Meet the Members: Sara Jane Potter
Sara Jane Potter writes contemporary fiction, was born in Maidenhead and has been living in Nottingham since graduating from College. She has been writing since she was nine and is currently working on a new literary mystery. Sara also has a blog and is an excellent painter.
Tell us about your own writing process and what makes it special to you.
I write novels. I bang out the first draft as fast as possible, to get it over with 😊. First drafts are often cringeworthy but contain nuggets of gold. I put it away, then print it off and re-read. Make notes. Start on draft two. I don’t bother with minor corrections because you might delete huge chunks. (Although I keep deletions in a reject file.) Throughout the process, I record ideas, dreams, embellishments. I’m constantly brainstorming improvements, especially for the plot. I’m currently writing a dark comic contemporary thriller and working hard on plot, but I finally feel I have something special with this book.
How often do you write?
I try to write daily – even if it’s just a few slack minutes – as many writers recommend. And – to be honest – this helps keep the momentum, keeps it moving forwards. Obviously, I break this rule all the time though 😊
Plotter or Pantser, Architect or Gardener. Tell us your approach to creativity when creating your work.
I’m probably all these things. I plan a bit but love the unexpected and spontaneous. I think we’re all similar. Most writers start with something of a plan, but everything changes along the way. I rob a lot of my husband’s ideas too. Then I weave all the best stuff into the work in progress. I write directly onto my laptop and spew out my soul.
What has happened to make you feel proud of your written output?
I’ve created a strong online platform across all media. I’m proud of my stamina in the face of rejection spanning decades. I’m overdue being published due to bad luck, bad health, giving up and prejudice. But I’m finally getting somewhere now. I was shortlisted for the Penguin Random House WriteNow 2018 scheme before reaching round three of Hachette’s Future Bookshelf publishing scheme 2019. And, last year, I won one of three mentoring places with Writing East Midlands Arts Council, which started in November 😊
If there is a writer you consider yourself to be like, who is it and why do you feel the connection?
My current novel is most like Kate Atkinson’s Case Histories. There are three ingredients I look for in fiction: humour, beautiful prose, and a mystery. So, I try to achieve these elements in mine. Other authors I adore are Michel Faber, Maggie O’Farrell, Bonnie Nadzam, Belinda Bauer.
Do you have a favourite book?
The Crimson Petal and The White, by Michel Faber. It’s a huge slab of sumptuous historical fiction, which is not my usual thing; but I was introduced to Michel Faber when I read Under the Skin, which is different again. I love both. I love the way Michel writes. His prose is so scrumptious you could eat it. Under the Skin was made into a film, starring Scarlett Johansson. And TCPATW was dramatized for TV a few years ago.
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading a proof I was lucky enough to grab through this year’s Stroud Festival. It’s a debut by Anna Bailey called Tall Bones, due out next year. I’m also reading Alan Davies’ autobiography, Just Ignore Him. I don’t usually read autobiographies, but my Mum bought me this, for its childhood trauma, as she knows I thrive on darkness, lol.
Find out more and keep up to date with Sara at the following places!
Facebook writing page: https://www.facebook.com/AbnormalANovel/
Facebook art page: https://www.facebook.com/oilsbysjs