Monday, June 08, 2015

Author Interview: Sarah Alderson (and Giveaway)

When seventeen-year-old Liva came to New York City, all she wanted was to escape the painful memories of her past and finally find a fresh start. Her hopes for a new future were dashed the moment she became the sole witness to a brutal murder. When she’s taken into police custody - supposedly for her own protection - she realizes something isn’t right, but it’s too late. Soon, bullets start flying, and Liva realizes that she is not just a witness, but the target - and she needs to escape before it’s too late. With the help of a sexy car thief that she met at the station, Liva manages to get away from the massacre unharmed, but now the two of them are alone in New York, trying to outrun and outwit the two killers who will stop at nothing to find them. Liva and Jay are living on the edge, but when you’re on the edge, there’s a long way to fall.

As part of the blog tour for Out of Control, I'd like to welcome author Sarah Alderson to my blog. 

A bit about Sarah (as found on Goodreads): Having spent most of her life in London, Sarah quit her job in the non profit sector in 2009 and took off on a round the world trip with her husband and princess-obsessed daughter on a mission to find a new place to call home. After several months in India, Singapore, Australia and the US, they settled in Bali where Sarah now spends her days writing by the pool and trying to machete open coconuts without severing a limb. 

How did you come up with the idea for Out of Control? 
Someone I knew came up to me at a party and told me she had an idea for a book, which is usually my cue to find the bathroom. I listened while she told me that I should write a book about Human Trafficking and smiled politely and told her that I didn’t really have the qualifications. But then I started thinking about how important the issue was and wondered if I should. I spoke to my agent who advised against it (it’s a fairly heavy topic after all) but then I figured out that I could find a way to write about the issue without making it a heavy, issue-based novel. The story was very much inspired though by my time in New York. I went there to research and also researched online. The organisation that Liva’s dad works for is a real organisation. I also did a lot of research into private security companies and human trafficking rings. 

In Out of Control, Liva has to go on the run with Jay. If you had to go on the run with one fictional character, who would it be and why? 
Buffy. She was such an inspiration to me as a teenager. I love Joss Whedon who wrote the Buffy TV shows. She’s so kickass you’d definitely survive on the run whether you were fleeing vampires, zombies or plain old hit men. 

Having grown up under men who are ex-military, Lila knows how to shoot and defend herself. How would you do if there were some killers after you (i.e. do you have any secret survival skills)? 
I would be totally hopeless. I always thought I’d be like Buffy, able to fight like a pro while throwing out brilliant quips, but the reality is that I freeze and panic when faced with danger. I know this because not so long ago there was a snake in my bedroom and I totally freaked out and became paralysed. I couldn’t even scream. Also, recently I was staying in a house by myself and at 4am I heard footsteps walking around and rather than staying in my LOCKED bedroom and calling the police, I got up and walked around the house, in a T-shirt and underwear, not even taking a baseball bat for protection. I was that girl from a horror film who you scream at for being stupid as the serial killer walks behind her. That was me (hangs head in shame). It turned out that it wasn’t a burglar it was actually a ghost (NO JOKE). 

Another one of Liva’s talents is that she’s a good dancer. What are some of your talents (besides writing, of course)?
Oh goodness, that’s hilarious. I don’t have any talent other than an ability to type really fast - like 80 or 90 words a minute. Yep, that’s about it. I can’t sing, I can’t dance, I can’t cook, I can’t play any sport very well. I’m pretty useless at most things in fact. I’m pretty talented at eating chocolate. Does that count? 

I actually interviewed you way back when Hunting Lila came out. Since then, you’ve written some more books. How has your writing changed and/or stayed the same during these past few years? 
I have written about ten books since then, maybe more, and I would say that with each book you do get better. Your writing becomes more fluent and you become much better at editing as you go. I have been writing screenplays for the last six months and that’s been a different experience altogether. With books every word is your own, with screenplays your words are owned by other people. You can’t afford to be precious at all. Not if you want the script to get made into a movie. So you’re constantly having to craft and redraft and then redraft some more taking on board notes from producers and directors and actors. It’s endless and you have to learn to let go. I think writing screenplays has really helped with my novels because I’ve worked with some amazing directors - Oscar and Bafta winners and it’s allowed me to see stories in a much more visual way. I can’t wait to feed what I’ve learned back into my books. 

A big thanks to Sarah for taking the time to answer my questions!

Sarah can be found on: [her website] [her blog] [Twitter] [Facebook] [Goodreads]
Out of Control can be bought from: [Amazon] [Barnes and Noble] [The Book Depository]


  1. I am a very good person to have around in a crisis because I don't panic and I'm very level-headed, but a snake in my bedroom would paralyze me too. I can handle pretty much everything BUT that. I loved Liva and Jay and their dynamic, they were great characters.

  2. Thanks for hosting today! :)

  3. Thanks for hosting!

  4. Such a great giveaway! Sounds like a great book!

  5. I would also love to have Buffy on my side during a time of panic. She'll be use to having the big bad around and know how to solve it.

  6. I love thrillers! Can't wait to read this!

  7. Heh, oh yes I would want Buffy on my team for sure! Because I would be totally useless in a fight as well -_- Fun questions :)


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