BDSM, Writing Sex and Daddy Doms… an interview

Firstly, thanks to Louise from Passionate Page Turner for posing these questions to me. I enjoyed answering them and it was great to look back at some of my earlier books. Without further ado…

The chambermaid series looks at one woman’s self-discovery and sexual awakening, she learns a great deal about her craft, how did you research for this?

12140580_619055291531558_4522190407370519980_nA lot of what I write is from off the top of my head and purely fictional and imaginative. However, I have a really good memory so what I write must be in some portion informed by what I have read, watched on TV, witnessed or talked about with friends. Lottie isn’t necessarily an expert practitioner of BDSM. She’s making it up as she goes along; she arouses men because she’s really just very beautiful and has a playful personality. She’s observed people for so long in her job in hotel work, she’s got a great deal of people experience. I also wanted to somehow persuade the reader that the reason Lottie is so imaginative is that she is well read, so I did read almost all the books she’s influenced by. One of my source materials was “Harris’s List of Georgian Ladies” which is full of euphemisms and flowery language and I used that type of language as an influence on Lottie. (Read the book, but Lottie’s use of language hides the sordid truth of a lot of her encounters, which aside from those with Noah are unfulfilling and not indicative of who she really is.)

One reviewer said that you wrote Lottie’s sexual encounters effortlessly, would you agree with this?

I agree I have a flair for writing good sex scenes but nothing comes effortlessly. You can’t just write, He put it in me and it was so hard and so good and he made me come instantly. How, and with what pressure, did he make you come? What did it specifically feel like? Get descriptive. Take yourself out of the situation and look at the scene from a bird’s eye view, then take yourself back into the circle again! There’s so much more to writing sex than most people know and you have to build a scene around a number of factors. Smell. Taste. Feel. Feelings. Women are always turned on by feelings, whether they admit it or not. What he does differently. What you do in response. I always try to vary the scenes I write. I think if Lottie’s sexual encounters seem effortlessly written it’s because all the work I put in behind the scenes isn’t apparent. The hero can be the hottest looking guy on the planet but if he just stands there and expects you to do all the work, that isn’t sexy. A man has to connect with your brain, first of all, to make you want him so much you’ll do ludicrous things with him in the bedroom. Literally, sometimes the things I write are even OBSCENE. LOL.

In my review I stated that it reminded me of older erotica, the likes of the story of O, do you/have you read much erotica? What would you recommend to read?

4a7fd17d24a3d19f79c556e91ed1ee09Yes, Story of O was one of the books which inspired Lottie’s story. If you’ve read the book, you’ll know there are huge passages without paragraph breaks, spread across page after page sometimes. I once read that the story needed rewriting with a modern update and better prose so in effect, I tried to do that in some portion with A Fine Profession. For Lottie, O’s story was an inspiration because having had so much pain in her own life, O has mastered the art of coping with pain and Charlotte wants to do the same. A Fine Profession is about Lottie writing out her fantasies, but with a sinister message beneath her experiences. She has a persona, someone she can be to escape herself, but burying herself in that character has cost her in ways she won’t admit. With that persona comes this voice of someone out of another time. She immerses herself in classical literature to take herself off into another world inside her mind. Her language is a lot more flowery than anything I write otherwise but it reflects her perpetual state of having her head in the clouds. I would definitely recommend Anais Nin for some classical erotica. Tiffany Reisz is an excellent erotic writer and her books are loved by those with a more open mind.

Lottie has a love for corsets and vintage lingerie and Noah supports and encourages this; can you tell me more about why she loves them?

a4a910e7efe751bacff26c5d458d0eb2Like a lot of women, she yearns for days gone by when women dressed as women with petticoats and corsets and huge skirts. When clothes flattered and were made to measure. When clothes lasted. How many women these days complain they can’t find a top to flatter their chest? A bra that fits? As modern women, we’re put under pressure to conform and costumes of old celebrated the larger bosom and hid a lot of our sins. In many respects, the corset is Lottie’s uniform and wearing it reminds her she has to perform. Vintage makes her feel special, makes her feel out of her time, takes her out of herself. Lottie is forever on the hunt for props, experiences and men willing to help her be the character she so desperately wants to be like.

