No More Editing . . .

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As of April 2018, SML PUBLISHING SERVICES will be no more.

This has and it hasn’t been a difficult decision. Difficult because I won’t be working with my clients anymore, not difficult because WRITING is my one true passion and the direction I’m now going in is the one I’ve been working towards for a long time now.

I’m now in a position where I can focus solely on my own work and marketing it to readers. One thing I’ve had to put on the backburner all these years is marketing, because I simply don’t have time.

Any editing projects I’m already committed to will be honoured, but any new queries I receive from now on will be met with “sorry, I’m not editing anymore”. Neither will I be typesetting or formatting or any of that.

Saying that, I will still be available via email if current clients/fellow authors want to query me for advice.

But that’s it folks!

Writing is my game now, my whole game!

Watch out, because there are so many new titles to come!

Sarah x

 

 

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Meet Hetty . . .

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Ta-da! Here is the cover of my upcoming novel, Hetty, releasing MAY 1ST.

In case you missed it, here’s a gander at the blurb again:

A novel proving art transcends all which divides us as human beings.

“We were just meant to be and fate in all her conniving, wicked glory, wouldn’t have had this union any other way.”

Hetty is determined not to be a victim but she doesn’t see that in some ways, she still is. When something doesn’t go how she wants it to, she finds it incredibly difficult to overcome, and continually avoids situations outside of her control.

It isn’t just love that will change her, though. Oh, no. Cue a series of events which will shape the woman she will be ever after.

Enter three men, each with a lesson to deliver. One, an unassuming father figure. The next, a lover. The last, a friend from a different world to hers.

Hetty’s journey is a surprising, exciting and humbling one which may draw tears of laughter and of sadness from the reader.

**This novel does contain some details which would spoil the Angel Avenue duet if you haven’t read it yet, but Hetty is a brand new and fully resolved standalone in itself, which can be read and understood without reading the other books.**

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All will become clear when you get your mitts on this book! Including why I chose this cover art!

There’s still time to sign up for read and review, but you’ll need to sign up before MAY 1st so make your interest known asap. CLICK HERE to register your interest.

Until then, keep a beady eye on social media for teasers . . .

☆☆Sub Rosa Trilogy Blog Tour☆☆

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Trilogy Overview

The story begins in 2011. Journo Chloe Harmon starts a new job in London and meets photographer Cai Matthews, a younger man with talents beyond Chloe’s comprehension. Not only is he talented, he’s trapped by a mystery from the past he’s been bound by. He has NO WAY OUT. He cannot turn a corner without his every move being recorded by his ever-watchful aunt, Jennifer Matthews, a world-famous fashion editor with vast amounts of power at her fingertips.

Cai may be trapped. However, Chloe chases Cai even when he leaves the country because she has a few life experiences under her belt which have made her tougher than she seems. UNBIND is where the story begins and UNFURL is where it continues…

Chloe knows there was a death. It has been painted so many different ways already and there are still other ways of painting it yet. There are questions to be answered and the story gets darker as Cai and Chloe try to make a life together…

KAY (4)In the concluding part of the trilogy, UNLEASH, the story drags Chloe’s best friend Kayla Tate into the fray. Chloe and Kay have known each other for decades, since they started school. They’ve come in and out of each other’s lives but have always been there for one another when it’s counted. UNLEASH sees Kay face up to a lot of truths about herself, her friends and the man she loves. It’s a conclusion to the trilogy which gives answers to all the questions and brings two people Chloe loves together, at last.

About Sarah:

Sarah Lynch has written for as long as she can remember. Writing was always going to be the job she did and after working in journalism, the birth of her first child encouraged her to finally take up her pen and try her hand at creative writing instead.

As S. M. Lynch, she pens science-fiction, and her UNITY series is currently in the process of being re-edited. As Sarah Michelle Lynch, she pens erotic romance, sometimes with thrilling, psychological elements added in. Her characters are real, add depth to beefy, mind-bending stories and ask questions of her readers she is too afraid to answer herself.

Sarah holds a degree in English from The University of Hull and now works as a proofreader and editor.

Watch the trailer:

ENTER the rafflecopter for a chance to win the WHOLE series signed:

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Keep in touch with Sarah:

Twitter

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Website

CLICK COVERS TO BUY (UNBIND IS FREE TO DOWNLOAD THIS WEEK ONLY):

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Release Day Blitz – Sales and Freebie

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Note From the Author

The Sub Rosa Trilogy has been a part of my life for almost eighteen months but last summer when I finished Book One, Unbind, I wasn’t sure I had the energy or the inclination to write more in the series. This almost did not happen. It was always in the back of my mind that the series could be a trilogy but for some reason, I was hesitant to make it so. However I’m happy to confirm I’m really glad people asked for more and I’m really pleased with what I’ve ended up with!

