Happy Friday to you all,
So, we have arrived at the weekend of the year that I detest so much...the weekend when our clocks go back one hour! Dark nights...urgh! Now I'm happily retired, maybe it won't be too bad, but I hated when I left home for work in the dark and arrived home in the dark too.
Then there's the dreaded Hallowe'en and Bonfire nights next week and fireworks scaring our beloved pets. Grumbles over with, and now for Sara Sartagne!
Eva: Good morning, Sarah! Cheer me up after my grumbling! Tell us all about yourself (as in, a bit of a biography).
Sara: Thank you so much for featuring me on your blog, Eva! Okay! I’ve been a bit of a nomad, career-wise – theatre, arts administration, public relations and management consultant. Now I’m an executive coach and work in senior leadership development. Gives me lots of characters to think about when writing!
How many books have you written up to now? Are they published or self-published? What
genre are they?
Like lots of people, I self-published in lockdown and didn’t really look back. I’m just about to release the last book in a women’s fiction/romance series, (A Wilder Heart, Book 4 of the English Garden Romance series).
This series originally began set firmly in England, featuring gardening projects that got bigger and bigger – but the last book in the series is about conservation, it’s set in Scotland and is it a romance?… romantic elements, certainly, but not pure romance. So, I hope people can forgive me for the deviation. It’s out on Amazon on 17 October. After that, I’ll work on my third dual timeline – time slip? I never really know! – book, which will be set in two times, contemporary and Regency. It does NOT involve people coming through
doors and finding they’ve gone back 300 years…
Of all the genres there are, is there any genre/s that you feel you wouldn’t be able to write and
why? Is there any genre that you really wish you could write, but feel you wouldn’t be able to
do it justice?
I read a lot of fantasy, but I don’t have the patience to world-build.
Do you have any favourite ‘out-of-the-ordinary’ words that you like to use in your books?
What are those words? Also, what words used by other authors irritate you more than they
Hmm. I have some verbal tics, certainly, but I don’t think the words I use are out of the way. I
like ‘chortled’ which sounds as it’s spelled.
I have a few phrases that wind me up – ‘deep in her core’ is one, usually delivered in other
breathless lines. And stuff like ‘her secret heat’ in sex scenes usually make me laugh.
Do you sing at all, be it karaoke, in a choir or have done so professionally? Whether you have
or not, have you ever written (or had the urge to write) any song lyrics? Have those lyrics
been used at all?
Yep, although nothing professional. Sang jazz in my early 20s, did musical theatre (Rizzo from
Grease, anyone?), and I used to be part of a big choir in London singing Mozart and Beethoven.
Now I’m in a smaller church choir near where I live. But I know my limitations - I leave the
lyricists to their job.
What question would you like to pose, (if you were to ever interview your favourite author),
which never seems to get asked in author interviews? And who is that favourite author?
I’m a fan of KJ Charles, who writes fairly spicy m/m historical romance; to be honest, I didn’t
expect to like it as much as I do, but she has a way depicting emotion that just captivates me! I’d
like to ask her why queer romance? And have any of her gay friends commented on her sex
scenes, seeing as she’s – to my knowledge – female and straight?
If you were to ever write a children’s book, (and those of you who already do) would you/do
you do the illustrating yourself, make use of a family member or friend’s talent or pay an
illustrator? Do you solely write or do you have any other creative pursuits?
If I were ever to write a children’s book, I’d get the wonderful Dawn Treacher to illustrate it. I do
paint occasionally, but I think you need to focus your energy and Dawn would do it MUCH
better than I could!
Of all the characters you have created, who is your favourite? And why?
God, I can only have one?
OK, well, going with one from my newest book, it would be Lisbeth McAllen. She’s been a
timid schoolgirl, found her soulmate at 17, sowed a lot of wild oats at university and is battling to
balance her scientific training with a lot of things that happen in the Highlands which seem
Have you ever killed off a character in your books (I’m sure you have)? If so, was it
because…it fitted nicely into the storyline? OR…Did you start to really dislike the character
and, with too much work involved to re-write without that character, think it the easiest
option to have that person die?
