To celebrate the upcoming publication of Sarah Morgan’s uplifting new summer read The Summer Seekers, the Sunday Times bestselling author has answered YOUR questions! Over to you, Sarah…
The Summer Seekers is such a special book to me and I’m excited to share it with readers!
The character of Kathleen popped into my head a few years ago and I fell in love with her instantly and couldn’t wait to write her story. She is 80 years old and after an encounter with an intruder in her home, she decides that rather than retreating to the safety of a residential home as her daughter would like, she’s going to fulfil a lifelong dream and take a road trip across North America. For that she needs a driver, and her advert is answered by Martha, a 25 year old who hates driving but is desperate to escape her current situation. It’s an uplifting road trip adventure, with plenty of laughter, friendship and romance (of course!). The relationship between 80 year old Kathleen, and 25 year old Martha, is one of my favourites. I hope readers are going to love it too.
Ann Jeffries: Sarah, what gives you your inspiration for your books and are any of the characters based on people you know?
Inspiration is all around and can be sparked by many things. A conversation overheard (we writers are unapologetic eavesdroppers), something I’ve read, a situation that makes me wonder ‘what if’. Sometimes I don’t know where an idea comes from. It just arrives into my head. I think, perhaps, that writers see the world a little differently and so we see story ideas and characters where a non writer wouldn’t. I don’t base characters on people I know asI prefer to create my own from scratch. That way I can give them a unique set of hopes, dreams and baggage from the past and make them more ‘real’.
Gill Bower: If you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would you pick and why?
At the moment my pick would be Kathleen, the 80 year old protagonist of The Summer Seekers. Not only is she great fun, but she has lived an interesting and varied life and I’m sure she’d have much wisdom to impart.
Susie Ongley-Rikys: Is there another setting or country you’d like to write about, one that you haven’t already set a novel in yet?
I badly wanted to set a winter book in Lapland, and I’ve just done it (finally!). My next Christmas book, The Christmas Escape, is set in Swedish Lapland and I had so much fun with the research. It wasn’t possible to visit for obvious reasons, but thanks to the internet I feel as if I’ve spent several months there.
Karen Powell: Of all your books, is there one that means more to you? And if so, why?
Sleigh Bells in the Snow marked a change in direction in my career so that book will always be special to me because it set me on a new and exciting path. The Summer Seekers is another special book because it was a story I’d been wanting to write for a while. Usually I focus on one book at a time and don’t know what I’m going to write next until I’m close to starting, but this book was in my head for several years before I finally wrote it. Again, it’s a slight shift in direction with broader themes, but mostly it’s special to me because I had fun writing it. Some books are harder to write than others. This one was a joy from start to finish.