Today, I am doing another interview with the amazing author Sarah Govett who I have had the chance to meet twice! Honestly guys, she’s lovely and her new book is incredible, I’ve already reviewed it so the link to that will be down below!
I am so lucky to have Sarah to talk to today! Thank you and welcome!
Hi Sarah! Tell me a bit about your childhood.
Hmmm. I’d say it was pretty innocent. I spent loads of time outside. I was into Robin Hood. I loved books. I was lucky in that I found school pretty easy.
And then boys, I started liking boys and life got way more complicated.
-That is so relatable, honestly boys just mess up everything! No, stay away from them! When was it that you first decided that you wanted to become an author?
I’ve always loved writing. As a child I was obsessed with Limericks, weird I know (!) and wrote many a terrible book ranging from the Adventures of Mr Kettle to a truly awful romance about a girl called Natalie who falls in love with a good but dangerous life guard called Sean (modeled heavily on a young Sean Bean). Then life and work took over. I was a solicitor for a while and then ran my own tutoring agency. There simply wasn’t any time to write. It was only after my first daughter was born and I was working less that I thought I’d have a go at doing this properly.
-That doesn’t sound too bad! They sound like very exciting reads! I think that’s great that you still decided to follow your passion while dealing with the stress of a child and your old job. Did this influence your book? What is your inspiration for The Territory? Any authors or situations that inspire you?
I think the real inspiration has come from my experience as a tutor. I wanted the book to serve as a metaphor for today’s results-obsessed and unfair education system, where outcome is as much determined by quality of school as by natural intelligence and where logical subjects are elevated above more creative ones. I think teens today, well in Britain anyway, are under such enormous pressure. They have to work so hard to sit exams in 9 or more subjects, often then to have their results denigrated by newspaper headlines declaring this year’s exams to be ‘the easiest ever’. The Territory is supposed to be a greatly heightened version of real life.
As far as other authors are concerned, I’ve probably been most influenced by John Wyndham, John Christopher and Margaret Atwood. I also love Gemma Malley’s books.
-Can I just say that I am so grateful that you understand what us teenagers are going through now and it is hard to live up to what society wants us to be. Thank you for putting that out there in your book in such a great way.The main character in your book, Noa, she’s so fantastic- what is your favourite thing about her? Where did she come from?
I like the fact that, as well as being sparky and determined, she’s also prone to doubt and selfishness. I wanted her to be a more relatable heroine. I love dystopian novels, but have often found the heroines to be slightly too self-assured and ready to sacrifice their lives for the cause. Maybe it’s just me, but I think in that situation I’d also really, really want to survive.
-That sounds just like my kind of attitude! I wouldn’t give a thought to the cause over survival! I think Noa captures that very well in the society you have created. What genre would you classify The Territory under? Does anything draw you to this genre?
Probably either dystopia or sci-fi. I love dystopia as when a society collapses, conventional morality also breaks down and everything gets a lot more primal. I’ve also always loved sci-fi (the non-space based kind). What’s so exciting is that so many of the seemingly crazy technologies or advances are so often later nearly within our reach. Just the other month the Director of Engineering at Google was suggesting that by 2030 our brains maybe able to connect to the internet through nanotubes. I find that terrifying!
– That certainly does sound terrifying and the way you moulded that idea to suit The Territory was very well done. It definitely had the desired effect of chilling everyone to the bone about how fast we are developing in society. Moving on to writing, what is the hardest thing about writing? Do you have any tips you can give to inspired young writers?
I’ve found the hardest thing is just finding the time to do it, particularly as you’re not going to get paid anything until the whole book is finished and even then there’s very little money in writing. So you have to fit writing round other stuff. As far as tips, I’d just say go for it. You have no idea if you can write a book until you try. And if you’re finding yourself just sitting there and nothing’s coming then maybe you’re writing the wrong book so try something else!
-That sounds like great advice! I will certainly be testing that out! But you have already proved to us that it can be done as you started off as a solicitor! In terms of marketing, what do you think about covers? Do you think they are important?
I think they’re really important. Obviously you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, blah blah blah, but you do. It’s got to try and give a flavour of what the book’s about.
-That is definitely true! We all try not to judge a book by its cover but honestly, if a book has a bad cover, we’re not going to pick it up are we?How can your readers discover more about you and your work?
I’ve got a website http://www.sarahgovett.com, a facebook page and I’m on twitter @sarahgovett
Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview with me! It was lovely to meet you and your books are so fantastic! Honestly everyone, if you haven’t read them yet- just read them!
Thank you so much to all you guys for reading this! I will have another post up super super soon so keep an eye out for that! All my social media links are down below as well as the Goodreads link for Sarah’s book and my review of it’
Talk to y’all soon!
The Territory Goodreads-https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24644285-the-territory#bookDetails
My Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/38362004-caitlin