Her first published novel, Come Back to Me, was released in 2010 while her second, Beneath the Shadows, was highly anticipated and took over Perth bookshops with vigour in 2011.
As I dialled her number, I caught Sara during her intense writing stage, feverishly finishing her third novel, Shallow Breath (due for release in December) and found her English accent quite a refreshing change to my hectic morning.
Set in London and Perth, Come Back to Me revolves around Mark, Julia, Alex and Chloe who are all embroiled in a love triangle (or square, when you look at the numbers). Mark introduces his date Julia to Chloe and husband Alex at a restaurant but it’s clear there is tension between Julia and Alex when they meet.
Mysteries and secrets are unravelled between the four about their pasts and futures, delving into the psychology of each person – it certainly kept me on the edge of my seat and I found it was hard to put the book down every night.
Sara always found a fascination with books and moved into working for a publisher to establish her career, finding herself lucky to land her dream job at a well-established, big-named company in England.
After earning her editing stripes, she moved to Australia eight years ago, working for herself and itching to write her own stories.
“I always knew that I’d rather be on the other side of the desk when I was working for the publisher,” she says.
“All these big names and new writers would be coming in and out of the office, it was simply amazing watching them and it really inspired me.
“I was quite nervous having a go at it myself and didn’t take it seriously until 2007 when I decided to finish Come Back to Me.”
Sara writes in the style she would read, saying she enjoys picking up stories in the psychological drama genre where there are uncomfortable situations and no clear right or wrong answers.
Having finished Come Back to Me in less than a week, I was eager to discover how she came up with the concept of writing about four characters, with each chapter written from the point of view of one of them – and each chapter short, sweet and succinct, some of them less than a page long.
“My characters seemed to develop very organically and I asked myself questions about them all the time while they were growing,” she explains.
“Sometimes if I hit a difficult patch then I may structure their backgrounds and personalities but I always end up drifting away from that, becoming more of an internal process.
“I do a lot of my own reading at night and I’ve always disliked the fact that when I get into a really good book, I just want to get to the end of the chapter but it’s too long so I enjoy breaking up my own chapters to be shorter than expected.
“One of the scenarios of Come Back to Me that I wanted to explore was the genuine love triangle where you can’t really pick who should be with who and explore the circumstances that lead people into certain directions – I originally started with three characters but then came to the realisation I needed a balance because it was simply too one-dimensional.”
Still freelancing every so often, Sara is incredibly enthusiastic and avid about spending her days using her creativity to cultivate her novels and laughingly tells me she finds her motivation in her madness.
“I’m really passionate about the stories when I’m writing them, always really believing in the characters and that they have a genuine scenario that is relatable when it comes to broader emotions.
“My stories are quite internal issues and it’s enjoyable for me to write about deeper issues that are not necessarily easy to talk about but that we all know and experience.”