Today I’m interviewing Sara Bain, a new fantasy writer from London. Her first book, The Sleeping Warrior, recently came out in September. You can find more about Sara Bain at Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7244296.Sara_Bain
1. What made you want to become a writer? How
difficult do you find it so far?
I am a former newspaper journalist and editor of legal text books, so writing
has been part of my day job for most part of my career. I took voluntary
redundancy from the newspaper last October to become a full-time publisher and
Writing is the easy part of creating a book. I now understand why most authors
are so desperate to get published along the traditional route. For the past
month or so, I have found myself battling it out in the ring with Amazon,
CreateSpace, FeedARead and Smashwords. I have also designed and created my
cover, edited a thousand times and sent it across the world to be converted
into eBook and printed. I am now calculating the width of the spine for my own
printers to have copies ready for my book launch, which date I haven’t had time
Over the past few days, I have been researching ways in which to bring the book
to the notice of readers and this step has required the most effort from me.
The internet is a vast, lonely place and authors can often get drowned in the
incessant tide of new books surging daily on to Amazon. I’m learning to swim,
however, and know that I will take a few months, or more, to establish the
The good coming out of this is experience and hindsight, both of which I can do
nothing but benefit from.
2. When I saw the description for your book and saw “Vampire Killers”
I thought oh no, not more vampires! But it seems you’re taking an interesting
twist, more into paranormal thriller. What made you decide to write in this
The Sleeping Warrior is really a crime thriller with a subtle fantasy element
woven into the narrative. I am a fantasy author and my stories don’t tend to
fit into the neat categories and all their associated subgenres that publishers
require to promote authors.
My problem is that I don’t write to formulas and now, with Amazon causing
hysteria amongst the traditional publishing industry, readers also refuse to be
herded towards what publishers say they should read.
In an act of defiance, I decided to write a contemporary novel that crossed the
genres of fiction; contained a few of the cliché antiheroes of modern society;
and weave them all together in a crime scene around the pivotal force of a
fantasy character. To my surprise, it worked really well.
It’s possible that true fans of crime or fantasy may find it frustrating but
nothing in the story is as it seems: this is one of the underlying themes of
I personally like vampires (although I would never want to meet one), but I
don’t believe in them. I can’t write about things that I can’t personally
justify as being real: I like to leave that to the imagination of the reader.
3. Tell me about the book.
The story centres around an ambitious young lawyer called Libby Butler. It
picks up just after she has experienced a terrifying encounter with a serial
killer who is stalking women in south east London. Libby is cynical and
sharp-tongued with a few emotional problems caused by her self-indulgent
After she meets Gabriel, an enigmatic stranger, in a custody suite one night in
her role as duty solicitor, her life takes a turn for the worse.
Danger appears to follow Gabriel or perhaps it follows her.
Interwoven into the plot is a Scotland Yard detective chief inspector who is
following leads on the elusive killer; a gangland boss who is anxious to get
hold of the former employee who can implicate him in a lifetime of criminal
activity; a violent secret cult; and a woman who kills people for a living.
All these characters collide at a point in the story and each one is exposed to
the man called Gabriel who influences them in ways that they would never
There are a few underlying themes to the story, but the most obvious is that of
the Sleeping Warrior – a famous view of the Arran mountains from the Ayrshire
coast; the stranger who is called Gabriel; and the dormant warrior spirit
within us all.
This may all sound very stern and academic, but the book doesn’t take itself
very seriously and there is plenty of humour in it to alleviate some of the
4. Who is your favorite writer, and why?
I don’t really have a personal favourite but really appreciate quality in
writing. I love the classics, Shakespeare and the 19th century English poets.
I’m also a fan of Robert Burns. I admire Anne Rice’s passion for words and her
heady, descriptive prose, and Joe Hill for his ability to terrorise his
5. It looks like you’re being published by a small press. How did that come
about, and how has your experience been?
The press actually belongs to me. It is called Ivy Moon Press and I am its very
There is still a lot of stigma attached to self-published authors, so much so
that many call themselves indie authors for fear of being rejected even by
reviewers. I think this is misleading and unnecessary. Indie authors are really
those published by small, independent presses. Self-published authors are just
that, whether they publish under an imprint or not.
I am just fortunate to have the experience of having worked in the publishing
industry, be a writer and a graphic designer – a one woman band, so to speak.
Above all, I understand the need for quality in order to be taken seriously and
that is what I strive for.
I am really proud to be self-published. I am equally proud to be a good
I can say ‘I wrote that and I published it too.’ It is a very satisfying
6. What are you working on next?
As I said, I am a fantasy writer and have been writing an epic on and off for a
good few years now. The first book episode is called Dark Dawn, it is book one
of series entitled The Scrolls of Deyesto and, fingers crossed, will be out in
7. What’s a fun fact about yourself?
I tried to be a roller skating waitress once. The problem was I had never
waitressed before and couldn’t even skate. I was fired after my first order for
serving tables 2, 4, 7, 9 11 and 16 all at the same time before crashing
through the front door and landing on the road. On a positive note, I still
held the tray in my hand but, regrettably, none of its contents!
8. What advice do you have for other writers?
Write well and seek out other authors. They will guide you, support you and
share their experiences with you. There is a lot to be said about company when
you’re a writer. Shutting yourself off from the rest of the world to write can
lead to a very lonely existence, but it doesn’t always have to be.