In A Fine Pursuit you write from Noah’s  pov, was this difficult? Especially during sex scenes?

a fine pursuitYeah, it was difficult. I wrote this story a long while ago now but I remember at the time just feeling that same anguish and confusion he did. He was an infuriating character to be in the mindset of but I researched him thoroughly. I always knew he wouldn’t necessarily be a likeable character, but he’s a real character. He’s not a classic dom. I didn’t write his story thinking he was a book boyfriend, either. Like I mentioned above, Lottie is forever trying to displace herself from real life, which she can’t cope with. Noah’s just the same. He wants the fantasy he shares with her, because the billionaire he is by day is nothing like the man beneath. The books are literary, maybe even hard to stomach. I don’t think some readers like the honesty of these two books.

In the finale of the Sub Rosa Trilogy you delve more into BDSM, was this eye opener for you?

Nope. I have believed in BDSM for a long time. It is true that there are some people out there who abuse their roles in the lifestyle, but pain’s not at the heart of the culture. Trust is. I have a book in the pipeline called “Dom Diaries” and it does draw out a lot of the truths about what makes a dom, truths that aren’t necessarily apparent through Kayla’s dialogue alone in the series finale.

I’m not sure I like the term “Daddy” when talking about a dom, is this a common term used?

It’s extremely common except it’s not always used in open spaces – or in mainstream books. You’ve probably read about loads of Daddy/sub relationships but the name Daddy hasn’t been used. In AFP, Noah is Lottie’s Master. She denotes that with the use of capital M for Master. She never calls him sir. He’s much more than that. He’s her disciplinarian because she can be so out of control. The Master/sub relationship is more about punishment whereas the Daddy/sub scenario is more about nurturing the sub. Being a Daddy has nothing to do with being a replacement father figure although many elements of BDSM subvert real-life roles and explore unspoken areas of the sub’s emotional back catalogue. I personally think “daddy” is a softer term for dom/master/sir. Daddies and their subs tend to be more playful, more tactile and play on each other’s young outlook on life.

I notice that you use pinterest, do you find that a useful research and inspiration tool?

Not really. I just waste a lot of time over there, finding pretty pictures! Although sometimes I’ll notice a couple and go, “that reminds me of such and such…” The stuff I use for research is banned off Pinterest.

Fabien takes us into the world of Paranormal, did your writing style have to change when writing sexy supernatural sex scenes?

Yes, my writing really had to change but it was such a refreshing change, too. Putting myself in the mind of someone who has lived for centuries was an interesting task. Also, you can pretty much go WAAAAAYYYY outside the box with paranormal, which is a great thing.

Your new book (Tainted Lovers) features a married couple,  we had chatted about there not being many books out there featuring married couples, why do think that is?

I once read that erotica “saved my marriage”. A lady wrote her libido dipped after a certain length of time spent married and it had nothing to do with her feelings for her husband or their attraction. She just needed a boost. I think we avoid writing about marriage in romance novels because we’d rather remember how it was in the beginning. It’s a common opinion among women that the sex dwindles after marriage and you just have to accept it – but I disagree. I think if you can be open and honest with your partner, it can only keep getting better. No “fantasy” lover is ever going to know you as well as the man who, over several years, has spent time getting to know where and how you like to be touched. But we women do sometimes need a little added shot of erotica to boost our appetites. Horny women are never a bad thing; I’m sure husbands and boyfriends and randoms agree!tainted lovers (2)

What makes a story “Erotica”?

A really good story which features some sex, which doesn’t have to be on every page. A cracking sex scene can carry an entire book if it’s memorable and unique, and well written. Erotica, for me, is a genre which delves into the very basics of our psyche and isn’t easy to write. It’s not just about moving a story from plot point A to point B. You have to weave the sex in so it doesn’t seem unneccessary. It’s a skill I’m still learning all the time.