Now, I finally bring you the third and final book in the series. Would I like to write more of these characters? The answer is yes. Will I? No. Absolutely not. I have to leave it where it is now. The story is wrapped up and that’s that. I might write extra scenes, release deleted scenes, but the story ends in Unleash. These characters can only live on in readers now. So it’s with sadness I say goodbye, it’s with happiness and anticipation I let the books fly free.

KAY (4)Get your hands on my latest release, OUT TODAY!

BLURB:

Have you ever fallen for the wrong person – knowing they’re not the one for you?

For Kayla Tate, pain and disappointment are all she has ever known when it comes to love. Is it that she never learned from her mistakes? Or is there a ghost from her past she’s yet to lay to rest?

Kayla embarks on a journey during which harsh lessons will be learned and relationships will be tested. It seems to centre around the Sub Rosa mystery, but where will she begin to unpick the threads? All she knows is that something doesn’t add up . . .

Kayla’s heartbreaking story is about lifelong friendships, taking chances and finding that one person who’s willing to risk it all with you – at exactly the right time.

FOR A LIMITED TIME, you can download the series for just £1.98/$1.98…

release blitz

DOWNLOAD BOOK ONE FREE: http://mybook.to/unbind

DOWNLOAD BOOK TWO FOR 99c/99p: http://mybook.to/unfurl

DOWNLOAD BOOK THREE FOR 99c/99p: http://mybook.to/unleash

TEASER

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Unleash is a story about love though it does answer a lot of questions left unanswered regarding the Sub Rosa secrets. I wanted to write a perfect love which has the most imperfect beginning and not only is it a perfect love, it’s a perfect love between two hugely flawed characters. It’s about how people in real life come to the BDSM lifestyle and how the lifestyle can be abused but also, how BDSM can change the lives of people and bring them closer than they ever imagined possible.

And, that’s that.

♡♡Enjoy!♡♡

Check out all the books today: http://author.to/sarahmichellelynch

#MondayBlogs – Why Write Serials?

Many modern authors (myself included) have been accused of writing serials and I quote “to earn more money” from eBook sales (I BLOODY WISH). So when my husband (and editor) suggested I write this blog post, I thought why not?

So, serials. Personally I’ve read quite a few erotic serials. I like them. It can feel a treat to download a series in one go because serials are quick to write and quick to read. Serials by nature are full of suspense and keep you wanting more. Good serials even keep you coming back to re-read them. I understand the appetite amongst readers for serials. Sometimes, a short is just what we want and need—a break from the heavy novels we might otherwise be absorbing ourselves in.

One of the most famous serials of all is Sherlock Holmes, serialised in various publications. There are many more short stories in the Holmes collection than there are novels. It worked! People still love Holmes to this day. My husband has the anthology and has read the whole collection. In winter on a stormy night, we often pull out the Jeremy Brett DVDs but I am also partial to a bit of Cumberbatch, too (aside from the last episode of the most recent series, but that is another matter…)

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Why did it work for Holmes, then? Well, he was/is a well-loved character and sometimes, people just want a short story to get their teeth into on a bus/train journey or over a nice hot cup of tea on a rainy afternoon. A short story can be a real treat because you know it won’t take long to read and it doesn’t feel such a commitment, therefore it’s more casually enjoyed. When the main character is already established, too, there is no need for the wider context to be expanded and therefore, a reader can get stuck in straight away.

I’ve always been told writing short stories is a great way to hone your craft. For years I avoided short stories though, because I felt I would be contained by them. What I realised when I finally sat down to write a short story, was that when you’re dealing with something in the 20 to 40,000 word region than say 100,000, you write tighter and neater. It’s a psychological thing. You also unconsciously strive to achieve more within that smaller word count. Over time I’ve come to appreciate that working on a few different projects at once can enlighten the whole process you’re going through as a writer. You can work on something else if your current WIP has come to a standstill. Different skills enrich the whole—and everything becomes so streamlined, the number of drafts you find yourself producing lessens and lessens.

1512754_578804148893013_2097469514533575279_nAs a reader, sometimes I want to be shocked and taken on an unexpected journey and I think short stories are the format for some of the more adventurous tales out there. Plus, short stories allow the reader so much input of their own. Personally I’m finding writing short stories liberating and the scope to take characters onwards and develop their back stories is so exciting.

Sometimes a writer just needs a bit of R&R, just like a reader does. Some readers don’t have time to dedicate themselves to a novel, some readers find staring at words for long periods of time difficult. Often, I put books up for FREE and I do so to engage a readership and introduce a character or a story.

