1. Tell us a little bit about yourself
I’m in my early thirties, and I live with my husband and our three very spoilt but very cute pets. I also have a twelve year old step-daughter who partakes in ‘book club’ with me; we both love to read. When not reading, or writing, I love to cook and go for long walks, and either plan, dream about, or go on my next holiday. I’ve been writing stories since before I can remember and becoming published really is a dream come true...
2. You have recently released your second novel, Izzy’s Cold Feet. Congratulations! Can you tell us a little about it? Did you find that there was more expectation on the second novel?
Thank you so much! Izzy is a girl who’s been through a lot; her sister went missing when Izzy was just twelve. Now, as an adult, she’s about to get married to Greg – a guy who any girl would love to have as a husband, but she’s not sure. In the week leading up to her wedding day, she bumps into three of her ex-boyfriends and starts to question herself and her feelings for each. Is Greg really the one she wants to be with?
Yes, definitely more expectation. I was more nervous about this release than I was with Amy & Zach because I’d received so many nice comments and reviews and I was concerned readers wouldn’t enjoy this one or could be disappointed. But, in other ways, I knew what I was doing with this one. I knew I could write a whole novel, I knew at least a few people liked my writing style. So mixed emotions really!
3. You write on your blog that you had the idea for Izzy’s Cold Feet back in 2009 and it took you a few years to “put those ideas into action!” Was it harder, or easier, to write than your first novel, Amy & Zach?
Yes, I was daydreaming and something sparked the idea. I think it was actually easier to write, once I got started. My main issue is usually time management. I get very easily distracted with social media, the book I’m reading, something on television, etc. So although the idea was there, scribbled in note form, it didn’t get written until I pushed myself to sit down and do it. Because I’d already written Amy & Zach, I knew I could at least form a novel, write enough chapters to complete a whole story, and that gave me a little more faith. Before I finished Amy & Zach, I’d only ever written a third or a half a story so just typing ‘The End’ was an achievement.
4. Interestingly you say that you originally had a different ending planned for Izzy, but she took you in a different direction. Do you meticulously plan ahead? Or do you prefer to see where the characters take you?
I only start off with a rough idea and then just start writing and the story takes shape from there. But about a third way in, I find I need to know where it’s headed so I then start planning using an Excel spreadsheet which details the events of each chapter and a target word count! With this book, as the story took shape, I realised that Izzy wanted a different ending that I had originally intended.
5. Without giving too much away, do you think that through Izzy’s choices and her ultimate choice, that you are sending a message to young women looking for the right partner?
Interesting question! Yes, I suppose I am although I hadn’t thought of it like that. I think the book explores the differences between real love and passion/lust. But when you’re there, in the moment, it can be very difficult to tell the difference.
6. In the changing world of books self-publishing is becoming more and more acceptable and sometimes a chosen route for authors. Did you ever consider self-publishing?
No... maybe if I’d failed to find a publisher for several years then I might have done. I felt I needed the endorsement of a publisher to confirm my writing was good enough to be out there. Crooked Cat not only provided that endorsement but opened me up to a wider market, and gave me all the help and advice I needed as a rookie.
7. Moving on from Izzy’s Cold Feet. What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve started a third novel but only written a few chapters... I’m not sure where it’s going but I’m enjoying writing it so far!
8. How do you write?
I tend to write in big chunks. I won’t write anything for a week or two and then I’ll write 10,000 words in one go. I have to be in the right mood, have pretty much silence, and then when I get into it, I don’t eat or drink or respond to others or anything! My husband threatens to close my laptop lid if I don’t drink the water he very kindly provides me with! :)
9. What or who influences your writing or inspires you to write?
Lots of things. Daydreams that get carried away, books that spark an idea from just one line or moment, my husband who is always encouraging me. I always feel inspired to write after watching a really great film or theatre play; I guess if I really enjoyed something then it makes me want to write something that others might enjoy, too.
10. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Write, write, write! Stop thinking about it and just write. As for things like structure, grammar, plot, dialogue – consider a writing course. I have done two, one was a six month diploma in writing, and another was just for ten weeks online, but both helped me a lot.
Thanks for having me Laura!! :)
You can find Sarah and her books at the following places:
Blog: Sarah Louise Smith
Facebook: Sarah Louise Smith Author
Izzy's Cold Feet: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Crooked Cat Publishing