 

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All the latest

My goodness it has been a while since I last blogged. I’ve been to Las Vegas, edited almost an entire novel and done numerous other author-related bits and pieces since then!!

My latest interview was with fellow Indie author Stevie Turner, who I met through Feed My Reads. She’s a regular contributor to Koobug and I’ve read a few of her books. The latest book of hers I read was A House Without Windows and this was a definite must-read for those who enjoy romance with added suspense! Anyway to read the interview, visit: http://steviet3.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/stevie-turner-interviews-prolific-indie-author-sarah-lynch/

I am attending an author signing in March and tickets for this go on sale tomorrow from noon. I plan to bring along signed books to buy and lots of other free signed stuff too, plus you can meet me and put a face to the words! To find out more click here:

http://orchardbookclub-hourglassevents.eventbrite.co.uk/

 

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Other than that, all I have to tell you is that I am busy working on my latest creation UNBIND, release date TBC. The UNITY series will be complete by August 29th, when I am releasing the last instalment The Sentient but after that, I hope to have a date for UNBIND and it will be released quite soon later. I am aiming for September sometime at the latest.

Happy Hump Day and enjoy whatever you’re reading at the moment!

Sarah

A recent interview I did…

1. What inspired you to write your first book?

A dream first and foremost. An idea lingered in my mind for years until I finally had time to put pen to paper during a long period of maternity leave. I suppose a childhood love of literature became a lifelong obsession! I cannot imagine ever stopping writing now.

2. Writing can be a difficult job, what inspires you to keep going?

Mostly, readers. When I get an amazing reaction from one of my readers, I know something is working. Writing a book can sometimes feel lonely, desolate and doubtful. It is the possibility of the finished outcome and seeing that achievement come to fruition that spurs me on too.

3. What are you working on now?  What’s next?

At the moment I am writing/re-editing a series of science-fiction novels set in a futuristic world. The planet is struggling to cope in the wake of viral attack and love is the key to breaking a stranglehold of fear that looms over everyone.

4. What’s your writing process, schedule, or routine?

Most writers write in the wee hours, when the world is quiet and we feel quiet in our own minds too. I am no exception. Sometimes if I am close to a major breakthrough in a plot, I lock myself away for a day or two and my husband brings me cups of tea and toast intermittently, but otherwise I just write when the world lets me, or when I get an idea. Sometimes even on my Windows Phone if I am on the bus or train!

5. Who is your favorite book character of all time? Why?

That is a hard question, it really is *looks at bookshelf in a bid to seek help*. There are so many good, strong characters from books I love. There are also some baddies you have got to love too. I am trying to avoid picking one from the classics but it is inevitable… Celie from The Color Purple. It is a beautiful book I could read again and again. Her voice is so authentic and simple, yet so spiritual.

6. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Keep writing. Honestly. You just never know when something might click.

7. What’s your favorite quote?

How can you do this to me? Ha-ha! I will go with this one… it says it all, for me… “That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

8. Who would you most like to have a cup of coffee with? (Dead or alive) Explain…

I would like to sit down with Tom Cruise and ask him why he didn’t just bloody marry me. No… actually, I would like to sit with Shakespeare and interrogate him on his work schedule, whether he really knew he would be eternally famous and how the hell did he write Romeo and Juliet without convulsing in agony like the 14-year-old version of me did? LOL. I just think it would be fascinating to see into the mind of someone like him and get a real picture of the man. He saw the spectrum of humanity and for some reason, we are still reinterpreting him all the time.

9. What is your biggest pet peeve?

Smoking. Can’t stand it. Doesn’t mean a character can’t smoke though! As long as they don’t leave their tab ends around me…

10. Tell us something quirky about you.

At school I was so much better at Maths than English. In fact I don’t think that has changed.

11. Favorite comfort food?

Burger and fries (or chips as us Brits call them J).

12. Star Wars or Star Trek?

Star Wars!

