Sarah Lane’s first novel The God of My Art was a quarterfinalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Her short stories and poetry have been featured in various literary publications, including The Antigonish Review, Roar Magazine, and Quills: Canadian Poetry Magazine. She holds a B.A. in international relations and a M.A. in comparative literature from the University of British Columbia.
Transplanted as a child from California to Canada, Sarah grew up in rural British Columbia. As an adult, wanderlust has led her to live in France and to travel extensively in Cameroon (Central Africa), Mexico, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Scotland, and the USA. Mom to two young children of mixed heritage, speaker of accented French, and all around xenophile, she currently lives in Vancouver, Canada, where she is working on her next novel.
What inspires you to write?
Many things. One of my favorite themes is the question of fate or freedom. To what extent are we free to choose our lives? I was living in France when I wrote The God of My Art, where social class structures are quite rigid and obvious. It made me think about the subtle, hidden social classes of my own culture, which pretends to be classless, and I wanted to highlight how being born into, for example, the “welfare” class can have repercussions that follow a woman into adulthood.
Tell us about your writing process.
I generally do an outline then write a rough draft quite quickly. After that, I spend a lot of time editing, paying particular attention to the formal structure and poetics of the writing.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t talk to them, but I do think about them a lot. Often they do things differently than I had originally planned, which is usually better since it flows out of who they are, rather than how I want them to be.
What advice would you give other writers?
Don’t be afraid to play around, be specific rather than vague and concrete rather than abstract, and avoid adverbs in any shape or form. Try to look at writing from the sentence level up to the story, rather than always the other way around. There are many ways to say the same thing. The poetics of writing are as important as the meaning the words convey.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My novel was selected as a quarterfinalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, and things just took off from there.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think the trend is toward fewer middlemen between author and reader, which, depending on your position in the book publishing industry, may or may not be positive.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Canadian Fiction
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print