About Sarah Dalton:
Sarah grew up in the middle of nowhere in the countryside of Derbyshire and as a result has an over-active imagination. She has been an avid reader for most of her life, taking inspiration from the stories she read as a child, and the novels she devoured as an adult.
Sarah mainly writes speculative fiction for a Young Adult audience and has had pieces of short fiction published in the Medulla Literary Review, PANK magazine and the British Fantasy Society publication Dark Horizons. Her short story ‘Vampires Wear Chanel’ is featured in the Wyvern Publication Fangtales available here:
Sarah’s debut novel The Blemished is a fast paced young adult dystopia set in a fractured Britain. It follows the events of Mina Hart, a young Blemished girl who has a dangerous secret, as she tries to escape the dreaded Operation and get out of Area 14.
What inspires you to write?
Reading awesome books, watching amazing TV or film, and of course, the need to express yourself.
Tell us about your writing process.
I tend to start with a vague idea and gradually narrow it down. I usually write the beginning and then set it aside for a while. Then I go back, rework what I’ve already written, plan the rest of the book and work through it to create a first draft. Then I set it aside for a little bit before re-reading and re-working. When all developmental changes are complete I check the prose for clunky sentences, repeated words etc. anything that might pull the reader out of the story. Once that’s done, it goes to an editor for a copy edit and proofread. When I get this back, I listen to the entire book via text-to-speech and make any finishing touches.
It’s a push-pull process, often long and tiresome, sometimes exhilarating too.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Listen, I think. I’ve never talked to them before, but that sounds fun!
One of the most fun bits of writing is listening to the dialogue in your mind as you write. I especially like to make my characters argue with each other. It can be very cathartic. Ever thought of a really good come back two minutes after a conversation with someone? Well when you’re a writer, you can put it in your book instead!
What advice would you give other writers?
Read a lot, think a lot, work hard and listen to criticism. There are skills that can be learned, methods to improve. Not all writers get by on talent alone, 99% of them have to work really hard to create books that people want to read.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I self published because the time felt right. If I had waited for a publisher to be interested in my book, there’s a good chance it wouldn’t even be published now. The process takes years, and I knew that my YA dystopia book needed to be out there when people were still interested in YA dystopia. It was probably the best professional decision I’ve ever made!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It’s changing, and it’s changing fast. Ebook publishing came out, then DIY paperback publishing, then audiobooks… now we have Kindle Unlimited and other subscription programmes. I’m not sure what’s going to happen, all I know is that nothing is certain in this business.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Horror, Paranormal
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print