August 17, 2018
I asked Sarah where she would like to have our interview:
You, me and a distillery in the middle of Whisky territory in Scotland. Surrounded by mountains and rolling green hills, Glen Livet Distillery is set in the heart of Speyside. Arriving at the visitor centre, the sun is shining, glinting off the the glass. We’d go around on a tour of the distillery, learning about how they make whisky. From malting the grains to distilling in the whisky stills. We’d also get to see where they keep the barrels whilst the whisky matures. It has to sit in the casks for at least three years to be called whisky, but usually most stay in the casks for ten years. After the tour, we’d have a tasting. I’d recommend the 15 year old as it’s my favourite. Then we’d sit down in the little cafe and share some tea and a few sweet treats whilst we sit and chat.
Laura Mae: Hello Sarah! Thank you so much for meeting with me! So, I just learned you’re from across the pond. How’s the weather there right now?
Sarah Bailey: It’s been really hot for weeks, although we did have a bit of rain over the weekend finally. Not used to all this heat at all.
L: That’s what I’ve been hearing! Even for myself, living in Arizona, its unbearably hot for us too! I hope it cools down soon! haha
S: Oh me too. We’re definitely not equipped for this heat in the UK.
L: I bet. Well, I wish you cool thoughts! 🙂 Sarah, I must say, I’m very impressed that you are already coming out with your second book so soon after the first one. How has that journey been for you?
S: It’s been a bit of a crazy time. When I started writing seriously last year, I didn’t expect this at all. I didn’t think I’d finish a book in a short space of time, let alone more than one. When I started writing this series back at the end of the December, someone close to me suggested that I write at least three books before I started publishing, so I made that my goal, which I managed to achieve in April. It just took me a further two months to work out how I was going to do it. A steep learning curve!
L: Oh wow! That’s incredibly inspiring. They must have been very important to you. In case our readers don’t know, would you mind talking a little bit about the series you’re writing about?
S: It’s a paranormal romance series set in London, UK. Each book has a new set of protagonists and focuses on a different aspect of the supernatural community. The first two books are out and I’ve just announced the third, but there are more to come.
L: Interesting! Congrats again! I know you set your sights very high, but what do you think keeps you writing so much and often? You have coffee running through your veins, huh? Haha
S: I think it has a lot to do with the fact that my characters won’t shut up lol! Well, it’s because I enjoy writing. It’s my passion, it kind of feeds my soul in a way. It’s what I’m most happiest doing. I love going on the journey with my characters. If I drunk coffee, probably, but I’m an avid tea drinker being a Brit 😉
L: Tea is awesome! I with you on that one! I love how character oriented you are. I’m the same way. You can’t have a story with great characters. And you seem to have a great connection with them. Makes me really want to go buy your books right now!
S: I call them my book children because they’re temperamental, demanding and always pestering me 😉 I’ve been assured by a fair few people my books are good and that’s the thing people seem to mention is I write good characters. But thank you, it’s always a really crazy feeling when someone tells you they want to read your work!
L: Absolutely! You described it really well too. 😉 Would you say that a particular author or book inspires your writing? Why paranormal romance?
S: That’s a tough question – I’ve read a lot of different authors. Most recent times the two authors who I read a lot of before I started writing were Melissa F Olson and Amanda M Lee. Melissa writes more urban fantasy and Amanda has this insanely funny series about this family of witches. I think their writing definitely gave me a new take on how to write heroines who are not just witty, but fierce and feisty.
As for paranormal romance – I’ve always loved the supernatural. I have a thing about vampires in particular. I’m a huge fan of the show Supernatural, I think that’s also partly what inspired this series. The other reason is I love romance. Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve always been a hopeless romantic.
L: Very nice! Yay for strong willed women! Yeah I can see that, supernatural I’ve heard is really good. Sounds like a good mix of both! So when you write, do you have any rituals or anything you have to do to be more productive?
S: I always have to have music playing, that’s my biggest thing. Sometimes it specific songs, but mostly, I just pop my saved songs list on and away I go. That said, I do create playlists for each of my books. Otherwise, I pretty much just need my laptop or my phone and I can tap out the words. I’m not always productive as I’d like to be, but I try to write every day.
L: Oh a WIP playlist! I’ve always wanted to do one of those, but I wouldn’t even know where to start. But I agree with music, it can be very inspirational. What kind of music do you pair with it?
S: Sometimes it’s what I’m listening to when I’ve been writing the book, but sometimes certain songs just stick out to me for particular scenes. I have very eclectic tastes so it can be anything – indie, pop, electro, RnB, country.
L: I like the range! Besides writing, Sarah, what other hobbies do you have or do in your free time?
