (no tongue in cheek from me at all…)
12. Do you think that children these days are becoming increasingly sexually aware at too early an age?
Not always. Most, if not all of the parents I know are very careful to keep their children protected and safe from influences on TV and the Internet. I do however think that in this day and age, children have to grow up quicker and it’s a shame we don’t let our babies be babies for longer. It’s not just about being exposed to celebrity culture, sex etc, it’s about actually letting our kids run round outside without worrying about gangs or cars doing mad speeds in built-up areas. Weren’t like that in my day. This world generally moves a lot quicker than the one I grew up in.
13. Due to the fact that you have written erotic novels, has this caused you to receive ‘less than welcome attention’ from men on the Internet?
It’s not been too bad, to be honest. I haven’t had any lewd stuff sent to me. The most interesting approach was from a “milf”. Her own description, not mine. She asked about how she should seduce the son of her best friend. True story.
14. If you could live your life all over again, what one thing would you change?
I’ve only gestated for 30 years so ask me again in another 30. There are things I’d like to never have faced (that applies to most people) but in the grand scheme of things, trials make a person don’t they? Be proud of the fact you’ve lived a life and got the chance to screw up.
15. Las Vegas or New York?
Went to NY for my honeymoon and loved it. Going to Plastic Fantastic Land in a few days’ time… so I’ll let you know. I’m open to anything and by the way, I’m gonna try get myself thrown out for counting cards.
16. The West End of London, or the Yorkshire moors?
I hate myself but when I read this, I just knew the answer without contemplating. Yorkshire moors: bottle of cider, weird floaty dress, a notepad and a tent. Sorted.
17. What is your most prized possession?
I don’t value possessions much but possibly, my wedding dress. Love that thing.
18. Do you play a musical instrument?
No. I’m tone deaf. It’s quite funny. My husband plays guitar and piano so he makes up for my shortcomings. (Even my daughter screams at me to shut up singing. It’s really that bad!) I think my daughter has some of the Irish in her so hopefully, she’ll find a musical outlet.
19. Do you think that securing a literary agent is a must for any writer?
Absolutely not. Unless you want to earn those big bucks. It all depends on what you want from your work. If you know where you want to take something, somehow you can make it happen. You just have to keep on at it, whatever your expectations are.
20. If your daughter wanted to make a living as an author, would you encourage her or be realistic and tell her to choose another career because of the difficulties authors have of finding an agent?
My husband and I have discussed this previously and we both agree, we’ll support her whatever she wants to do. Whatever makes her happy. Growing up in the Labour years, we each felt pressured or maybe not even that, perhaps we felt it was our prerogative to go to university because everyone else was doing it. I don’t regret university but I’d certainly try to tell Serena that the university of life teaches you so much more. In general, I think skills are being lost and we need more skilled people training earlier than higher education. You need life experience to be anything of a writer, or anything of anything. If she really did want to join me in this madness, I’d say go for it. However, perhaps make a proper living at first, as a travel writer or something. Then see about a novel.
Thanks to Sarah for agreeing to be interviewed. As always, if there are any other Indie authors, publishers or agents who would like to be interviewed, please contact me either here on WordPress or on my website http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk/