Sarah Clarke – Q&A

Sarah Clarke is the author of A Mother Never Lies which was published by HQ Digital in ebook on 27 August 2021 and in paperback on 28 October 2021.

Sarah kindly answered a few of my questions.

1. Tell us a little about A Mother Never Lies.

A Mother Never Lies is a psychological thriller that tells the story of Phoebe and Ben. Phoebe is back in London to find her son Charlie, who she lost access to following a traumatic event when he was 3 years old. Ben is the adopted teenage son of a wealthy London family, with his own private demons. As Phoebe and Ben’s lives become more entwined, the truth of what happened gradually unravels with dangerous consequences.

2. What inspired the book?

I was inspired by an article written by the birth mother of an adopted child, who was upset about the family court applying a permanent solution (adoption) to what she believed was a temporary problem. Family law follows the paramountcy principle where a child’s needs always come first, and I wanted to explore how this could affect birth mothers.

3. Are you a plan, plan, plan writer or do you sit down and see where the words take you?

I have so much respect for writers who can just let the words flow because I need the reassurance of a plan before I start. It begins as a mish mash of ideas on a Word document, but by the end it’s an Excel spreadsheet with a chapter-by-chapter structure. That said, the plan always changes, largely because the characters start to behave in a way I didn’t initially foresee.

4. Having been through the publishing process, is there anything about the process of creating a novel that surprised you?

I completed the Faber Academy Writing a Novel course in 2018/19 and my tutor Julia Crouch explained the different stages involved in creating a novel so nothing has been too much of a surprise. I’m a copywriter for my ‘day job’ so I did wonder if I might be involved in writing the blurb, but the HQ marketing team did a great job without me!

5. What do you do when you aren’t writing? What do you do to relax and get away from it all?

I have two teenage kids and a dog so most of what I do when I’m not writing revolves around the domestic chores that come with family life. But I do love sport so always try to make time for a run, gym class or game of tennis. I’m also always up for a coffee, walk or beer depending on the time of day.

6. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life which book would it be?

It would have to be a book that makes me laugh. Maybe Bridget Jones Diary.

7. I like to end my Q&As with the same question so here we go. During all the Q&As and interviews you’ve done what question have you not been asked that you wish had been asked – and what’s the answer?

I have not been asked why I write and I think that’s quite an important question. And the answer is… because I’m very curious about human behaviour. I love creating characters with specific upbringings, and then putting them in challenging situations. I feel like their therapist half the time – although not a good one, because I’m always encouraging them to make ever more questionable choices!

About the Book

I had the perfect life – a nice house, a loving husband, a beautiful little boy.

But in one devastating night, they were all ripped from me.

It’s been fourteen years, and I’m finally ready to face the past.

I’m taking my son back.

He just can’t know who I am…or why we were torn apart.

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