I reached out to children’s author, Sarah Wray, when I’d been originally looking to talk with the thriller writer, Sarah Wray. But it turned out great. I got to talk to the former, who didn’t give me a hard time about my confusion.
Which was more fun to write, The Trap or The Forbidden Room?
I’m always totally into the book I’m currently writing, to the point of them eclipsing pretty much everything else in my life, so I loved writing all of them (I’ve written about twenty books although most of them never saw the light of day!). In terms of ‘fun’ then maybe The Trap, because it’s set in an American summer camp, so I drew on my own memories of working one summer as a camp counselor in New York State, which was fun, and also it has a treasure hunt going on with cryptic clues so it brought out my inner puzzle nerd compiling the clues, and I was super excited thay my own had drawn puzzles was scanned into the real book!
What’s your favorite part of writing children’s books?
I love the warm memories of the books I read myself at various stages of my childhood, and I always go back to those books when I need a comforting read to lift my mood, so writing books for children and young adults takes me to my happy place! I also love the feedback from children when I go on school author visits, because they are so enthusiastic – my books are the best thing ever, or brutally honest, like ‘why did you end it this way, it would have been much better if this other thing happened…?
J.K. Rowling or C.S. Lewis?
I’m the youngest of three children, and my dad used to read the Narnia Chronicles to us at bedtime, which I loved, and then I read them over and over to myself to the point that the books fell apart and had to be replaced. I love C.S.Lewis’s adult books as well, especially Till We Have Faces, and The Space Trilogy. I read the Harry Potter books to my own three children, and again to myself! I love them too, and I love J.K.Rowling’s adult books – I can’t possibly choose between these two!
What advice do you have for authors who are interested in working with a small press?
I started off published by Faber and Faber, and for whatever reason (the credit crunch hit just after my first novel was published, and, unlike most of the people I met at the Faber Christmas party, I didn’t have family connections in the business (I’m not bitter!)) practically no money was spent promoting my books — they wouldn’t even produce bookmarks or postcards as requested by a school librarian to promote my upcoming author visit, and I was dropped unceremoniously after my second novel, so my personal experience of a big publishing house wasn’t great. I self published Blood And Snow as a kindle ebook, and at the moment it makes me slightly more money than the two proper published books (which admittedly is still not very much!) I think the new way things are, with self publishing and small presses have less of a taboo, and taking control out of the hands of the establishment and into the hands of the people is a great thing (up the revolution!) so my advice is—go for it!
Are you ever mistaken for the other Sarah Wray?
Funny you should ask that, since the first set of questions you sent me were directed at her and not me —lol! So the answer is, yes, which had me slightly miffed at first, but actually is a really good thing. Sarah Wray (the other one) also writes psychological thrillers, although hers are aimed at adults, not young adults like mine, and she must be more savvy at marketing than me, because she very quickly topped me in all the searches, but I have noticed a real surge both in sales of my books and in visits to my website since she came along, so I am quite happy to pick up extra interest in her slipstream even if it is because of mistaken identity!
|Sarah has written loads of books, but most of them didn’t get published. The first book that did get published is THE FORBIDDEN ROOM, followed by THE TRAP, and now the Amazon Kindle ebook, BLOOD AND SNOW.|