S: I like to binge watch Netflix – I recently got in to Asian dramas, mostly Korean, but my latest one is Taiwanese. I tend to prefer to watch series these days over films, but I do like to go to the cinema when I can. I’m also massively into gaming. I tend to usually play RPGs (role playing games) because they’re very immersive and they’re like my escapism from the world outside of reading and writing.
L: Great answers! I’m a huge gamer too, specifically RPGS, as well!
S: So nice to meet a fellow gamer – any favourites?
L: My all time favorite is Earthbound on SNES, and the Last of Us on PS4 more recently. Both story heavy, and Last of Us with crazy character building. Made me cry in the first 10 minutes! What’s yours?
S: My all time favourite is the Witcher 3, but I also love the Mass Effect & Dragon Age games. I think it’s mostly because I’ve always loved fantasy. With Dragon Age it was because I got to play as an elf. I’ve had a huge fascination with them since I was a kid after being introduced to The Hobbit and LOTR.
L: Great choices! The Lord of the Rings series is fantastic! Do you happen to have a favorite fictional character? And why do you like them?
S: This is a hard question! I guess if we were going off books from when I was younger, it would probably be Aragon from LOTR. Who doesn’t love a broody man? In all seriousness, it’s because he’s the reluctant hero.
L: Oh yeah, Aragon was awesome. One of my favorite characters in the series. I’m assuming that you self-published correct? What advice would you give to other indie writers out then when publishing for the first time?
S: I am self published, yes. Don’t underestimate the amount of work it takes to put your book out by yourself. The sheer amount of research and planning I did was crazy, but it was worth it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get to know your fellow authors because they’ll be your support network.
L: I couldn’t agree more! I know I was overwhelmed when I did it. But I’ve learned and I hope it just gets easier from here.
S: I hope it does – putting the second book out was a bit easier than the first since I’d worked out what I was doing, but it still came with its own set of problems.
L: Very true. Great advice, Sarah! And speaking of advice, what would be your best advice to writers who are still struggling to finish their WIPs?
S: There’s a lot of ways to combat it. If things aren’t flowing properly, sometimes its best to take a step back and re-evaluate where you are in the story and where you’re going. I think when we’re writing, we get too close to our stories. I’ve had to take a step back and write something else or edit when I’ve struggled. I have a few unpublished works, so I have the luxury of being able to stop and edit something else, but for those that don’t – sometimes it takes writing something else to become unstuck.
L: Fantastic! Agreed! And one last question, Sarah. You said you are still working on your series. In a GIF, how would you say it’s going right now?
L: Haha!! That could be either a good thing or bad!
S: I think it’s probably both haha
L: Nice! Well thanks so much for chatting with me Sarah!
S: No problem – I enjoyed it 🙂
Born and raised in Sussex, UK near the Ashdown Forest where she grew up climbing trees and building Lego towns with her younger brother. Sarah fell in love with novels when she was a teenager reading her aunt’s historical regency romances. She’s always had a love of the supernatural, avidly devouring paranormal romances and TV shows such as True Blood and Supernatural.
Sarah currently resides in Berkshire with her husband and her cat, Smudge. Music is one of her biggest inspirations and she always has something on in the background whilst writing. She is an avid gamer and is often found hogging her husband’s Xbox.
Sarah is also the owner and founder of Twisted Tree Publications.
Walking home at night in the back streets of London was never a good idea. When her life is threatened, Ella is saved in the nick of time, only to find Lukas is a bounty hunter from Hell. Trusting the enigmatic demon with her darkest secret, Ella Ward is inexplicably drawn to Lukas. Fighting a mutual attraction, she accepts his offer of protection, only to be dragged headlong into a world she barely knew existed. A world where demons tangle with vampires and shifters and Hell literally breaks loose.
Together they hunt down an artefact stolen from Hell. Close on their tail is the vampire Mistress of London, bent on tearing apart the mystery surrounding who Ella really is. Without warning, Ella’s unknown powers explode.
Can she survive the ensuing storm? Or will she lose her heart and soul in the process?
A supernatural stalker was not on Daisy’s bucket list. When best friend, Ella, puts her in touch with the new head of London’s bloodthirsty underbelly, she’s drawn into a world she wanted no part of. Gavin isn’t what she expected. He gives her his word he’ll look into her vampire problem, but he also offers something else entirely. The spark in his bright green eyes is impossible for her to resist.
Ella’s aversion to vampires causes a major rift between the best friends. Daisy can’t help but wonder what really happened the night Ella killed Gavin’s predecessor. With her life threatening to unravel, someone wants her. Badly enough they’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Daisy.
Will she survive the night? Or will she succumb just to end her misery?