Sarah Rayne Revealed
About Sarah Rayne
What is your birthdate?:12/4
Previous occupations:Property, newspapers, plus odds and ends too numerous to list.
Favorite job:Writing books.
High school and/or college:St Joseph's Convent in Staffordshire.
Name of your favorite composer or music artist?:Mozart
Favorite movie:Any of the old Ealing comedies from the 1940s and 1950s.
- Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
- A. Writing, writing and more writing.
- Q. What is your motto or maxim?
- A. Never feel satisfied with what you've done - always believe you could have done just that little bit better.
- Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
- A. Finishing a book, and knowing I've got another plot already in my mind... Sitting down to dinner with a group of friends - specially if I haven't had to cook...
- Q. What’s your greatest fear?
- A. Water tanks. I'm completely neurotic about water tanks - there's something sinister about all that silent mass of water in shadowy roof spaces and cobwebby airing cupboards. I'm not very keen on spiders, either - a friend suggested I gave them names to make them human, but the thought of human spiders was even worse - specially since she suggested calling them names like Arthur. I once had a very proper uncle called Arthur.
- Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
- A. Can I have the use of a time machine for this one? If so, I'd make it the early years of the twentieth century.
- Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
- A. No one I can think of - history's too vast and varied.
- Q. Which living person do you most admire?
- A. I don't think I could single any one person out - there are so many extraordinary human beings.
- Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
- A. I'm a bit apt to say a character has sensitive hands.
- Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
- A. Harriet Vane.
- Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
- A. Misuse of the English language. I visibly flinch.
- Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
- A. I'm already following it - writing books is the best profession I can imagine.
- Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
- A. Generosity, good humour, fairness.
- Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
- A. Cheese.
On Books and Writing
- Q. Who are your favorite authors?
- A. Dorothy L Sayers, Clemence Dane, Josephine Tey, Daphne du Maurier, Jonathan Aycliffe, John Wyndham, Mary Stewart.
- Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
- A. Busmoon's Honeymoon (Dorothy L Sayers)
Gaudy Night (Dorothy L Sayers)
Broome Stages (Clemence Dane)
The Cataclysm (R C Sherriff)
- Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
- A. 'The Hopkins Manuscript' by R C Sherriff. (Also published in abridged form as 'The Cataclysm'.) I've read this so many times, I'm now on my third copy.
- Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
- A. Keep writing and try to learn as you go. If you get constructive criticism from editors or agents, take it on board because they really do know what they're talking about!
- Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
- A. Most readers apparently enjoy the dual-structure of my plots - the fact that the action generally takes place both in the present and in the past - also that there's usually a dash of history within the flashback chapters.
- Q. How did you come to write Ghost Song?
- A. For years I'd wanted to base a book on the Edwardian theatre/music hall - my father was a music hall singer/songwriter in the 1920s and it's an era I love. But it wasn't until my brother mentioned, quite casually, that so many of the old music hall songs had deeper meanings, that I suddenly saw a plot. And Ghost Song was born.