Our chat with Sarah Baker…
I wrote my first book when I was about 12. It was about a girl in a boarding school, which was writing what I knew. I’ve always loved writing, though I had no concept that being an author was possible as a career option. Instead I went to work in film for many, many years, eventually becoming a story editor, though it took an unexpected redundancy from that job to make me think – if not now, then when will I write that book? I gave myself three months. That book didn’t get published. The next one did.
I got a 2-book deal when I was about 8 months pregnant. It was a hugely exciting and incredibly daunting time. I started writing Eloise Undercover (my second book) when my baby was three months old, popping him into a sling and typing while he napped. What made me carry on? I drank a lot of tea.
A lovely fan emailed through my website to tell me she loved Through the Mirror Door (my first book) and that I was almost as good a writer as Lewis Carroll. I’ll take that.
Stay strong and keep writing. Rejection is tough, but it’s part of the publishing business and it doesn’t stop. Just because you got one book deal doesn’t mean you automatically get another and another and another. So you have to LOVE writing. A lot. But, if you do, carry on and find a writer friend or join a writing group because their support will be invaluable, and it’s great to have someone you can ask for advice. You may even make lifelong friends. (I’m looking at you, you lovely Book Bounders)
Find out more about the fabulous Book Bound retreat here.
Ha! I’m laughing because well, I try. I’m a mum who also happens to be a children’s author. I write when toddler wrangling is over for the day and he’s fast asleep. Some days that can be a bit of a challenge and all I’m good for is humming the theme tune to the Numberblocks, but I love writing, and this is what I’ve wanted to do since I was 12. So even if the night’s writing is rubbish (and it might well be if I’m working on a first draft), I’ll get the words down and, if there’s time, sink into a book /Netflix /Numberblocks medley afterwards. I wouldn’t change it for the world.