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Sarah shares her writing room

This is it; unstyled, untidied, replete with three cats. Very obliging of them to get in the shot. But then I quite often end up with one on my lap, one on my mousemat and one sunbathing under the lamp, as here. It can make writing hard, peering round a pair of ears to view my work, but recently I treated myself to a bigger screen so now it’s a more like being at the cinema with someone wearing a hat in front of you – annoying, but not impossible.

As you can see, minimalism isn’t my style. Part of me admires people who do clean white walls and shelves where one classy object strikes a deliberate pose, like a supermodel in the snow. But I’ve got far too many nick nacks that please me to limit myself to one. (Just like I haven’t got only one cat.) Sneaking into the shot on the left are my bookcases – every inch of this room is as smothered as the wall you see here.

Above my desk are my work-in-progress boards. I went to Staples six months ago and treated myself to them. (I love Staples. Forget Harvey Nicks, I reckon. Staples is where it’s at – it’s far cheaper and way more practical.) On the left is a pinboard. Here I have (in no particular order) a voucher for a facial I’ve yet to find time to have, various book jacket designs in progress (which have to tie in with the teacups cover of my novel One Moment, One Morning, hence why that is there too), some bills that need paying, and a drawing by one niece and a postcard from another (and her Puffin, Muffin. I gave her a subscription to the Puffin Club for her birthday – she got Muffin with her welcome pack).

To the right is a wipeboard, for lists. Lists are a good thing – I keep encouraging my husband, Tom, to give them a go, but he’s yet to appreciate their value. As a result my life is made up of tasks to be wiped off, his is more of a spaghetti tangle, though perhaps this something I should share with a marriage guidance counsellor rather than on here.

At the moment I’m focused on writing my fifth novel - most days I aim to tick off a word count. This sounds impressive but isn't. My target is a mere 500 words per day. Every other writer I know has a higher word coun target than me. But my theory is that if my target is low, then it's easier to hit it, and feel pleased, and possibly exceed it. Whereas if I made it higher I'd feel a constant failure. We writers beat ourselves up enough, I reckon, without giving our inner critics such ready ammunition.  

Just above the wipeboard and out of shot is a mind map with arrows and ringed words and different colours everywhere. I've deliberately not allowed you to see it as I want the new novel to be a surpise. It has the timeline going from left to right, but I also needed to see the links between themes and characters. I’m a bit odd that way, for a writer my mind works pictorially. Indeed, I draw too, and the sunflower picture is one of my own.

Finally, on the far right, there’s a glimpse of French windows; these lead to a little wrought iron balcony with pots on. It’s not the best view in the world – there are a lot of rooftops involved, but it’s got a certain charm. And our patio is like this office: full to bursting.

 

 

Brighton’s finest authors, all under one roof

Sarah Rayner is one of nearly 70 authors who've come together to form the collective, Beach Hut Writers, with a view to supporting one another through the writing process as well as doing joint author events.

'All our members are published authors who are variously energised, distracted and inspired by the UK’s liveliest seaside city,' Sarah explains. 'Originally brought together through Facebook by our love for the written word, between us we cover almost every genre, from fantasy to crime and non-fiction to poetry. Some are Sunday Times’ bestsellers, others highly-respected in the literary world, and a few are poised on the brink of stardom with agented books awaiting publication, but all are professional writers living in Brighton and Hove with something unique to share.'

Beach Hut Writers launched with a sell-out event at Brighton Waterstones. Joining Sarah (third from left) were (L to R) Emlyn Rees, Julia Crouch, Lizzie Enfield, MD Lachlan and author of 'The Key' Simon Toyne, and several other Beach Hut Writers were in the audience. 

 

 

To find out more about Beach Hut Writers, visit www.beachhutwriters.co.uk

Alternatively, if you are organising an event and are interested in having one or more Beach Hut Writers appear, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Illustrations: julesmillercards.com

 

 

 

'A topical subject treated with insightfulness and care that makes for a wholly absorbing story with a touching ending that'll prompt a tear or two.'

Easy Living

'In evoking ordinary lives invaded by a deep, primitive yearning, Rayner's portrayal of her characters' interior landscapes is carefully crafted and empathetic... She tackles the cruelties of the situation head on.'

The Sunday Times

 

'Sarah Rayner explores an emotive subject with great sensitivity.'

The Sunday Express

 

'This moving tale of sadness, joy and love inspires hope about a subject matter sensitive to so many women. But be warned, it's a tear-jerker.' 4/5 stars

Closer

 

'An addictive page-turner that delves deep into the importance of love and friendship.'

The Manchester Evening News

 

'In creating the story of two strangers brought together by one wish - to have a child of their own - Rayner has written a novel that as well as having colourful and resonating characters is also intensely emotive and even educational."

The Yorkshire Evening Post

 

'Each chapter in The Two Week Wait energetically switches between the lives of two women... Sarah Rayner has got the balance just right.' 8/10

The Birmingham Mercury

 

'A must read! The exploration of characters is compelling - a real page turner.'

g3 Magazine

 

'A writer with a gift for conveying raw emotions and the intricacies and subtleties of relatonships between family and friends, The Two Week Wiat is a moving page turner about two very different women each yearning for a child of their own.'

