Today’s guest, Sara Jayne Townsend is a UK-based writer of crime and horror. She was born in Cheshire in 1969, but spent most of the 1980s living in Canada after her family emigrated there. She now lives in Surrey with two cats and her guitarist husband Chris. She co-founded the T Party Writers’ Group in 1994, and remains Chair Person.
The first two books in her amateur sleuth series about Canadian actress Shara Summers will be released by MuseItUp Publishing in 2014. DEATH SCENE, the first book (and a re-release) will be available from 22 September, with the sequel, DEAD COOL, released on 25 November.
Fascinating Fact One
I started writing stories age 6. This was the age at which I first learned how to write. Before that, I was still making stories up; I just didn’t know how to write them down. I used to tell myself a bedtime story every night, using one of my toys as the central character and making up their adventures as I went along. So the correct answer to the question of “how long have you been writing stories” is “since always”.
Fascinating Fact Two
I am the only left-handed person in a family of right-handed people. People are more aware these days that left-handed kids learn things differently – when I was growing up I was just accused of being incompetent. I got told off for putting the knives and forks the wrong way around when I was asked to set the table. I couldn’t tie shoe laces until I was eleven – the way the loops went around just made no sense to me. And knitting – I struggled with knitting. My right-handed mother tried to teach me many times but it just seemed so awkward and eventually I lost patience and gave up. I now realise why I struggled – like so many things I was being taught how to do it right-handed and it wasn’t working for me. Unfortunately the experience has now put me off knitting, sewing, crocheting and other crafty things for life.
Fascinating Fact Three
I am one of the world’s clumsiest people. All my life I have fallen over, walked into things, knocked things over. I bash my knee on my desk daily. At least once a week I misjudge walking through a door and bash my arm or shoulder on it. I regularly trip over and fall on apparently flat pavements. I am never without at least one bruise somewhere on my person. I think it is mostly because I am never thinking about what I am doing or where I am going. My mind is generally elsewhere – usually deep in the current work in progress.
Fascinating Fact Four
In spite of what I said above, I have never broken a bone (though I hope I am not tempting providence by admitting this in public). I have sprained my ankle (and always the left) three times, I have torn tendons, pulled muscles, had numerous horrendous bruises and ended up with concussion when I fell down the steps of the tube station one rainy winter’s day and bashed my head against a brick wall. But my bones have remained intact – not even a fracture. I must be getting plenty of calcium.
Fascinating Fact Five
From my early teenage years I have harboured a secret desire to play bass guitar in a rock band. A couple of years ago I decided to come out with this secret ambition and began to take lessons, encouraged by my guitar playing husband. I’m still something of a beginner, but we’ve been doing open mic sessions together around our local area, and I really enjoy getting up on stage and playing the rock chick part. I just wish I’d been brave enough to give it a try years ago.
Poking around in family closets produces skeletons…
British-born, Toronto-based, actress Shara Summers turns amateur sleuth when her sister is stricken with a mysterious illness. Summoned back to England to be with her family during a time of crisis, Shara discovers doctors are at a loss as to what’s causing Astrid’s debilitating sickness.
After her aunt is found dead at the bottom of the stairs the death is deemed an accident. Shara suspects otherwise. Her investigation unearths shocking family secrets and a chilling realization that could have far-reaching and tragic consequences that affect not only her own future, but Astrid’s as well.
DEATH SCENE is coming 22 September from MuseItUp Publishing: https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/coming-soon/death-scene-detail
You can learn more about Sara and her writing at her website at http://sarajaynetownsend.weebly.com or her blog at http://sayssara.wordpress.com
Thanks for the interview Anne and Sara Jayne. I love the set-up of the questions. I share your left-handedness in a family of righties thing, Sara Jayne. Best of luck with the books.
Hi Matthew, one or two family members are left-handed, so I see how difficult some things are. Sad when it has a life-long effect over things like crafts, though. Anne
Thank you Matthew, and always nice to meet a fellow southpaw!
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Certainly they were, Sara. I’m in awe of anyone who plays an instrument for starters. Anne
Sara, I love it that you are playing bass guitar. That is so cool! My family is very much into music. I’m so glad that you acted on your desire to play.
Your book sounds exciting. I also write cozy mysteries. Best wishes!
Thanks for commenting Susan. I think with me it was important to prove to myself it’s never too late to learn something new! Glad to hear you like mysteries too. I shall check yours out!
I love the fascinating facts! And the book sounds intriguing. I love to read crime but don’t generally write it.
Hi Gill, I know what you mean. I read a fair bit of crime, too, and don’t write it. There’s a lot of skill in the plotting and much attention to detail needed for things like police procedure. Anne