Sarah Baker is a wonderful children’s writer and friend – we have the joy of sharing the most awesome agent, Bryony Woods from DKW. Her debut children’s book, Through the Mirror Door is published this month by Catnip – I’ve been given an advanced reader copy and it’s a complete joy.
Sarah is currently working on a prequel to Through the Mirror Door called Eloise’s Secret. She lives in London with her gorgeous baby boy.
Which three words would you use to describe yourself?
What do you love most about writing?
It’s like a jigsaw or baking (stay with me). I’m happiest sifting through the words and putting the pieces of the real story I’m writing together.
What do you find hardest about writing?
Powering through a first draft. I have to remind myself that it is perfectly okay (and even expected) for the first draft to suck.
Tell us a bit about the inspiration behind your latest book.
Through the Mirror Door was inspired by a holiday in France with my real-life cousins (who are much, much nicer than Angela’s). We stayed at a very spooky half house-half castle, which I ended up exploring on my own, at night…
What kind of child were you?
According to my school reports I was very talkative and a bit of a daydreamer (my family would back that up).
Where’s your favourite place in the whole world?
I used to live in Bermuda (yes, really) and there’s a tiny little wooden jetty, off Harbour road that I’d sit on, look out at the sea and come up with ideas for books that I hoped one day I’d write.
If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?
Not sure if it counts, but I’d really like Hermione’s Time-Turner from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Which fictional character would you most like to meet?
Iorek Byrnison from His Dark Materials (oh and Hester, please)
What book do you wish you’d written?
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
Do you have any writing tics that you’re forever editing out?
I have this funny notion that we’ve all been an animal in a past life – if you can go along with that thought, what kind of animal do you think you were?
I’ve been described as a meerkat before, so possibly one of those, or maybe a squirrel.
What are you reading at the moment?
A book about the forty women who worked as Special Operations Executives in France during WW2 (research) and I’m about to start This is Not a Love Story by Keren David. I’ve also just read The Crowham Martyrs by Jane McLoughlin.
What’s your favourite word?
What’s the most important lesson life has taught you?
All in good time, Baker, all in good time. (Patience.)
Which writer do you most admire?
What song or piece of music would you choose as the theme tune to your life?
‘Birdhouse in your Soul’ by They Might Be Giants
Where do you write?
I write at the kitchen table before my baby wakes up. I can usually fit in an hour around 5.30am.
What or who inspires you?
Kindness and generosity. Every time.
When were you happiest?
This morning when my baby woke up and sang nonsense to me.
What three tips would you give aspiring writer?
- Read, read, read.
- And write. Write about anything and everything. It’s all practise.
- Read out loud too. It’s amazing the difference it makes, especially when you’re reading dialogue. (Sorry, that’s four, or is it five?)
You can find out more about the wonderful Sarah Baker by visiting her website, by following her on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram and, of course, by reading her amazing new book, Through the Mirror Door