13. Sunrises or Sunsets?

Sunsets.

Article and Blog Stop with @afterdarkonline

Please take a few minutes out to read an article I wrote for After Dark Online. afterdark-online.com/pages/attitudes-to-erotica-sex-and-porn-sarah-michelle-lynch

I hope the article proves enlightening and if not, interesting for those of you out there who write erotica like I do. A few writers have already said they have encountered the same reactions I have and are comforted to know they are not alone!

The website is promoting my book here and you can find out everything you need to know about my first erotic novel A Fine Profession. afterdark-online.com/pages/book-tour-a-fine-profession-sarah-michelle-lynch

A week today, the magazine will be interviewing me and in due course, reviewing A Fine Profession. Keep your eyes peeled. Still only 99pence to download!

 

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Interview with Koobug.com

Thanks go to Koobug.com for the opportunity to be interviewed in such an in-depth manner. The questions were tailored to me and enabled me to explore and explain away a lot about my life, writing and interests. I really enjoyed this experience and felt that it was nothing of a chore, and plenty of a joy.

I hope you really get a sense of why I write, what I feel I need to achieve through my writing and me the person as opposed to me the writer. Scroll down to read the interview in its entirety…. happy reading!!!

 

Sarah, congratulations on your release of A Fine Pursuit. Are you excited, exhausted or just relieved?

Thank you. I am a little bit exhausted to be honest. Whenever I have released books in the past, it has only been about a week or two at the most between finishing editing and publishing. This time I made sure I finished more than a month in advance. I totally cut myself off from the book to ensure I really was done and dusted with it. The waiting around has been a little bit torturous to say the least. You have to have so much faith in what you’ve done to leave it there and not rewrite bits and pieces. It is hard leaving a book behind and that is the exhausting thing.

Why trilogies?

Well, I have written one trilogy and The Chambermaid’s Tales is a duo. I wrote Lottie’s short stories as a bit of relief in between. These books have been hard on me so I needed that! The Ravage Trilogy – was nearly four books! I just had four very special characters and I wanted to do a book for each but a trilogy seemed a better idea. That trilogy was such fun to write. It was pure, escapist fun for me and for my readers and I loved every minute. I never wanted it to end but it had to.

You have been a novelist for two years, and a mother for two and a half. Your output is prodigious: where do you find the time?

Being a former journalist, I am used to writing copy to deadlines and working in a disciplined manner. That level of concentration is a skill learnt over many years and I can snap in and out. It was virtually as soon as my daughter stopped breastfeeding that I started typing Beneath the Veil. It was an idea I had been musing over for some time. It was a dream, actually, that had stayed with me for a while. A vision of a future world where love is lost for some reason. Motherhood inspired me to embark on this huge period of creativity. The two go hand-in-hand. I wrote notes on post-its or in blank word docs whenever an idea came to me. I was unable to stop the flow of words. It was such a strong impulse of mine to write and I wrote in the evenings, whenever my daughter slept during the day or at weekends when my husband was home. Deep down I always knew I could write, and anyone I have worked with could tell you that, but it was having a child that empowered me. I held up a bit of mental block to creative writing prior to that. I found motherhood such a positive experience and a lot of mothers may disagree with me over this, but after giving birth I felt so energised and have done ever since! I am really lucky. She’s very well-behaved.

Why do you serve us the sequel so quickly? Is it creativity uncontained or a desire to feed demand & maintain momentum?

It is absolutely creativity uncontained. Sometimes I have been unable to think about anything but finishing this book. For many years I wrote to produce a product, to feed an audience with certain demands, but then the opportunity to actually write for me just took over. I have been running with that flame ever since – that desire to take my ideas and just run with them. You have no idea how refreshing it is to write freely after working in the media. It is something you can become addicted to, and I think I have. With regards to A Fine Pursuit in particular, I wrote it right after its predecessor because I desperately needed to round off a certain person’s tale. This second book is from Noah’s POV but it still comes under The Chambermaid’s Tales and it is all about Charlotte. It is all about giving her the conclusion she deserves. I was so aware of keeping my mind fixed on marrying the two books neatly together so I had to write this one straight after the other. I suppose a part of me didn’t want people to be waiting around between books either.

