Author: Sarah

Sssshhh! Writer at Work

I’ve been to many book launches and ‘in conversation with’ events and one question (and its variants) always crops up during the Q & A. Do you listen to music when you write? Is a radio blasting out tunes in the background as you conquer each chapter? Do you write in a cafe or even a shed in your garden? Sometimes, sometimes, sometimes and no are my answers to these particular questions but regardless of where I am, when I do listen to music, I have my go-to artists. It’s all dependant on where I am with a story. For

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My Edinburgh International Book Festival

Every August, the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s tents go up in Charlotte Square and more recently in George Street too. I kiss my family good bye and say ‘it’s only 17 days, I’ll be back soon’. That is, of course, a slight exaggeration (quiet at the back). Chairing seven events with eight creatives, I knew this year was going to be special and it was. I got to see behind the scenes and meet all the wonderful people that make the festival go like clockwork – from the ticket sellers in the main entrance to the sound technicians who ensure

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The Fear

Pressing send on an important e-mail makes my hands sweat, droplets appear on my top lip and I feel like I’ve just consumed something that is going to make me throw up. It’s not because I feel awful about what I’m about to do, on the contrary, it’s more to do with the expectation of what might happen next. There’s a common theme that runs through my blog posts and that is the ‘what if’s’. No-one wants to know what’s running around in my head when that happens. There isn’t a blog space that would be big enough for all

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Dear Diary

I know I’m not the only writer out there that has a notebook beside their bed. I use mine to write down the character ideas and plot points that float around in my grey matter desperate to be noticed, which normally coincides with when I’m just about to close my eyes and wait for sleep to arrive. Yet, sometimes a notebook isn’t quite enough? What about everything else that’s going on? To-do lists, bills to pay, is the car MOT due soon or is that next month, where do I find X, Y or Z without breaking the bank, are

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The Mystery of History

I found my old school report cards. There was a lot of ‘she must try harder’ and ‘if she spent more time studying than looking out the window she might get on a bit better’. Reader, it’s fair to say my procrastination skills are still just as bad but I like to think I’m definitely trying harder. I remember being taught about the Highland Clearances, Bonnie Prince Charlie and all the other historic school curriculum topics our teachers repeated on their pupils year after year. I was bored. Through no fault of the teachers or the books provided, it just

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Chicken Legs & Shortlists

There’s something quite magical about seeing a book you love appearing on shortlists within the literary world. When The House With Chicken Legs appeared on the shortlist for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, I was absolutely delighted for Sophie Anderson. I have always had an interest in folklore and fairy tales, so I asked Sophie if she would like to share some of her thoughts on the research and writing process for her amazing debut and beyond… ·  The House with Chicken Legs has stormed into our hearts, have you always wanted to write your take on this particular Russian tale? What

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