Sometimes, we just want to write something fun and frivolous and sometimes, just sometimes, other people get onboard with a serialisation. The beauty of a serial is you don’t know where it is going to go and anything could happen. The series could develop into something beyond your wildest dreams, and all from a little seed you sowed with the thought, I’m just going to write this and have fun!

2328ea02b397fa3f8b59fd74a55ace49Why do I write? I ask this question all the time because I constantly need to remind myself (writing is genuinely hard, day in, day out, but a writer writes because it’s who they are). I write to be free and I write because I know each time I put my hands to the keys, I’m constantly finding more in the tanks. Sometimes you just don’t know the value of something until you embrace it. I just look at the likes of Sylvia Day and I can totally appreciate why even she wants to write serials, still. After all, why do marathon runners not bother with 26-mile training sessions? At the end of the day, whether we are very successful or have a small, loyal readership, we’re all just writers beneath and the writer we start out as is the person to some extent we will always remain. Pressure and expectation added, it becomes a whole new ballgame of course, but we’re still just writers. We embark on a writing life with nothing but a glint in our eyes and a hope in our hearts and in the beginning everything comes from the very earnest parts of ourselves, until we learn how to hone.

You give an animal a cage and one day, they are going to try to escape. You give them some toys, but one day they are going to get bored of them. It’s the same as branding a writer a novelist or an essayist or a playwright or whatever. Call someone a poet but be prepared to be shocked if they one day produce a novel instead. Readers and sometimes the hype machine makes an author, it is that simple. But make an author all about Harry Potter and she might have to use a nom de plume when she wants to write something else. Because at the end of the day, JKR is still that author she started out as with just a wing and a prayer and her love of words. Giving a writer success is beautiful and scary and something I deeply fear because I’m a writer at the end of the day and to be told I can’t write this or that, or being held hostage by a publishing contract… would be like clipping the wings from a bird and telling them to get used to walking. To be judged so heavily on what I’ve written before would probably shake my love of this altogether. The opportunity to experiment is a privilege and it’s why writers have pseudonyms. Many of us write serials or companion novellas or prequels or whatever, because many, many readers like to read the extra added details. Variety is the spice of life and without it, there really wouldn’t be any creativity.

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 poem about writing… if you like

As a prolific author I often get asked:-

  • How do you do it?
  • Why do you do it?
  • Where do you do it?
  • For how long do you do it?

You know… in not so few words but similar.

There are answers but what came to me the other day was a poem that goes some way to explaining. So here it is… and please… interpret to your heart’s content…

 

To write… a muse

by Sarah Lynch

A puncture in my chest you remain

A healing embrace you also are

Yet I find it difficult to absorb you

I skim the surface because you hurt

 ♥

I see clearer when I see through you

I breathe harder when you remind me

I shake out the strength that surrounds

Cascades along my entirety in droves

 ♥

I clench a fist and it gathers there

The will of my command, my drive

The energy, not the words, escape

They explode into matter from nothing

 ♥

A dream to create, plunder and expatiate

A heart so solid, so stony though flourishes

You wild rivers you, swirling, amassing,

You gather within to expunge my self

She broke the barriers, undid the bonds

She chipped me down, broke me open

She, vile and tempestuous, sought me out

Forced me to yield to her in empathy

 ♥

The lives of many explored by a scribe

The whispers of existence all at odds

The voices swirl, fold, join and mingle

To make one, loud noise.

To ignore it… impossible

© Sarah Michelle Lynch

 

The Beauty of Science Fiction

I recently did a guest post on another website but thought I would post this here too… it pretty much says everything I am currently going through… 😉 and it’s all good!

The Beauty of Science Fiction…

As an author of erotica and contemporary romance, plus science-fiction, I have been on all sides of the writing spectrum. Each genre has its own challenges. In fact, genre is something widely discussed amongst the Indie writing community purely because many Indies have books that don’t necessarily fall into one category and therefore have been passed over numerous times by agents and/or publishers.

When I say science-fiction, in my mind I think of Quantum Leap, Star Wars, Star Trek or The Fly (this film terrified me when I first saw it). I think of Stephen King and The Stand, another story that left a lasting impact. I think of Blade Runner, The Fifth Element and even Demolition Man (don’t beat me with a stick). There are so many other films/books/comics I love because I love science-fiction. In fact, there are so many books/films that bob under the sci-fi radar because it is a genre that is all-encompassing. Did you think The Adjustment Bureau was necessarily sci-fi? Did you think Never Let Me Go was? The Time Traveller’s Wife?  Sci-fi does not leave those who prefer more romantic stories out in the cold.