Death in war is a random event; do you think there is a random quality to a writer’s success?

Success is sometimes as much about luck and timing as it is about talent and craft. I decided long ago that I will never be able to please everyone. I wrote the trilogy for me and I enjoyed every second. But afterward, it came to a point where it all hit me. I realised I have the power here to write not just for escapism and escapism’s sake. I really, honestly and truthfully, believe writers are powerful tools that can help and inform others.

You went to University in Hull, and A Fine Profession is set in Nottingham, so glamour holds no appeal then!?

Ha ha. I loved all my time at Hull University. It was once voted the friendliest university and I can vouch for that. I set A Fine Profession in Nottingham because it was the nearest big city to where Charlotte grew up. Also because, I have spent a lot of time there, know the city very well and perhaps a little as a tribute to the place where my dad was born. A Fine Pursuit has more glamour and I do like me a bit of glamour. But sometimes there can be romance in the bleakest of places. I love Brontë and the symbolism of the wilds. The Ravage Trilogy had a million and one locations whereas these books are more me – I am a northerner and I do love the north. If only the weather were a little better.

You have a strong Christian ethic; do you think A Fine Profession has a moral compass? 

A moral compass? Some might interpret the book as me saying to Charlotte, “You survived cancer so do a few crazy things and live a little”. I love Charlotte. She’s all the women I know who I’d love to see gain a little more confidence in themselves… I am so reluctant to ever voice personal opinions in my books. It’s something I hate doing. I veer from it. I am shy of it. In real life I do have very strong beliefs and religion has played a big part in my life. I want my writing to challenge and provoke and get people thinking. There is never any black and white, in real life or fiction or otherwise. Good or evil do not really exist. The lines are blurred. I hope perhaps, I provide subtle warnings about living on the edge. I am no stranger to making mistakes and learning from them. How could I write the scenes I have done and be able to convey experience if I had none myself? I would never have written five novels without my faith but at the same time, I understand that it is about being at one with yourself. Respectful love with another human being can enrich and enlighten just as much.

Is it an erotic novel, or a novel containing erotic themes?

It is a good question. Charlotte would tell you that it is a novel containing erotic themes. She would tell you that because she wrote it to force Noah into realising what it is that really turns women on…

How would you differentiate erotica from pornography?

Erotica appreciates the breadth of human sexuality. It is about the quirks and kinks of every individual becoming acceptable between them and their lovers. Pornography is “beautiful people have perfect sex”. Pornography is visual and graphic whereas erotica is an insight into the emotions that drive us.

There is nothing new in the concept of erotic novels, and for the past decade they had been consigned to niche publishers selling in airport bookshops. Then along came Fifty Shades, and suddenly it was mainstream. A shrewd man once said the time to get out of a market is when everyone else is getting in. Do you think the mass appeal of erotic novels has already peaked?

Firstly, Fifty Shades is not erotica. I have never read the books in their entirety but from what I can tell, they are escapist fantasy. That’s fine for people who want that but I have read a lot of articles about the books and I find some of them very disturbing. It is almost why I decided to write these books because I have personally known abused people, and not just women, men too. Perhaps an equal share of both. The market may have peaked but there is still an audience of men and women out there that want more complex storylines matched to good erotica.

If erotic novels had not enjoyed a flush of commercial success, would you have altered the balance of sexual content in A Fine Profession?

