I am delighted to welcome Sarah England as my guest this week. She is a versatile writer, having published around 140 short stories, mostly in national magazines and various anthologies; and most recently a 3 part detective serial in Woman’s Weekly. She has also released ‘3am and Wide Awake’ – a collection of 25 thrillers, many supernatural or medically based.
Sarah lets us into some of her secrets about writing comedy…
As a short story writer I seem to gravitate to either the supernatural, or comedy. It’s a bizarre whizzing from one end of literary genre to the other – like an out of control typewriter. However, with a 20 year + background in nursing and medical sales, specialising in mental health, I suppose it is inevitable that the old gallows humour creeps in. I’m a Northern lass too – and there’s an in-built armour of self-deprecation pertinent to the environment in which I grew up: no one is allowed to take themselves too seriously.
So when I began to write fiction, around 8 years ago now, many of my stories were humorous. I’m also the kind of person who trips into revolving doors, goes out of the house with a Velcro roller still stuck in the back of my hair, says exactly the worst thing at the most inopportune moment, and generally has a lot of toe-curling, squirmy situations. So I have a lot of life experience – only natural then, to make it an art form.
My dad took the proverbial micky out of me since I was old enough to crawl. My parents took me pony riding – the horse sneezed and I flew off – bawling my eyes out I quickly realised that my parents hadn’t come to my rescue because they were pissing themselves laughing. It sort of went on from there. I’d love to have been a comedy actress really – like Catherine Tate – but I had to earn a living and nursing it was. Well I could tell you a few stories – like the chap in A&E who swore blind he had no idea how he came to sit on a wine bottle (and have surgery to remove the broken glass…)
So when it came to writing ‘Expected’ I had a wealth of material on which to draw, and by then I’d written and had published many short comedies, so I hope – with tragic experience marrying all the years I’ve put into learning to craft a story – that the reader has a fair few laughs with my heroine, Sam Sweet. To make people laugh – what could be better than that?