Sarah Webb writes A LOT. Non fiction, chick lit, young adult, she's pretty prolific. And she had a chat with us! Enjoy...
1. Can you tell us a little about your average writing day?
I have three children (16, 7 and 4), so I’ve once I’ve got them all to school I go for a walk and then sit down at my desk. While walking I try to think about the scene I’m about to write that day and stay focused on the characters. I sit down at about 10am and work until 2ish without a break. Then I have lunch, spend some time with the younger children. And later in the afternoon and in the evening I do my admin – blogs, websites (2 of each), Facebook, Twitter, emails etc.
2. When you are writing, do you use any celebrities or people you know as inspiration?
No, not really. My characters tend to be created from a mish mash of different things, but not directly influenced by any particular people.
3. How does Ireland inspire your work?
Everyone in Ireland is mad about books and reading, teachers, nurses, taxi drivers, television presenters – we’re a nation of book fanatics. And we love talking about books – I find this very inspiring. We also love telling stories – especially funny or tragic ones!
The scenery in West Cork inspires me also, it’s truly beautiful.
4. What is your favourite Irish Women’s Fiction book of all time and why?
Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy. I adore it. It’s sweet, funny and wise. Closely followed by That Charming Man by Marian Keyes which is laugh out loud funny in parts, but turn a page and you’ll be sobbing. Both fantastic books.
5. What is your writing process? Do you plan first of dive in? How many drafts do you do?
Process? Yikes! Getting very technical, guys! I plan carefully, but like most things in life, my books don’t always follow the plan. But it gives me a kind of writing safety net and helps me sit down at a blank screen. Drafts? Anywhere from five to twelve depending on the book. Six to eight is average.
6. What was journey to being a published author?
I wrote children’s books before writing novels for adults. My first adult book, Three Times a Lady, was accepted by Poolbeg Press on the back of three chapters, which certainly wouldn’t happen now!
7. Where could you recommend people visit while on a trip to Ireland?
West Cork certainly – for the stunning scenery and friendly natives.
8. What do you think is the biggest myth about being a novelist?
That it’s easy. As some wise writer once said ‘Easy reading is damn hard writing’. All successful writers work their butts off!
9. What advice can you give to our readers who want to write a novel of their own?
Apply bum glue. Put the work in. And – this is very important - find something you really, really want to write about and write from the heart.
10. What are you working on at the moment?
The Shoestring Club – which will be published by Pan Mac early next year. I’m just editing it at the moment. It’s about two sisters, Julia and Pandora Schuster, and I love it to bits. I haven’t been as excited about a book for a long time.