Charlotte was always going to be promiscuous. The level of it I suppose, was determined by the current climate. Months before finishing the trilogy, her book was brewing inside my mind. There was a mental queue of books I was being provoked to write by people I know and read my stuff. I read Story of O when I was 19 and I’ve studied DH Lawrence extensively. I’ve never shied from writing about sex. In these books, I wanted to explore what intimacy is and where trust comes from. People with low self-esteem have intimacy issues because sexuality is as much about feeling good about yourself as it is about finding someone you think is hot. I read that a lot of people recovering from childhood illnesses have their development stunted and so Charlotte probably wouldn’t lose her virginity until a later age. She has a certain hotel room encounter with a footballer who breaks her hymen but maybe he just breaks the seal on her closeted world. You have to look beyond the words and feel the emotions. I designed these books so that you are eventually forced to look beyond the sex and the explicit content and see something else that binds people together in sex and love much more than “I’ll try anything once. Let’s do it together”.

Have your parents read A Fine Profession, and at what age would you be happy for your daughter to read it?

My Dad had one of his friends read it so he could give him a summary! I don’t think my father will ever read it but my mum perhaps might. My dad does however tell everyone he knows to buy it! Like I said, I read Story of O when I was 19. I probably read Lady Chatterley when I was in Sixth Form. I would never be happy for my daughter to read it and accept that sex equates love, because it doesn’t. I hope that when she’s an adult, she will have the intelligence to realise these books are fiction. Nothing replaces real life experience and relationships built on trust and understanding. I hope by my example, she will see beyond the sex too. Otherwise she might just say, “Mum, you dirty old woman.”

Why do you think novels with extensive erotic content appeal to women so much? Is it as simple as men enjoying the visual and women the cerebral?

I think I speak for most women in saying that the thing that turns us on the most is seeing two people who really love each other; two people really into each other. There is something special about attending a wedding where you see two people very much in love and that will never change. When you’ve been with someone a few years, you might turn to a bit of naughty literature to spice up your sex lives. I know men do read erotica too! Why not!

(Actually, there are so many answers to the above question in the next book…!)

I have encountered people reluctant to read A Fine Profession because it takes them out of their comfort zone. There isn’t a happy ever after as such. I made it difficult to read. It’s a window into the complex mind of a woman who sometimes thinks and speaks in riddles. You must understand that what she survived meant she built all these coping mechanisms and… yes… Noah will shed so much light on the woman he loves in the next novel, but that does not mean to say I let him off lightly…

What was the inspiration for Charlotte’s childhood illness that so affected her life? 

I know two people who have been affected by childhood illnesses and the aftermath carried on through into adulthood. I took bits and pieces of information from various sources. I chose leukeamia in particular because it is one of the nastiest, most aggressive cancers. Mental anguish is as bad, if not worse, than physical pain. There is such stigma attached to mental health problems. I know too many voices aren’t being heard or represented.

The themes of sexual power and self-esteem are interwoven, where do you see the connection? 

Charlotte seems to think that she becomes a sexual creature through the experiences she has at the Lodge. I think she would later admit that those are quite unfulfilling however. When she actually meets someone she likes, the pairing makes for interesting results. Like I said, she was 25 when she lost her virginity and that was to a gay man. You could say that is a cliché or you could say that I’ve known people who have dabbled. It happens.

Charlotte didn’t have a real relationship before Noah so how was she meant to know how to conduct herself or how to balance her desire to make him happy with her impulse to still be herself? Low self-esteem is talked about so often in sitcoms like it is almost prevalent for us to be able to like the characters. We need to see people at their weakest in order to like and empathise with them. I know someone exactly like Charlotte and the truth is that low self-esteem affects individuality. It makes it more difficult for that person to express who they are inside. The realities of low self-esteem are much different to those expressed on TV or other books like mine… the truth is that low self-esteem makes it difficult for the sufferer to engage in a truthful partnership because they are afraid of asserting themselves. Because I am me, it was so hard to put myself in Charlotte’s position. I had to change my whole way of thinking and like a method actor, I lived and breathed her voice in my head while I wrote her story. I thought it was a story worth telling. I walked down the street thinking like her and my daughter would look up from her buggy and say, “Babble mummy. Babble.” She puts up with a lot bless her! I zone out and talk to myself a lot these days.

You read English Literature at University, wrote for your University Arts Paper, and then went on the Press Association, why didn’t you return to journalism after your child was born?

