And now she’s produced a light hearted chick lit book. I’m looking forward to reading Izzy’s Cold Feet, but first, I have a few questions for Sarah.
You have proved yourself to be a master (or is it mistress?) at plot development and character building. And now by all accounts you’ve produced a runaway piece of chick lit. Can you explain the difference between romance and chick lit?
Thank you for the compliment, Jane! That’s a great question. For me, a romance book is very focused on the hero and heroine and the relationship between them, and the writing style is perhaps more formal or serious. Chick lit on the other hand usually contains some humour and the heroine goes on a journey – not just in the love department – and comes out a better person at the end of it. The writing style also tends to be more punchy and upbeat. As a comparison to a movie, you might link chick lit to romantic comedies.
Was there a significant difference in the time you took to write each book?
With Izzy’s Cold Feet, I started it as soon as I got the publishing contract for A&Z, so I wrote that with a bit more confidence and a determination to get it finished and (hopefully) published as soon as I could… writing the third book seems to be taking longer. I am not sure why… I tend to write 10,000 words in one day, then nothing for two weeks. Still… it’s coming along slowly.Yes… I wrote Amy & Zach over a long period of time. I kept starting novels and never finishing them for years.
When did you start writing, and what other forms / genres have you tried?
I started before I can remember, even as a child I was always writing little stories and poems. My first full length story was for a school project when I was about 12, and at that point I knew I wanted to take it seriously. I’ve tried writing some thrillers and darker stories but never get very far… I’m not sure why, but, although I read a variety of novels, my favourite genre is chick lit. I love some romantic escapism with a bit of humour, and they do say write what you know…
My third novel is under way, but like I said, it’s a little slow moving right now. My favourite of the two is Izzy’s Cold Feet. I think it’s got a bit more depth and I like Izzy more as a character than Amy.
You have a background in marketing. Would you give us advice on what NOT to do, when marketing our books??
Ooh good question! Firstly, DO NOT think you can do nothing, you won’t sell any books that way… and don’t spend too much time reading posts on Twitter or Facebook or whatever. Share your post and then get on with writing your next book. Lastly, do not market to those who won’t be interested. My target market is women, so why market to men or children?
Where have you been on holiday – have you re-visited any places? Tell us about your favourites.
I’ve been to France several times, but always somewhere different. My favourite place there is Annecy – close to the Alps and the Swiss and Italian borders with stunning scenery. I also had a wonderful holiday in the Jungfrau region in Switzerland several years ago and really want to return… my favourite holiday was probably a tour of the Grand Canyon area – the views are really amazing. Hence, my including it as a setting in Amy & Zach!
Which musicians do you like listening to live?
I’m a boyband fan so I’ve been to see quite a few of them – Take Take, Boyzone, Westlife, even One Direction. I like cheesy pop music! I’ve also seen quite a few indie bands… I love live music, live comedy, live theatre – much better than watching television.
Who is your favourite comedian, and did he/she give you inspiration for Izzy’s Cold Feet?
Would you care to share your favourite recipe with us?
This is the hardest question; I have so many! I cook a lot of Jamie Oliver recipes; recently I did his Korean Stir-Fried Rice which was really good. Here’s another of my favourites: Moroccan Chicken Onepot
We’d love to know the story of how you found Crooked Cat
I searched around a bit for different publishers and found them in a Google search, initially. I’d already downloaded one of Rose McClelland’s books so I had a good idea that they were reputable and it went from there.
Sarah Louise Smith lives in Milton Keynes, UK, with her husband, two cute cats and a loopy golden retriever. She has an extremely lovely step-daughter and spends most of her free time writing, reading, cooking, and taking long walks.