Login   Sign Up 



 




Sarah Stovell Interview

Posted on 22 January 2008. © Copyright 2004-2017 WriteWords
A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
Click here to learn more about becoming a member.

WriteWords talks to Sarah Stovell, aka Sappholit

How, when and why did you first start writing?

I was probably about six. I gave myself enough time to master letter formation, and then I was off. At the height of my infant school rebellion, I used to write stories while pretending to get on with my maths, and that pretty much set the tone for life. It just became a habit – an addiction – I never gave up. When we were teenagers, everyone else took drugs. I knocked out a couple of angsty novels. I probably wasn’t that cool, thinking about it. Oh, well.


Who are your favourite writers and why?

Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan (sometimes), Emily Bronte, Raymond Carver, Toni Morrison, George Eliot, Sylvia Plath, John Keats, John Donne, Shakespeare.

Jeepers. No one outside the canon, it would seem. I’m too straight. Erm . . . . Luisa Plaja. There.

How did you get your first agent/ commission?

I went the standard route of buying the Writers’ and Artists’ Handbook and then sitting around on slush piles for a few months. I sent my first three chapters and synopsis to about fifteen agents. Although I had quite a good response – about 8 full ms requests – only one took me on.

What's the worst thing about writing?

If you want to look at it as a job, there’s not much money in it and no security. I have no idea whether anyone will still want to publish me two years from now.

And the best?

It’s all I want to do, and I can do it without getting dressed.

Tell us what kind of responses you get from audiences\ readers.

So far, not very many people have read my work, and those who have are good friends, who only say good stuff. I mostly just file the positive comments away somewhere to keep me going during the rough patches, and take them with a pinch of salt. I don’t know yet how I’ll deal with criticism. I’ll probably just be irritating and flippant about it and carry on.

What was your breakthrough moment?

Oddly, my biggest breakthrough wasn’t to do with finding an agent or being offered a publishing contract (though obviously those were great moments). My major one was when I gave myself permission to become a writer. I’d always known I wanted to write, but after graduating at 21, I spent far too much time succumbing to conventional pressures to ‘get a steady job.’ And then I found I couldn’t hold down a steady job cos I was too frustrated by my desire to write (and the jobs were deathly boring and, to be honest, I would rather starve than do half of them). Eventually in 2003, when I was 26, I took a course in Advanced Fiction at the Arvon Foundation. It was then that I thought, ‘This is what I’m going to do.’ And so I did.





A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
Click here to learn more about becoming a member.






Comments by other Members



Account Closed at 10:35 on 23 January 2008  Report this post
You know you've made it, Sapph, when you've done a WW interview! Interesting stuff.

Casey x

Luisa at 11:41 on 23 January 2008  Report this post
Great interview! Really interesting. (And fancy mentioning me! That's made my year!)

Mothernight is a brilliant book and you deserve every success.

Luisa
x

charlottetheduck at 14:28 on 23 January 2008  Report this post
Woohoo for Sapph!!! :)

Can't wait to get a lovely shiny official copy of MN! xx

amiria at 15:02 on 23 January 2008  Report this post
Well done, Sapph ! How come you never mentioned me ? ;)

Sally_Nicholls at 16:14 on 23 January 2008  Report this post
Yeah, or me? *sulks*

Definitely looking forward to March xxx

Account Closed at 17:21 on 23 January 2008  Report this post
I really like this interview. MN is brill, for those who haven't read it yet.
x

RT104 at 07:05 on 24 January 2008  Report this post
Great interview, Sapph! I love the idea of you dipping into myths and Bible stories and whatnot - and I can see it in your writing.

And six weeks until numbrer two is finsihed - great!! You only just started it, it seems like.

Rosy xx


Account Closed at 10:06 on 24 January 2008  Report this post
Another bed writer - the only way! Hope you can give up the day job soon Sapph - and I'm sure you will be able to.

Sarah

nessiec at 15:08 on 24 January 2008  Report this post
Hoorah! Good to see your interview up here.
Nessie C

Account Closed at 15:49 on 24 January 2008  Report this post
You go, girl! Hugs!

:))

A
xxx

Gillian75 at 16:07 on 24 January 2008  Report this post
Great interview - Good luck with number two book Sarah :)

V`yonne at 16:30 on 24 January 2008  Report this post
Enjoyed your responses Sarah and hope you get that two book deal...hope we all do :)

Sappholit at 21:36 on 24 January 2008  Report this post
Woo. Am I famous now? Will I get a stalker and stuff?

Shika at 06:44 on 25 January 2008  Report this post
You've arrived. S

rogernmorris at 10:38 on 25 January 2008  Report this post
It’s all I want to do, and I can do it without getting dressed.


That just about sums it up! Well done Sarah, great interview.

CarolineSG at 10:51 on 25 January 2008  Report this post
Well done, home page of WW!
Nice interview, Sapph, and hope you don't get too many stalkers.

Nik Perring at 14:07 on 25 January 2008  Report this post
Cool interview. Best of luck with Mothernight.

Nik

optimist at 16:49 on 25 January 2008  Report this post
Congratulations! Wishing you all the best for Mothernight and beyond :)

Sarah

snowbell at 23:48 on 25 January 2008  Report this post
Really engaging interview- roll on Vogue!

Snowy

Sidewinder at 11:48 on 26 January 2008  Report this post
Great interview! Really looking forward to reading MN.

Clodagh

Steerpike`s sister at 13:44 on 28 January 2008  Report this post
I’d always known I wanted to write, but after graduating at 21, I spent far too much time succumbing to conventional pressures to ‘get a steady job.’


ditto! good to read your interview.


To post comments you need to become a member. If you are already a member, please log in .