Sarah Harding-Roberts was born in 1988 in Cardiff, Wales where she grew up and after several moves in her late teens and early twenties, moved back again.
“Scourge” is her first book, after “(Condensed) Russian Communism For Kids!” (a very short story), which details the life of Lilith Black, once Lilith the Scourge, upon her return to the mortal world.
She has previously written poetry that has been accepted into anthologies (recently the Poetry Rivals ‘A Poet’s Echo’ collection) and thoroughly enjoys writing as much as her brain will permit her within a day.
Bio provided by author
It was our pleasure to get the opportunity to interview Sarah and learn more about how she became a writer. Sarah is one of those people who has stories crowding her mind and trying to get out all at once! Get comfortable and please give a warm welcome to Sarah!
1. What makes for a good hook in your stories? Where does your inspiration come from?
I like to add some sort of connection to a major event, such as the sinking of the Titanic – having a character present at such events can make for interesting story telling, especially from an age old demon that has seen most of the big events in history. My inspiration comes from other fantasy writers who have managed to come up with fantastic worlds and characters; they give me the inspiration I need to see I can create any amount of strange worlds and creatures that inhabit them, although it does help that I always have different ideas and new characters popping into my head at all hours of the day!
2. Are you an organized writer? Do you do things like take notes and make lists of characters? Or do you free write and work it out as you go?
I do try to take notes from time to time, I have a wall in my attic with chapter outlines and titles for any future books I want to start writing, which helps me to remain focussed on the task at hand, but I frequently get ideas throughout the day, so I used to keep a notebook in my bag just in case, but after constantly losing any notes I made I had to upgrade to a handy netbook instead!
3. What is your normal writing day like? Do you write when you are inspired or do you have a schedule?
Usually I will only write when I get a good idea for a chapter or a situation a character finds themselves in, but I do like to tell myself I am going to do a lot of writing some days – unfortunately sometimes the internet finds a way to distract me!
4. Who is your favorite author and how did they inspire you to write?
I really like Terry Pratchett. He is an incredibly talented man and the worlds and characters he has created over the years are simply amazing – grumpy Death being my favourite character out of all of them. Pratchett has made a name for himself by creating such wonderful stories and characters over the years, and his ability to do so is very inspiring indeed. I don’t think I could ever rival him in brilliance, but a girl can dream!
5. It’s easy to see that you have a passion for writing but is there any part of it you don’t like?
I really don’t like having to look critically at my own work, because I will usually find something completely wrong with it and have to rewrite it, or it will irritate me and I sometimes convince myself that I ought to stop, but then I find myself inspired by another idea and I’m back to writing again!
6. Do you make time to read and if you do what are you reading right now?
I do try to make time to read, but considerably less than when I was younger when I had less things to do during the day. At the moment I am reading Amanda Hocking’s book ‘Switched’.
7. How did you get into writing in the dark fantasy fictional genre? Is there personal life experience in the writing?
I’ve always been interested in fantasy as a genre, but I find I like to set it in a more modern day setting – the darkness in my fantasy comes from the demons I have in my series at the moment; I have always been interested in the idea of demons, and it has been exciting to explore different ones from different religions as well as coming up with my own. The modern day setting that I enjoy I believe can inject a person into the story; if it’s happening now, it may well be a possibility – we just don’t know what worlds co-exist with our own.
8. Your books have been published with Amazon.com, Does this mean you see the publishing industry headed this way?
I think it’s a very good idea – especially for authors who have previously had difficulty with the standard publishing route – self publishing does tend to have a bad name, what with scams and schemes where the author must shell out hundreds of pounds to simply get a few print copies of their book, but Amazon have managed to break away from the stigma attached to it and made it much easier and accessible for new authors, whilst also making it completely free. I think it really has changed the face of publishing, but there are still people out there who just prefer print books, so I don’t think online publishing will ever completely take over physical publishing.
9. Do you have any online sites where others can read more of your writings?
Not currently, but I am working on it!
10. Do you have any more stories in the works? What kinds of stories do you plan to write next?
I am in the process of planning the sequel to ‘Scourge’ (which is currently only named ‘Book Two of the Lilith the Scourge series’!), but I always have different ideas swimming around my mind trying to come out, some of which might end up as short stories or even full –length ones!
11. Who would be your first choice to play Lilith Black from your book “Scourge (Lilith the Scourge)”?
I would much prefer an up and coming actress who really understood the character and could look back on the role as a career maker, unless they were willing to cast me of course!
12. If you could meet anyone from any time who would it be and what would be your first question?
Probably Edgar Allan Poe. I was obsessed with his poetry as a teenager and I absolutely adored the melancholic beauty in his prose. If I was to meet him, I would ask him to read me one of his poems.