Fertility Road Magazine

 

'Sensitively written, The Two Week Wait is interesting and educating as well as entertaining. It has wide appeal and kept me hooked from page one. Highly recommended, it's a juicy page-turner you'll want to swallow up whole.' 4.5/5 stars

bookbag.com

 

'Incredibly compelling... Rayner has clearly done her research and the result is a story that reads more like non-fiction than fiction due to its unashamed honesty. Through all the hormones, tests, judgements and moral dilemmas is a story that captures the joy and heartbreak of the struggle many people endure in the faint hope that they will one day manage to become parents and the repurcussions this can have on their relationships and sanity. Beautifully written and heartbreakingly honest.' 8/10

Novelicious


'Absorbed me more than any book in a long time... The story is told from alternating snapshots featuring Lou and Cath which makes for a great pace and gripping reading. I was so wrapped up in events that I was telling my husband about them as though they were happening to friends of mine. I highly recommend it to readers looking for a sensitive, warm and absorbing read. Absolutely deserving of 5/5 stars .'

onemorepage.co.uk

 

'I would seriously recommend Sarah Rayner's books, she writes with huge sensitivity and captures emotions perfectly. Her focus is very much on female characters but all her characters are individuals and each brings something different to the story. The Two Week Wait is a really good read, you don't need to have read One Moment, One Morning but I probably would as it is another great book.' 5/5

dot-scribbles.blogspot.com

 

'The Two Week Wait is of those books with a really emotive storyline that embraces you - a great read, not just for people going through fertility treatment and their friends and family, but for anyone who wants to be taken on a journey with characters who are brought to life and share themselves generously with the reader.'

fertility-counselling.com

 

'Sarah Rayner shows a real understanding of the emotions of infertility and the book will resonate with anyone who has had personal experience of problems. I finished the book with tears in my eyes - it's a great read and you won't be able to put it down!'

Kate Brian, author of The Complete Guide to IVF, fertilityviews.blogspot.com

 

'I finished reading The Two Week Wait over my over-sugared venti latte. Unlike my coffee, this is not a froth-filled novel - Rayner is not afraid to tackle contraversial topics; in One Moment, One Morning it was bereavement and sexuality, in The Two Week Wait, it is infertility. Rayner has really done her research. I also enjoyed meeting One Moment's characters again. But while One Moment is a fantastic read, The Two Week Wait is a standalone novel. I guarantee that, like me, it will have you sobbing into your caffeinated drink of choice.'

sugarbabylove.wordpress.com

 

'A well researched and well thought-out story...The detail Rayner provides leaves the reader very well informed on what might be involved in undergoing fertility treatment. Both an educational and emotional read...I applaud Rayner for her insight'

Bio News

 

'I read One Moment, One Morning over two years ago and I still praise and recommend it on any given occasion, so I jumped at reading The Two Week Wait. Like its predecessor, it focuses on important - and often controversial - issues: motherhood and infertility. And now, as before, Rayner excels at dealing with such personal matters with compassion and understanding. The Two Week Wait is a well-researched novel that has a lot to teach. If you've read One Moment, it will feel like meeting old friends. If you haven't, you've two whole novels to discover enjoy. You're in for a real treat!'

bookafterbook.blogspot.com

 

 

 

Sarah Rayner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

'Written from the heart'    The Bookseller  

'The brilliant follow-up to One Moment, One Morning... A warm and approachable read with fascinating characters'  Essentials Magazine 

'Thought-provoking'  The Sun

'I was engaged and moved by this irresistible novel about friendship, family and dealing with life's blows'   Woman & Home

'A sympathetic insight into the causes and effects of mental ill-health as it affects ordinary people. Powerful'  My Weekly 

'Rayner has done it again - with her knack of turning what at first seems an unlikely subject into a gripping read. She made me care desperately what happened to these people and their lives. A brilliant book'  The Brighton and Hove Independent 

'This novel reveals an increasing maturity and sophistication... Rayner deals with a serious subject in a realistic and sympathetic manner. An uplifting and helpful book'  Worcester News 

'A great read that fearlessly tackles how mental health problems can affect ordinary people. A difficult subject written about with optimism and a light touch'  Coastway Radio 

 

Listen to Sarah talk about her books and pick her favourite music tracks on Rosemary's Show 'In the Book Corner' >

 

'An engrossing, bittersweet read peppered with moments of intense beauty... as compelling as any thriller I've read in the past year. Add to this sensitivity, humour and tender insightfulness and you've an absolute corker of a novel'  Laura Wilkinson, author of 'Public Battles, Private Wars'

'Sarah Rayner doesn’t just tell a great story, she speaks to the vulnerabilities in all of us. Heartwarming and suspenseful'  Bobbie Darbyshire, author of 'Love, Revenge and Buttered Scones'

'Written with great insight... It deals with the area of mental health sensitively and raw emotion' cThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

'A thought-provoking book. Rayner's exploration of the issues faced by three very "everyday" people puts the issue of mental health at the centre of worlds which appear cosy and stable.  It makes you realise that the line between fine and needing help is very fine indeed' Lizzie Enfield, author of 'Living With It' 

'I'd highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys strong, character-driven drama. Very moving, sad and funny' beingannereading.blogspot.com 

 

Sarah talks on BBC Radio Sussex about mental health and Another Night, Another Day >

 

  

 

 

 

Sarah signing            

 

  

  

Brighton author photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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All content © 2011 Sarah Rayner | The Creative Pumpkin - All information correct at time of publication