Do you know the saying „all good things are worth waiting for”?
Taking this as our motto, I’m glad to present you a very special interview today. It took almost one year – since the LLC 2014 up to a few days ago. But now I’m floating in the 7th Books heaven, for Sarah Harvey has answered my curious questions.
Katja: You attended the LoveLetter-Convention in Berlin two years in a row. Have you been to Germany prior to this?
Sarah: Yes, I have been to Germany many times. My brother lived in Germany for six years and met his wife there, and although they are now living in England, her family still live near Munich. Also my publisher is in Munich and we have known each for many years now and are good friends, and so I like to go to Munich as much as I can to catch up with her and other friends I have there. I also have friends who live in and near Berlin and love to go back to Berlin to see them, it is an amazing city, and I really enjoy spending time there. And there are lots of other places in Germany I would like to visit, so still much travelling to do.
Katja: Is the meeting and talking to your readers in Berlin something special to you? Was there something that touched you particularly? That were you especially pleased with?
Sarah: I have made some wonderful friends with readers I have met at the LLC, we keep in touch and meet when we can. It’s a great event to attend, everyone is always so happy and excited to be there so it’s an amazing atmosphere. So really it is just getting the chance to meet everyone that goes there. The people who attend are always so nice and friendly. It can be nerve racking to be honest, you come alone, and wonder how you will be received, but the warmth of everyone there makes you feel so welcome. So that is what touched me the most. The wonderful people.
Katja: Do you recognise any difference between your British and your German readers, whether in talks, mails or other occasions? Maybe in the reading behaviour? In the topics that are read?
Sarah: Believe it or not I’m actually a little bit shy, so I don’t go out in the UK and do the usual author things, join the associations, go to readings etc. So I really couldn’t compare as Germany is the only place that I have come out of my little bubble and got to spend time with the people who read my books. But I have found over the years that nearly everyone I have met who shares a common love of books is just lovely.
Katja: The eye-catcher of your books are ever and ever again the very cute cover. Who comes up with the cover? Do you have a say?
Sarah: My publishers decide on my covers, if I really did not like something then they would be happy for me to say so, but I do not like to interfere as they are such a great publisher and know what is best, and my readers seem to like the covers very much, so they are doing something right I think 🙂
Katja: How good did you get to know Germany? What do you like and what is total no-go for you?
Sarah: I love Germany. I want to spend so much more time there. The people are amazing, the country is so varied and interesting, and so very beautiful in parts, and I love the food. German food is great. Right now I have not found anything that I do not like, but I intend to explore a lot more when I can, and see parts that I have not yet visited. Meet new people. I am l really looking forward to it.
Katja: Could you also check out some sights of Berlin? Or does no more time remain for that due to your appointments and commitments? Did you just take some time playing bit of a tourist?
Sarah: I always stay longer in Berlin when I go there for my writing if I can. I spend a lot of time walking, sight seeing, shopping, and I catch up with friends. It is one of my favourite cities.
Katja: You have 3 dogs living with you on your cottage in Cornwall, right? So, your an animal lover. Do you have any more animals or would you like to have some more?
Sarah: I do have three dogs, but I am not in Cornwall any more. I am temporarily back in Northamptonshire, where I grew up and where my family live. I actually want to split my time between living in the Uk and maybe in Germany or another European country, so although I do love my dogs very much, having more dogs would make this more difficult. The three of them are hard work enough J I am currently arranging their passports so that they can travel with me, wherever I decide to go, so soon they will be jet setting dogs 🙂
Katja: Before you started writing novels you were a journalist. You already had a writing job. Is there a big difference between journalistic writing and the writing of books?
Sarah: I was never actually a journalist. I think this idea came about through an error in translation a long time ago. I used to write short stories for a well-known magazine and have done some work for Cosmopolitan and Readers Digest too, so maybe that is where it came from? But I actually worked in Business planning and information and performance analysis for my local hospital, so yes it is very different.
Katja: Are you allowing an insight into your working room to your German readers? Where are your books been made? At the desk? Or is there any other place where you like to write?
Sarah: I used to write in my kitchen, but since I moved I have found that I am either perched on the sofa in the sitting room, or if the weather is good, outside on my deck. I do have a study, but I haven’t actually used in yet. My new neighbours are very nice, but very noisy, and my study is right below their kitchen, so it is usually that I work wherever I can find that is quietest!
Katja: Very recently, in Germany „Taking the Lead“ („Gib Pfötchen“ – „give paw“ in German) was published by you. Are you already working on new projects? On what your readers can look forward next?
Sarah: I have recently finished my next book it is called The House of Lilies, and it is a more serious, intricate story of loss, tangled love and family secrets. It comes out in July 2015 and is a little different for me. I am very excited and nervous to see if my readers like it.
Katja: Your books are all funny and partly contemplative romance novels. Are you set on this genre, or would (or even will) you like to try something else?
Sarah: I am just working on my next book, and this one is going to be a complete mix of my more serious books and my humorous ones, so again a little different. I am very excited about this, and really enjoying writing it so far. And I think if this is well received that is the route that I would like to follow, still some humour, to allow for escape from real life, but some more depth too. There are so many issues you have to deal with as you go through life, sometimes it is good to know that others have been there too and understand what you are going through, and I want to put this in my books, so that they are the friend who makes you laugh when you feel blue, but also maybe gives you a hug, some perspective, and some helpful advice at the same time. I hope this makes sense?
Thank you dear Sarah, for taking your time for it. And you dear Markus, thanks for the translation.
I’m looking forward to see Sarah in Berlin