My husband and I met through a mutual love of the arts. We were sent together to a Press night to review a play for a university magazine and it turned into a story… nine years on we have a daughter and have been married almost six years. When I met him, I had no idea I was marrying into science-fiction madness. His mother is a mad Trekkie. I am talking super mad! She can name you the title of any Star Trek episode just from the first line. She dragged my husband to Star Trek conventions when he was little and he has been indoctrinated in all the various offshoots of Trek… and beyond. My own love of sci-fi was something burning deep but not on the surface. I am just a lover of great stories… aren’t we all? It was only when I started writing sci-fi that I realised what a great source I had in my husband for ideas and opinions. Thus he became my editor.

When I started writing my first novel, all I saw was a theory. I didn’t classify it as one genre or another. I knew there would be a love story at the heart but I also knew the book would be set in the future and in some respects, this already placed it in the sci-fi bracket. Yet I also had a yearning for romance and felt I had to weave this in. I needed that too. So when I was asked to write this post, I got to thinking what differentiates straight erotica, straight romance, straight sci-fi. Setting perhaps, language maybe, yet you still have to throw a lot of imagination into whatever you try to tackle, whichever genre that may be.

Erotica was something I wanted to try my hand at because it was a challenge. It is not necessarily where my heart lies. Don’t get me wrong, I love erotic stories. I didn’t love Story of O at first. In fact I hated it. However, I grew to love it and now class it as one of my favourite books. Every reading always produces another insight or a different reaction. When I finished writing a pair of erotic novels last year, I was pretty pleased with the result. Some said the books were much more than erotica. And they were. I tackled some subjects that I felt were important to explore. In fact, there are tons and tons of erotic writers out there that have written much better stuff than will ever see the bottom of a jumble sale. That is because erotica, when done right, allows us to explore emotional issues no other genre allows so easily. Erotica can be so much more than just fantasy. It can be a vehicle of exploration for how intimacy and sexual honesty between two people can be such a force of good.

So after writing two erotic novels I wrote a contemporary romance titled Angel Avenue. It was such a joy to write, so easy in fact. I wrote about exactly what I knew. It is set in my own environs and it features characters I am familiar with, or versions of real people I know and respect and love. If any writer ever tells you they are not inspired by life, they are lying. Whether directly or indirectly, we all are. We are sometimes subliminally, subconsciously, inspired by real life whether we like it or not. Anyway, it was this switch from erotica to contemporary romance that made me realise a few things. It made me realise sometimes we forget the small stuff, which can make a heck of a difference in books. It makes us connect with characters so much more.

As for the sci-fi, that very first novel I began during maternity leave almost three years ago turned into a trilogy. It spun wildly out of control and I never thought I would get any success at all from it. In fact my first novel was my first creative outing. I had never even attempted a short story before then! I just had this dream and I followed it. I explored ideas and theories until they were wrung out. The point of this article is that I have recently gone back to these books and re-written/re-edited and re-imagined them. When I went back to the drawing board after writing three romance novels, I realised just what a task I had accomplished in writing a trilogy of sci-fi books. Because as you can imagine, sci-fi sometimes requires a whole new setting to be explained and described. It asks that we IMAGINE like we never imagine with any other genre. In science-fiction anything is possible. Nothing is off the table. As a romance writer first and foremost, that was difficult for me to master at first. I constantly thought of things in terms of would this actually happen ?? When in actual fact, I should have been telling myself, this is science-fiction and anything can bloody happen! My point is, science-fiction can comfortably feature action, thriller, romance, drama, adventure and fantasy, all within a completely different world. It can comment on universal political, social, moral and ethical issues. The challenge is immense but it is one I love and relish. Nothing excites or enthrals me as much. The possibilities are endless. It is exploring the people we are, through the things we could be capable of. And that is the beauty of science-fiction.

 

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

Side Notes of a Sort

I posted the prologue for A Fine Pursuit but then felt like I wanted to put up a little something else to accompany it. I give nothing away while still intriguing the reader with some insight into what one might expect from this novel.

This time, I have taken the psychological aspect so much further than I did in A Fine Profession. Far enough in fact that you will be watching Noah’s therapy sessions as if from an impartial POV, though you will also have his first-person narrative, which varies from sad and aggressive to the upper echelons of romantic prose. (Of course all this I am saying with some confidence and hoping and praying I have got it right. I feel I have. I hope I have!)

A Fine Pursuit has very short chapters. You need to experience the ride as Noah does. I hardly give him a moment to breathe and it will be the breathless moments I hope, that have you on the edge of your seats. I had to offset the dark, challenging chapters with great romance.

So, a word of warning, if you are planning on buying this book on November 1st, please clear that weekend and set yourself up for a rollercoaster, uninterrupted ride. I’d also recommend re-reading A Fine Profession beforehand, but you know, life gets in the way! I have thoroughly researched these two people’s disorders but I think in this second book, I have allowed more of their individual personalities to shine rather than put too many labels on them. Achieving a balance between romance and exploring such difficult topics has sure been a great challenge!