I’ve only managed one death in all the books I’ve written – it IS women’s fiction with romantic
elements, after all! That death was of my historical heroine called Sarah in my first dual timeline
book, The Visitor. And before anyone comments, I KNOW that burning at the stake was not the
usual punishment for witchcraft in England in the 16 th century – but this is fiction, and it fitted
Are any of your characters based on family members or friends? Have you kept their
characters totally true to life or have you given them bonus traits that you wish they
possessed in real life?
I plead the 5th Amendment.
Relationships/family life aside, what are your TWO main regrets in life?
I wish I’d done more than study at university; I was so in love with my subject, I forgot many of
the other things that university is supposed to be for!
I also wish I’d stuck at French – I love the language and one of these fine days, I’m going to take
it up again.
What was your passion as a child? Did that passion stay with you during your adult life OR
did you, as you grew up begin to detest what you once enjoyed?
I always had my nose in a book. And I suppose you could say I still do!
What was your best subject throughout your school years? And your worst?
English and (weirdly) biology. I loved finding out about the way plants and cells were built, how
they operated. Worst subject – hands down, Maths. Although now I come to think about it, my
German wasn’t that hot, either…
Tell me about your favourite teacher throughout your school years? Was it a crush you had?
Were they just an excellent teacher of your favourite subject?? Or some other reason…kind,
Miss Turner at my secondary school lit up my life. She taught English, was a ball of energy and
enthused me for literature in a way that has never been equalled – even at university. And I
suppose I did have a bit of a crush.
Did either of your parents ever express a wish to write? Are they supportive and proud of
your work? Or do they just choose to not get involved, but they are pleased for you?
My mum is fond of saying she has no imagination! But both my Dad, who died in June, and my
mum, say they love my books. Mind you, that might just be family bias!
Tell us about your ultimate ambition, be it personal, travel, writing, work, hobby related or
I want to be able to write in the morning and work in the garden in the afternoon, and read by the
fire in the evening. I’d love to visit Japan. And of course, having one of my books made into a
series by Netflix would be nice…
Do you have any phobias and if so, what are they? Have you ever conquered any phobia and
if so, how did you do it?
As a participant, I’m not comfortable being in groups with lots of others; I’m just not good with a
crowd, six is about my limit. I’ve gritted my teeth to complete my Masters in Organisational
Psychology and my coaching qualification, but lord, I’d do a LOT to avoid doing that again.
Strangely, it’s different when I’m training – I’m happy at the front!
Most people I know are not happy with something physical about themselves (face/body
etc.,) but if you could change anything about your personality, what would you wish to
I’ve got a fairly short fuse. All my life I’ve wanted to give myself a pause. I’m getting better as I
get older, but still nowhere near as zen-like as I want! On the plus side, I don’t bear grudges and
apologise when I’ve been an idiot.
What is your ‘go to’ snack, whatever the time of day? And drink of your choice?
TEA. I rarely drink anything else. Unless you’re talking about alcohol, then I’m a
whisky/whiskey girl. I love Edradour whisky which is the perfect mix of smooth and bite.
Snacks – I have a soft spot for cashew nuts.
Cats or dogs? What do you have? Do you introduce any pets into your books?
I like both, although mum loses her voice within ten feet of a cat, she’s so allergic, so it would be
a bit unkind to have one at the moment!
I have both cats and dogs in my books – although A Wilder Heart has a wildcat, rather than a
domestic cat in it, so maybe if we’re talking a domestic cat, my heroine Ella in Love in a Mist has
Monty, and Lisbeth, the heroine in my latest book, has Bisto.
AND FINALLY, Hit me up with all your Amazon book-links? And the links to your website and
social media profiles?
My website is https://www.sarasartagne.com/ and I have a few freebies on there for
subscribers, including a prequel to The Garden Plot, a short story before Love in A Mist, and
a Christmas novel to read after The Glasshouse Effect.
English Garden Romance series: Duality series (stand-alone books):
The Garden Plot The Visitor
Love in a Mist The Fern Keepers
The Glasshouse Effect
A Wilder Heart
Thank you once again, Sara, for being a part of my series and giving us all an insight into your life!
Next week's interviews are as follows:-
Tuesday Yvonne Battle-Felton
Friday: Valeriya Salt
Have a lovely weekend everybody!