Hi everyone today I have the lovely Sarah Alderson on the blog, as you probably know I am a huge fan of her books, she's the best at creating suspenseful scenes, hot unforgettable characters, and books which you never want to put down! So I'm thrilled to have Sarah on the blog today sharing with you guys what she's been up to!
Sarah: Thanks so much for having me.
Jasprit: With two successful series out (Lila and Fated) and The Sound set for release in the US this May, you must have a super busy schedule! How do you keep on top of your writing?
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Sarah: I actually have three books coming out over the next three months. The Sound in the US, Out of Control in the UK and my new adult book Come Back To Me (published by Pan Macmillan) out in June. It's funny you ask how I'm coping because it recently became apparent that I was totally burning out. So I've just stopped. I've wiped everything off my plate and am just taking some time out - doing a few interviews but no writing for a couple of months. I've written 14 books in 5 years plus half a dozen short stories and a screenplay. I feel totally drained. I've forgotten how important it is to replenish the well so now I'm focusing on that.
The UK version of The Sound on the left which was released in the UK last year and the US version on the right, which will be released this May. (Click on books for more info).
Jasprit: Seriously I adore everything that you have written so far, what do we have to look forward from you next?
Sarah: Thank you! I have three more young adult thrillers lined up, starting with Out of Control. The next two are titled: Close Proximity and Proof of Life. I'm also hoping to write another New Adult. I really enjoy writing in different genres.
Jasprit: Writing an Adult novel can be a huge step (especially as you've written YA books in the past), did you find this cross over to Adult with Come Back to Me difficult compared to your previous books that you had written?
Sarah: Actually I found it much easier because it's not a thriller. Thrillers are so much more challenging as there are so many plotlines to fit together. Come Back To Me is a romance. It's about falling in love for the first time and what happens when circumstances force you apart. I laughed and cried a lot while writing it but generally found it really easy to write.
Jasprit: To me you are the Queen of creating hot unforgettable characters, so I can't wait to see what you have to offer in Come Back to me. Can you share a little teaser with us?
Sarah: So to frame this scene a little, Kit is a Marine Embassy Guard. He's home on leave and has started secretly dating his best friend's sister, Jessa. He's just taken her on a first date to the beach where he produced a home-made picnic of yummy things. Turns out he's amazingly talented in the kitchen as well as the bedroom. Jessa's asked him to teach her how to cook... ;) and this scene is written from Kit's POV.
I drive like there’s a demon on our tail but halfway home I glance across at Jessa, sitting with her bare feet propped on the dash, legs coated in sand, and wonder if I’m running ahead of myself. What happened to taking it slow and enjoying the anticipation? By the time we get back to my place I’m back in control and planning on just giving her a baking demonstration, that’s all. Just cooking. No making out.
I open the back door and lead her into the kitchen. Jessa’s been to my house before but not for a while and I feel nervous, self-conscious, as she stands there looking around. And all I can think about is how it looks like I’ve brought her back here so I can sleep with her, which isn’t true, but which automatically makes me think about sleeping with her, which in turn makes me picture her naked, which makes me then picture us making love on the kitchen floor. Fuck. Think about something else instead. I try to banish the thoughts but still they flood in thick and fast, taunting me. Focus on the baking, I tell myself tersely. That’s what you brought her here for. Baking. Not sex.
‘Let me check I have all the ingredients,’ I say, moving quickly to the cabinets and starting to pull down the flour, eggs, sugar and baking powder.
‘Kit?’ Jessa says.
I stop, holding the weighing scales in one hand and a baking tray in the other and look at her. She’s standing in the middle of the kitchen, still barefoot, her hair hanging down her back and her T-shirt sticking to her with sand and salt-water.
‘I don’t want to bake,’ she says.
‘You don’t?’ I ask, trying to stay cool.
She shakes her head, a small and mischievous smile playing on her lips.
Oh fuck it. I toss the things I’m holding onto the side, not even caring when I hear something clatter to the floor. I stride towards Jessa and pull her into my arms. ‘Works for me,’ I say, kissing her.
Jasprit: And what about Out of Control, will I be likely to be adding another fictional crush to my top ten list?
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Sarah: I hope so! Jay is the lead character in OOC. He's 19, born in Queens in New York. He's grown up on the streets, he's got plenty of smarts and a ton of chivalry. He's just gorgeous. And funny.
Jasprit: You recently described Out of Control as a fast paced and sexy thriller which tackles the very real and shocking issue of human trafficking. What inspired you to focus on this issue?
Sarah: I'm not comfortable using the word sexy and human trafficking in the same sentence. To be clear, while human trafficking is the conspiracy in the book, the story is not about a victim of trafficking. I could never do justice to that story and there are many authors and victims themselves who have written hard-hitting books on the topic and I recommend many of them in the back of my book for a real insight into the issue. Liva the main character in Out of Control is the daughter of a man who is the head of a government task force tackling human trafficking. That's the link. The story is about Liva and Jay going on the run from two people who are hunting them down. I wanted to write a story that had something to say beyond 'hot boy meets cute girl, they kiss, the end'. I wanted it to have some substance. I write thrillers. I'm known for my hot romances and action and Out of Control is no exception, in fact it is probably the most fast-paced, action packed book I've written. I saw this as an opportunity to raise awareness among my audience and readers of a very real topic.
Jasprit: From your two upcoming books which scene did you have the most fun writing?
Sarah: There's a scene in Out of Control. It's just before Dawn and Liva and Jay are on the Brooklyn Bridge and they're having a big conversation about life and about what it means to live and confront certain truths. He tells her how living means accepting both the good and the bad, the pain and the hurt as well as the love and the laughter, because you can't have one without the other. And she's struggling to accept that. So he kisses her of course and that helps change her mind!!! But then I also really enjoyed writing about Jessa and Kit in Come Back to Me especially the scenes where they're apart and emailing each other.
Jasprit: And what does your typical writing day entail?
Sarah: I start work at 7.30, usually spend an hour answering fan emails and tweets and other work related emails and then I start writing, usually until around 4pm when my daughter's home from school.
Thank you so much Sarah! Who else is excited about Sarah's upcoming releases? I for one will definitely have to pre-order Out of Control (I can't wait to meet Jay!) and Come Back to Me (I need some sexy times!)
Having spent most of her life in London, Sarah quit her job in the non profit sector in 2009 and took off on a round the world trip with her husband and princess-obsessed daughter on a mission to find a new place to call home. After almost a year spent wandering around India, Singapore, Australia and the US, they settled in Bali where Sarah now spends her days writing and trying to machete open coconuts without severing a limb.She finished her first novel Hunting Lila just before they left the UK, wrote the sequel, Losing Lila, on the beach in India, and had signed a two book deal with Simon & Schuster by the time they reached Bali.Since then she has published a further four novels and several short stories. Her latest novel The Sound, will be published in the US in May 2014.As well as Young Adult fiction, Sarah writes New Adult fiction for Pan Macmillan under the pen nameMila Gray. Her first novel Come Back To Me will be out in summer 2014. Sarah has co-written the Hunting Lila screenplay, an adaptation of her upcoming YA novel Out of Control, and is working on several other books and screenplays (multi-tasking is one of her favorite things).