I had 14 months off work and then I went back for six months. So at some points, I was writing, working and caring for my child. I did return in a lesser capacity but my heart wasn’t in it anymore. My husband works in journalism and it was okay before we had Serena, but afterward we just couldn’t have the both of us working in the same sphere together. I had to change the dynamic so that work stays there. We used to talk shop far too much but 14 months off kind of showed me what is important and for me, that is my daughter. She has given this workaholic an incredible amount of redirection. For me, motherhood and the novels became the challenge I had always craved and my career no longer offered that same fulfilment. Charlotte would tell you how important it is to be challenged.

Do you need to have a literature degree to be a good journalist; do you need to be a good journalist to make a convincing writer?

When I started at PA, I may as well have been straight out of Sixth Form. I had to re-learn everything from the ground up. The hardest journalism is squashing masses of information into small boxes. The thing about it, too, is that you learn how to hook a reader. There is such little time in our lives and you have to know how to keep someone interested. Sometimes even the first line of a book can bore people and put them off continuing. I don’t have a lot of time so I always skim the first paragraph before I commit to anything more. That is the truth of how people read! Brutal, I know. I was a writer before I became a journalist and even before I studied for a degree. My stories impressed friends and family from as early as age eight. I entered competitions on a whim and won. The writer gene is built in me and I have always looked, listened and absorbed my surroundings. You don’t need a degree or my previous vocation to become a writer, anyone can write if they have a story to tell, but both these factors in my life have led me here. The people you meet are more valuable than any degree or professional experience.

Your husband has been a constant in your life for many years, and a great supporter of your work, has he been the inspiration for any character in any of your books? Do tell!

My husband is so supportive! He really is. He writes too; poetry, plays, fantasy, short stories. He is talented in his own right but he would be the first to admit that he’s not sure if he could knuckle down like I have done. I guess being the eldest of four has made me a determined kind of person. Some might say relentless. He and I work together well in the writer/editor dynamic and he plays devil’s advocate with me rather a lot. I hear a lot of writers use their spouses as editors because the relationship really is fundamental in the creative process. Andrew knows me better than anyone and will sometimes say, “You can do better.” Sometimes I just need to hear that, to have it confirmed. He and I are very much on the same wavelength. It would be telling which character he may or may not have inspired… but we may not have had Ryken Hardy without him.

Koobug wishes you every success in your career as a writer, and supports you on your journey, but do you fear that your latest books will overshadow your earlier ones?

I wrote The Ravage for me. I was very aware it was a multi-genre work that would be hard to market. I wrote it when I didn’t really know what I was doing. It has multiple voices and just dives between them intermittently. I wrote it like I was watching a movie! When people ask me about editing and re-packaging it, I honestly cannot think about it. My subsequent novels have been more emotive yet I am more distanced from those. I saw The Chambermaid as more of a job. A responsibility. I was calculated in its production. The trilogy is me becoming the writer I am meant to be. It is my journey and development. It is too difficult to think about going back to that. I had to move on from it. I know there is something very powerful there but I never expected anything to come from those books. I just loved writing them. If I were Charlotte Brontë, the trilogy would be what The Professor was to her.

The Ravage Trilogy has a spiritual and prophetic theme throughout, will this be the hallmark of future Sarah Lynch novels?

I think the trilogy was very much of that time and place in my life. I was a new mother considering the enormity of our existence and I was playing with what I can do as a writer. I may go back to sci-fi but it would be very different next time. I have my mind set on writing something light following A Fine Pursuit but the hallmark of my books will always be the relateable characters… always. But never say never to more futuristic adventures…

You are part of a large and close family, how has that influenced the way you write? Does it give you a sense of security and value that informs the subjects you choose?

