Author Interview Liar Liar Blog Tour

How long have you been writing?

My first endeavors were in 2005. My sister had written a book and I thought it was a fascinating thing to do, so I tried. I wrote every evening and almost every night, in between looking after my 3 children and got it finished in about 4 months – although it has never been published I did manage to get an agent interested in it.

What is your favorite genre to write?

I’ve only ever written crime, though I have dabbled a little with a few comedic short stories and a few attempts at poetry. I think I need to stick with crime though – none of my short stories have ever even made it to the top three in my local writers’ group competitions!

Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

I’d like to try woman’s literature, romance and maybe a bit of the saucy stuff. I don’t think I’d be very good at historical literature (there’s too much research to be done), or sci-fi, or horror (though some might think my novels could be classed as horror!)

Please tell us about your book.

It’s a race to identify a killer who is targeting police officers and killing them in the most horrific ways. Left at each murder scene is a smooth-stemmed red rose. Charlie and Hunter have to identify suspects and work out why the victims were targeted, as well as catching the killer before they strike again. The team is stretched to the limit and appears to crack under the pressure. I dreamt up the story whilst out walking, at a time when I was feeling a little disillusioned with my work as a police officer.

Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

Well obviously I love Charlie, Hunter and all members of the team but actually, in Liar Liar I was very fond of my murderer, simply because of their pathos and back story. I can’t really say anything more without giving the game away I’m afraid, but hopefully you’ll know who I’m talking about. The character was damaged and desperate but in a strange way was also eager to please.

My least favourite – well let’s just say I can’t cope with laziness.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

Two weeks before my deadline I still wasn’t happy with the final version. It was lacking. Although I had a murderer, I didn’t feel their motivation to murder was strong or sinister enough. It was while out walking that the whole idea of the red rose and nursery rhyme came to me. I had two weeks to completely re-write the book but I think and hope it was worth it. Walking is always my solution – there’s nothing like fresh air to stir the imagination.

What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

I don’t really have a set routine – I write whenever I can, in between family gatherings, DIY and training for my big challenge, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro next year. Some days I will write for ten hours with just a few tea breaks, other days I don’t write at all. I do try to write every day though, to keep up the momentum. The only thing I really need is an idea of the subject matter, a vat of tea and a bit of peace and quiet.

How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

About 3 months to write it finishing at the beginning of June 2017, then 2 months going through the editing process.

Can you tell us about your editing process?

It’s sheer hell! Definitely not my favorite part of writing but I do know how absolutely necessary it is. Basically, I write the book, breathe a sigh of relief for a day or two and then go through it several times before the deadline, cutting and amending. My publisher/editor then reads it and sends me a structural edit, which includes any major problems with the plotline or characterization. I make the changes required before then getting the copy-edit, which goes through the whole manuscript in minute detail. Corrections include any amendments to the time-line, location detail, continuation errors, repetition, dialogue (usually, who is speaking at the time) and punctuation. I am then given two weeks to make the corrections required, before it goes back for the final process: proof reading. I don’t see it again until it pops up on my kindle on the day of publication.

Is this book part of a series?

If so, how many installments do you have planned? Yes, Liar Liar is the third in the series of DC Charlie Stafford novels. Book 4 is currently underway and I would love to write further Charlie stories, but it may depend on whether my lovely publishers, Aria want more. I certainly have plenty more ideas to keep Charlie and Hunter working hard for a long time yet. Charlie in fact has at least twenty more years to go until she can finally hand in her warrant card and retire. I wonder whether she will enjoy her service as much as I did.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Don’t just talk about it – do it! You’ll never know if you’re capable until you try. If you enjoy the process, it doesn’t really matter whether it ends up being published, or not. Just finishing the last word of your creation will be one of the most exhilarating and satisfying moments of your life.

Why should everyone read your book?

It’s scary, fast-paced and emotional, and hopefully will keep you guessing. Charlie, Hunter and the team are a great bunch who will always try their best and deserve our support. Also… Ben is back so you can follow his recovery and see how Charlie and he are moving on.

If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose? Agatha Christie, Jodi Picoult and Roald Dahl – all totally inspiring.

What inspired you to write your book?

Absolutely honestly – disillusionment with a colleague at work. It gave me the idea for the plotline of Liar Liar but I can’t go into any further detail. Suffice to say, writing can be very cathartic, especially if any slights need to be addressed.

Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

Yes – Book 4 and I’m really enjoying it. It is based on the first novel I ever wrote back in 2005 but which was never published. I loved the plot. It was based on a series of violent assaults on prostitutes in my police patch but I have now totally reworked it for Charlie and Hunter to investigate. I have also set it to run in parallel with a separate story-line, again one of which I had personal knowledge. I’m very excited about it and am just in the process of completing the finale.

In fact I’d better get on…. Thank you for talking to me x

About the book

From the bestselling author of Mummy’s Favourite and The Trophy Taker.

DC ‘Charlie’ Stafford returns with a superb new, brutally gripping serial killer thriller, where the hunter becomes the hunted. Perfect for the fans of Angela Marsons.

A faithful dog lies wounded beside the mutilated body of its owner.

A woman is discovered bound and gagged, dead in her own bed.

Both are police officers.

Both have a red rose at their side… worryingly more will follow…

Lies and accusations abound but who is behind the murders and why are the victims being targeted?

Charlie, Hunter and the team must find the killer targeting their own before another body is found.


About the author

With a Metropolitan Police career spanning 35 years Sarah has spent her adulthood surrounded by victims, criminals and police officers. She continues to work and lives in London with her partner and has three older daughters.






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