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Sara Sheridan Book and Novel

Sara Sheridan - Author


Sara Sheridan is an historical novelist who writes two different kinds of books. One is a series of cosy crime noir mysteries set in Brighton in the 1950s – Brighton Belle - and the other is a set of novels based on the real-life stories of late Georgian and early Victorian explorers and adventurers (1820 - 1845) – The Secret Mandarin and Secret of the Sands. Tipped in Company and GQ magazines, she has been nominated for a Young Achiever Award. She received a Scottish Library Award for Truth or Dare, her first novel, and was shortlisted for the Saltire Book Prize. An occasional journalist and blogger, Sara appears on BBC Radio 4's From Our Own Correspondent and blogs for the Guardian and the London Review of Books. She is a twitter evangelist and a self-confessed swot. Sara sits on the Committee of the Society of Authors in Scotland where she lives and also on the board of the UK-wide writers' collective '26' and took part in the acclaimed 26 Treasures project in 2010 at the V&A, in 2011 at National Museum of Scotland and in 2012 at the Children's Museum, Bethnal Green. She is a member of the Historical Writers Association and the Crime Writers Association. Sara also mentors for the Scottish Book Trust. More information can be found at www.sarasheridan.com and she can be found on Twitter at @sarasheridan. She lives in Edinburgh with her family.

Author photo © Martin Melecis

Below is a Q&A with this author

1. What inspired you to become a writer?

I never intended to be a writer though as it turns out I think I'd been gearing myself towards writing for years. It wasn't until I had to find something that I could work from at home that I thought I might try to write a book and lo, I had an English degree and was inspired by history and had all these stories that just flowed out of me. My parents were a huge inspiration and my History and English teachers from school too.

2. What keeps you motivated as a writer?

I love story – it's word-heroin. It's the same thing, really, that keeps me motivated as a reader. That feeling of being caught up in the middle of a narrative and nothing outside of that fiction existing. You can multiply that by ten if you're writing rather than reading it.

3. Do you have a routine when you’re writing (i.e. silence, a particular genre of music, only working in the morning, only working in your underpants?)

I often work in bed but that is more about just getting on with it as soon as I open my eyes! These days I write wherever I am and that might be at a book festival or on a plane or in a library – I switch my brain into the story and I just go. I also like the café up the road – coffee on tap is a great resource for a writer!

4. What advice would you give to anyone who wants to be a writer?

Eyes down, specs on, sleeves up and Go!

5. What’s the best experience you’ve had while writing a book?

When I dream about it. I don't write magical realism but that's what all my stories become when I dream about them. It's like being a stick of rock – the words go all the way through.

6. Where would you like to be right now, anywhere in the world?

Well as I am writing this in bed I can't say In Bed Writing, so I suppose I'll say somewhere sunny, reading (which is my other love).

7. If you could swop lives with one of your characters, who would you choose and why?

That's difficult because most characters don't have happy lives and that's what makes them interesting. I wouldn't want to be my heartbroken 1950s detective, Mirabelle Bevan or one of the slave girls, Farida and Zena from Secret of the Sands but if I could be a bloke (why not?) I'd love to be John Murray (who is a real-life character – a pre-eminent Scottish publisher from the early 1800s) because he ran an amazing literary salon. Strangely I'd also like to be one of my recent crime victims – Rose Bellamy Gore. She goes missing in London Calling in the most fantastic frock!

8. If you weren't a writer, what would your 'dream' occupation be?

I'd probably be an antiques dealer. I'm obsessed by history and I love objects – I always research part of a period through its artefacts whether they're in a museum or a car boot sale. I'd love to do that for a living or maybe (if I was indulging my swotty side) I'd work in a museum – which is almost the same thing.

