Interview with Sarah Morgan, Author

Sarah Morgan always knew she wanted to be a writer but took a slight detour along the way to train as a nurse, an experience that has found its way into many of her books. A lover of the outdoors, many of her story ideas come while hiking in wild places and she is also a keen photographer. She has been a published author for more than twenty years and lives near London, England where the rain frequently keeps her trapped in her office.

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, or special space for your writing? (please provide a photo of you at work in your shed, room, closet, barn, or houseboat….) Or tell us about your ‘dream’ workspace.

SM. At the beginning of my career I worked

anywhere and everywhere. I had young children so I made sure I was flexible – I’d keep notebooks with me and scribble a few lines at every opportunity and I often worked in the evenings when they were in bed. Now I’m lucky enough to have an office at the bottom of my garden, so in the summer I work with the doors and windows open, surrounded by birdsong and the buzz of bees. It’s very relaxing and great for focus.

Q. Do you have any special rituals or quirks when you sit down to write? (a neat workspace, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, a glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

SM. I almost always have a cup of tea or coffee, but that’s as far as it goes! I have resisted the temptation to create rituals because I want to be able to write anywhere, at any time, regardless of the conditions. I used to write to music, but now I find I need silence although I often use music for inspiration to get me in the right ‘mood’ for the story.

Q. Could you tell us something about yourself that we might not already know?

SM. I worked behind a bar one summer and it was the most perfect job for observing human behaviour. Also great for learning to mix a drink!

Q. What tools do you begin with? Legal pad, spiral notebook, pencils, fountain pen, or do you go right to your keyboard?

SM. All I need is something to write on. Preferably my laptop, but if a pen and paper is all that is available I’ll use that. I find sticky notes useful because you can scribble down a line of dialogue or a plot point and put it on the wall. It’s easy to move notes around and a great way to visualize your story.

Q. What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?

SM. I think it’s all about developing positive habits. Presumably you want to write, or you wouldn’t be doing it, so sometimes it helps to remind yourself why you’re doing it. Identify your temptations so that you can plan to avoid them. For example if your weakness is getting distracted by the internet then switch it off until you’ve finished your word count for the day. If you’re finding it hard to concentrate then set yourself small acheiveable goals, either in time (work for thirty minutes without distraction), or word count (write 1000 words before stopping). Having a schedule and sticking to it is often helpful.

Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters?

SM. The characters and their situation/problem usually appear to me at the same time. Like most writers I ask myself the ‘what if’ question. No two individuals will respond to a challenge in the same way, and that’s why every story is fresh and new even when you might be exploring well trodden themes.

Q. What first inspired you to write?

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