Yes. Your family make you a better person. They challenge you to be the best you can be. They ground you. Growing up, we were taught the value of things. We all had paper rounds and had to work for our luxuries. Family tell you how it is and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Even if I ever did hit the big time, my mum would still remind me of the time I pooed in a B&Q toilet as a toddler! Oops…

Does a writer need to suffer for their art? Can a happy, contented & secure individual ever write a literary glory? (Jilly Cooper excepted!)

I worry if I become contented I won’t be as good anymore. I worry if I let myself believe I am good, I will lose the desire to strive for more. You know, when there is no real financial impetus anymore, I fear you lose that edge or that rawness of who you are as a writer. There have actually been few times that I have cried while writing Charlotte’s story. I was very in control and knew where I wanted it to go. With the trilogy, I was taken on that journey. I was so much of a pantser back then, just writing whatever came to me. I cried a lot. I allowed myself to run riot. You’ll have to tell me how much difference that has made in my work.

Do you enjoy or despise chick-lit?

I love chick-lit. I don’t count it as my favourite genre but I have been known to enjoy a guilty pleasure or two, namely a Cecelia Ahern or a Jojo Moyes. I don’t really advocate trashy books, such as those ghost-written monstrosities lurking out there… I am not a pseudo feminist but I believe in female power, drawn correctly. I think we all need each other. Strong male and female figures should be the bedrock of our world.

If Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice in 2013 how do you think it would differ from the original?

Oh goodness. Miss Bennett and Mr Darcy would probably meet in a nightclub, have a good time back at her place and then part ways. She’d hate it that he has houses all over the world and a trust fund. He’d love it that she’s an art teacher with her own opinions and her independence. A series of coincidental encounters would somehow make them realise they’re made for one another. Their friends would worry their union would mess up their regular Friday nights out and they would try to break them up. Incidentally, one of my favourite film bits is in the Keira Knightley film version where her father (Donald Sutherland) says, “I am quite at my leisure.”

Do you ever catch yourself in the mirror and wonder if there is any of Charlotte in you?

Charlotte makes mistakes. We all do. I have. Maybe not as epic as hers, but you know. I remember partying at university and having one of those moments, like she does, where you don’t remember how you got home and you don’t like that feeling. I have never let myself get like that again. My husband was once with his dad and uncle in London and had his drink spiked. You have to ask what might have happened to him had he not had people with him? I draw from real-life experiences, and things I have heard or read about in essays or articles. All kinds of titbits amount to a full novel. Sometimes you live that novel so much you do look in the mirror and feel you’ve become the character to a certain extent. Where Charlotte and I cross over is that she actually, genuinely, just wants a husband and family. She also wants to maintain a sense of her self. She battles for it. Yes I consider myself a writer and artist but the reason I write, perhaps, is that I can do it alongside my family life. It works for me because it gives me that outlet. My family is more important.

Christian Loubatian, Jimmy Choo or Manolo Blahnik? 

MB for sure. I am a child of Sex and the City. Love that series. Anyone who doesn’t is a misogynist. LOL.

Champagne or hand made Belgian chocolates?

Chocolates of course.

When you sell your one millionth book through Koobug.com, where will you rest your head?

Probably Northern France. Commutable to Paris and London, and, French stick on tap.

Your blogs on Koobug are popular, what does Koobug mean to you?

It’s free which is great! I have been part of communities before and some have had a negative impact on me. I found that it was hard to have a voice because everyone was scrambling for the next big book deal. I find that on Koobug, there are people who will nurture the writerly instinct to express ourselves. We’re not all simply out to make our millions by writing the same formulaic books. We’re all different and variety is embraced through Koobug. It’s the way it should be.

Readers and authors enjoy their dialogues with you on Koobug, if you could pick a theme for News, Reviews and Interviews, what would it be?

The responsibility of writers.

Returning to issues of faith, if you were to choose one piece of the scriptures, which would it be?

1 Corinthians 13, vv1-13.

So Sarah, you have been washed ashore on your desert island, you are alone & with no prospect of escape. Your one luxury?

A bath.

Your one book?

Jane Eyre. Always reminds me of being a child and reading for the first time.

Your one piece of music?

Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Op. 11