9. If your book was a film, who would you cast for the lead character?

I always hoped Hermione Norris would want to be Mirabelle if there was a TV adaptation of the Mysteries (fingers crossed)

10. Which authors do you particularly admire?

I have wide-ranging admirations. Agatha Christie for her sense of drama, the American writer TC Boyle whose historical descriptions are so vivid you can taste the era off the pages, Bill Bryson for his narrative voice, Susannah Clarke for her sense of magic, Joseph O'Connor for his ability to communicate story, William Goldman because he's quirky and yet accessible. Gosh, I'm getting quite excited just making this list.

If you like Sara Sheridan you might also like to read books by Jane Johnson, Kate Furnivall and Kate Quinn.

Featured Books, with extracts, by Sara Sheridan

British Bulldog by Sara Sheridan
British Bulldog
Sara Sheridan
The ‘Mirabelle Bevan Mystery’ series continues to maintain the same convincing atmosphere and assured quality, yet with each book the author skilfully delivers a refreshingly different read. ‘British Bulldog’ is set in the early 50’s, a year after ‘England...
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/03/2016
England Expects by Sara Sheridan
England Expects
Sara Sheridan
A classically arresting mystery, overflowing with good old fashioned pluck, courage and perseverance. The third in the Mirabelle Bevan mysteries, this can also be read as a vintage standalone novel. In a bygone era, Mirabelle and her feisty cohort Vesta...
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/03/2016
London Calling by Sara Sheridan
London Calling
Sara Sheridan
We loved the first in this post WW2 series, Brighton Belle, and the second adventure is even better with a satisfyingly complex plot bubbling over with period detail. Mirabelle and Vesta go up the line to London to solve...
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/03/2016
British Bulldog A Mirabelle Bevan Mystery by Sara Sheridan
British Bulldog A Mirabelle Bevan Mystery
Sara Sheridan
May 2015 eBook of the Month. The ‘Mirabelle Bevan Mystery’ series continues to maintain the same convincing atmosphere and assured quality, yet with each book the author skilfully delivers a refreshingly different...
Format: Hardback - Released: 20/04/2015
England Expects A Mirabelle Bevan Mystery by Sara Sheridan
England Expects A Mirabelle Bevan Mystery
Sara Sheridan
A classically arresting mystery, overflowing with good old fashioned pluck, courage and perseverance. The third in the Mirabelle Bevan mysteries, this can also be read as a vintage standalone novel. In a bygone era, Mirabelle and her feisty cohort Vesta...
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/07/2014
England Expects A Mirabelle Bevan Mystery by Sara Sheridan
England Expects A Mirabelle Bevan Mystery
Sara Sheridan
April 2014 eBook of the Month. A classically arresting mystery, overflowing with good old fashioned pluck, courage and perseverance. The third in the Mirabelle Bevan mysteries, this can also be read as...
Format: Hardback - Released: 21/03/2014
London Calling by Sara Sheridan
London Calling
Sara Sheridan
We loved the first in this post WW2 series, Brighton Belle, and the second adventure is even better with a satisfyingly complex plot bubbling over with period detail. Mirabelle and Vesta go up the line to London to solve...
Format: Paperback - Released: 25/06/2013
London Calling A Mirabelle Bevan Mystery by Sara Sheridan
London Calling A Mirabelle Bevan Mystery
Sara Sheridan
March 2013 eBook of the Month. We loved the first in this post WW2 series, Brighton Belle, and the second adventure is even better with a satisfyingly complex plot bubbling over...
Format: Hardback - Released: 07/03/2013
Brighton Belle A Mirabelle Bevan Mystery by Sara Sheridan
Brighton Belle A Mirabelle Bevan Mystery
Sara Sheridan
One of our Great Reads You May Have Missed in 2012. Brighton Rock mixed with Charlotte Gray and a twist of Agatha Christie make for the perfect recipe in this new post WW2 crime series. Mirabelle Bevan worked...
Format: Paperback - Released: 18/06/2012
Secret of the Sands by Sara Sheridan
Secret of the Sands
Sara Sheridan
An excellent novel set in Arabia in the mid 1800s. Based to some extent on fact, but with believable fictional input, the book ties in a strong set of characters, both English and Arab, who are three dimensional and solid....
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/02/2011

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