Today, I am thrilled to be interviewing Sara-Jayne Townsend on the upcoming release of her latest novel, DEATH SCENE. Just the name captures my imagination. I feel like jumping right in. Sara, please tell us about your book.
Thanks for having me on your blog, Suzanne.
DEATH SCENE is the first novel in my series about amateur sleuth Shara Summers, a contemporary Canadian actress. 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 her sister’s debilitating sickness.
How did you come up with this idea? Is there a bit of your personal life in there? (What author doesn’t infuse a bit of real life in their novel?)
I am a big fan of Sara Paretsky’s woman private eye V I Warshawski, and for years I wanted to write a crime series featuring a strong-minded woman detective, but I didn’t think I could pull off writing a police procedural. So I decided to create an amateur sleuth instead. There is quite a lot of me in Shara as I looked to my own family history to create the character. Like Shara I was born in England and emigrated to Canada with my family as a child. I came back to England at the age of eighteen. Shara stays in Canada with her father when her parents divorce and her mother goes back to England.
I liked the idea of creating a character with the same ties to two countries that I do, and I made Shara an actress because I wanted her to don disguises as she investigated mysteries.
Like me, she has green eyes and is left-handed, but there are a lot of differences too. She’s a lot braver than me, a lot keener to poke her nose into things that don’t concern her. She also has trouble committing to relationships, whereas I’ve been with the same man for 24 years.
Which leads us right into your real life. What do you do for a living and tell us more about your husband and family.
I work for a medical College based in London, trying to fit the writing around a full-time day job. It can be difficult sometimes, and in order to do this, I often get up at 5:30am to go into London on the early train and sit in Starbucks with my Netbook to get an hour’s writing in before going to work. I’m not naturally an early riser, but that hour seems to work for me. Perhaps it’s because at such an early hour I am able to tap more directly into the creative muse, but I get a lot more written in that hour than I do if I take a day off work to write.
I’m married but I don’t have kids. I’ve always shared my home with cats, though, and I currently have two 14-month old kittens called Alia and Cassie. They are both named after characters in Dungeons & Dragons games we currently play.
What’s the most favourite thing in your life? Who or what does your life center around?
I’d say my husband but it’s more a partnership than the question suggests. We met 24 years ago playing Dungeons & Dragons. This is still a big part of our life together and we still play. I maintain that geeky men are far more interesting than non-geeky men.
I totally agree. Do you have any really neat hobbies you’d like to share?
I always had a secret yearning to be a rock chick and I’ve recently started to pursue this by taking bass guitar lessons. My husband plays guitar and we do a lot of open mic nights together.
That sounds like fun. So even us geeks can be sort of cool. Personally, I fiddle. Now where can we buy your e-book?
DEATH SCENE is being released by MuseItUP publishing in June.
All right, then, so stayed tuned for the announcement of Sarah-Jane’s novel, Death Scene. I know I will.