Today it gives me great pleasure to interview Sarah England here on my blog. Sarah is a prolific short story writer as well as a novelist. I invited her here so I could find out more about her.
Hello, Sarah, and welcome to Ramblings of a Rusty Writer.
Please introduce yourself using around 50 words for any of my readers who have yet to discover your work.
Hi, I’m Sarah England and I’ve been writing short stories for around 5-6 years now, mostly for women’s magazines like Woman’s Weekly, also for newspapers and anthologies (like Mosaic (below) and Global Shorts Anthology), and now online.
Just out is…ta da…. my debut comedy novel on Amazon kindle - Expected.
|Mosaic features 2 stories by Sarah|
You have had a lot of short stories published, how did you get into writing short stories originally?
I started telling stories when I was about 5 years old but only turned professional when I became an old crone about 6 years ago. I was swigging gin and shouting out obscenities to passing builders when it hit me – hey I could be a millionaire this time next year! So I began writing huge tomes that no one wanted to read before deciding to learn how to do it. Short stories were no easier but at least the turnaround was quicker, so that’s how it happened. It turned out I liked doing them and people began to buy them - eventually.
Your novel, Expected, is available on Kindle. How would you describe your book using only five words?
Fast, funny, feisty, thought-provoking.
Do you find it easy to switch between writing short stories and novel length fiction?
No. I’m in this dilemma right now. Once in short story mode the ideas come and I’m into the groove. Once out of it and into a novel I become immersed and obsessed. It takes a huge amount of work to produce a novel – even fast humour like Expected. I become my characters and it’s very hard to come out of it. My nearest and dearest notice the change!
So, you have your novel available via Kindle, and have also had short stories published digitally by Ether Books. What do you think of digital publishing as a whole?
|Sarah, top of the charts!|
I think it is a very fast moving concept that is really taking off. With short stories uploaded onto Ether Books, they did the book cover so that was relatively easy to do – and I love the concept of people downloading a short story onto their phone while stuck on the tube or in a queue. However, putting my own novel onto Kindle I found very difficult because I had to edit, format and market, which was horrendous for a techno-phobe like me. I am not widely known as a novelist and promoting the book is tough! I wonder too, how readers can possibly know what is good and what is not good when Kindle books are self-published. That is why I try to establish my magazine background and offer a free sample before they part with their cash.
As you can see from the screenshot, Sarah's short story 3am And Wide Awake is currently the number 1 bestselling story on the Ether Books app. Congratulations, Sarah!
What type of person do you think will enjoy your novel, Expected?
Expected is really for women in the 20-50 age group. They would need to enjoy comedy and an alternative view point – chick lit this isn’t! – and to be challenged. My heroine, Sam Sweet, is rebelling against marriage and children. Her fiancé is a respected doctor and only she can see that he is also a psychopath. She is also working class and in trouble. She’s real and she’s feisty but she’s also rather lost. I hope that her somewhat gallows humour endears her to the reader. The whole concept is about what is expected of women and what happens when/if you step out of line.
Do you find yourself mostly writing in one particular genre?
Yes I veer towards comedy or thrillers and horror! Maybe this is my nursing background or perhaps my Northern humour, but I often find the two juxtaposed - and the closer to real life the better. I’m also very into psychic phenomena and psychology so often the characters will show aspects of these interests.
What are you working on at the moment?
Tricky question. I’m at a cross roads right now – a book that will take months and hardly anyone will read, or more magazine stories? I want to stretch myself and am just hoping the answer will pop into my head shortly!
Thank you for joining me here on Ramblings of a Rusty Writer.
Connect with Sarah by visiting her website, adding her on Twitter, or adding her as a friend on Facebook.