February 2010


Sara Foster’s debut novel Come Back to Me was published in early 2010. She has worked as a freelance book editor. Originally from England, she now lives in Perth, Western Australia.

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  1. 1. What inspired you to write Come Back to Me?

    A number of things. I was travelling in WA in 2003 when I saw a very small article in the paper about a traumatic event, which set me thinking about the repercussions for the people involved and how that might impact on the rest of their lives. I was also inspired by reading all sorts of other books with fascinating characters and dilemmas, especially those with a fast-paced plot. I wanted to write about complexities of love and loss, relationships and identity, while making the plot interesting enough to hopefully keep the reader hooked.

  2. 2. Your story has many twists and turns. Did the plot come easily to you or did you change your mind a lot?

    The basic outline of the plot was there from the beginning. I knew what would happen to Julia, and I knew how it would all end fairly early on. I knew there would be four characters and the essentials of how their relationships would work. But there was also a lot of building that went on as I wrote and rewrote, to try to make the story as exciting and interesting as possible.

  3. 3. Did you find your sympathies switched between characters?

    Yes, most definitely. I was very much looking through the eyes of which ever character’s perspective I was writing from at the time. I felt I could see the light and shade in all of them; even though it showed itself so differently. I wanted to try to create a story where there weren’t heroes or villains, just four different people struggling with choices, fateful events, and the consequences of both.

  4. 4. Why did you submit your manuscript under a pseudonym?

    I had made connections with a number of publishers during my editing work, and I really wanted those people to read the book with a fresh eye and with no expectations or preconceptions, which they might have had if they had immediately known it was my novel. It didn’t work very well, though – my agent seemed to have quite a few people ringing her up saying, ‘Is this Sara Foster?’, because once they knew it was written by an editor who lived in Perth it narrowed the field quite a lot. But it was fun to be Eva Miller for a while.

  5. 5. How did you get into the publishing industry?

    I started out working as an assistant to the Publishing Director for Fiction at HarperCollins Publishers in the UK, back in 2000. I had a lucky break, as I’d been temping there doing stock control when I saw an internal job advertisement. Although actually I didn’t spot it, my friend Ella did, and I’m eternally grateful to her. I met a lot of people during my time there, and so when I went freelance I was able to begin by utilising my contacts in a few different publishing houses.

  6. 6. What was it like seeing your name on the book cover for the first time?

    Surreal! It’s still sinking in that it’s mine, it’s complete and it’s in the shops!

  7. 7. Do you have plans for a second novel?

    Yes, I’ve completed most of the first draft of my second book. It’s about a young woman living with her baby daughter on the North Yorkshire moors in England, trying to find out what happened to her husband, who has mysteriously disappeared. The other villagers seem friendly enough to begin with, but there’s plenty going on beneath the surface. I’m still enjoying writing twists and turns.

  8. 8. Why did you settle in Perth?

    I moved to Perth with my husband in 2004. We had travelled along the WA coast a year earlier, after travelling all around Australia in 1999, and we were (and still are) in love with the country. Perth was ideal for us, as we really enjoy the outdoor lifestyle, and we’re close to both the beach and the bush. The weather is pretty awesome too!

  9. 9. Tell us about your involvement in the holidaygoddess website and which other authors are involved? is all about female-friendly travel. I’m one of a whole host of writers to have packed the site with information from all corners of the globe, in formats ranging from narrative travel articles to printable handbag guides. The managing editor is Jessica Adams, who is a bestselling author of books including The Summer Psychic, I’m a Believer, and Single White E-Mail. Other authors involved include Maggie Alderson, Faith Bleasdale and Karen Moline, and there are many more fantastic writers whose shared career adventures include Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Dolly, New Woman, Elle, Grazia, Cosmopolitan and Rolling Stone.

  10. 10. Which other authors do you admire?

    I admire so many authors whose stories have moved me in some way, made me laugh, made me cry, made me sit up late at night turning pages as fast as I can, or encouraged me to think about the world or myself a little bit differently. They include Maggie O’Farrell, Kate Morton, Nicci French, Jodi Picoult, Paullina Simons, Philippa Gregory, Preethi Nair, Liane Moriarty and Jane Austen – to name just a few! I think for JK Rowling to write such a great final Harry Potter book with that much expectation on her was an incredible achievement.

  11. 11. What advice would you give other aspiring writers a) as an author yourself; b) as an editor?

    As an author, I would say listen to feedback and just keep going. It’s very rare to hear about an author who has had a book published without any form of rejection. Listen to published authors speak whenever you can, as they have been through the same process you’re going through and have lots of valuable advice. Don’t pay too much money for advice, there’s plenty available for reasonable cost or for free on the internet, in books, or at writers’ festivals. As an editor I would say, don’t just think about your story, think about who is going to read your story. And then try to look at it through your readers’ eyes. Why would they pick your book up? Can you see anything that might make them put the book down? Look at other books in similar genres to yours, and see if you can analyse them to see why they work so well.

  12. 12. What are three things you couldn’t live without?

    My husband, my baby girl and my laptop (with sincere apologies to my cats for leaving them out!)

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