I first met Sara when she attended one of my workshop weekends at the Cottage Hotel in Hope Cove. She soon joined the Wednesday Writers, a monthly artist’s date, also at the Cottage Hotel, hosted by myself and writing co-conspirator, Christine Cooke.
Then, with three other local writers, Sara spent a year (2018) in a RedPen Manuscript Review group with me. We met at my home every six weeks or so to discuss their WIPs.
For Sara, the WIP was a book based on her series of Conversations with Nell (her wise and loyal Labrador) which has entertained her readers since 9 March 2016. These now daily conversations have blossomed into a compelling ‘soap’ with 22,000 followers on the Facebook page. You can also see them on Sara’s website.
Sara’s book Conversations with Nell: The Discerning World of a Wise and Witty Labrador is to be published on 28 April 2020, but you can pre-order now.
The other day, I asked Nell if Sara had been using Scrivener and, if so, would she like a guest blog post to promote her book. And, in true ‘Conversations with Nell’ style, this came to me by email. (Me = Sara)
Nell: So, I’ve been talking to Anne.
Me: Anne Rainbow?
Me: My RedPen mentor Anne?
Me: Wednesday Writers Anne?
Nell: If we are going to list all the things Anne Rainbow does, we are going to be here a very long time.
Me: True. Why were you talking to Anne?
Nell: We were discussing Scrivener.
Nell: You are doing that annoying thing again of repeating everything I say.
Me: So why were you discussing Scrivener?
Nell: Well, you know the mess you got into with your first book?
Me: ‘Conversations with Nell’?
Me: Out on 28 April 2020 but available to preorder from Amazon?
Me: I think mess is a bit harsh, Nell.
Nell: You had notes everywhere.
Me: I know I did.
Nell: You had to search your files to find characters’ names.
Nell: You couldn’t remember which conversation went where.
Nell: When you had an idea you had to write it down somewhere and then you couldn’t find it again.
Me: That happened a few times.
Nell: It was complete chaos.
Me: Alright. You’ve made your point. I was a little disorganised.
Nell: Well, not anymore.
Me: Why not?
Nell: You’re going to be writing your next book with Scrivener.
Me: I am?
Nell: Yes. And then none of this mess and confusion will happen.
Me: Won’t it?
Nell: No. You’ll have structure and order.
Me: I will?
Nell: Yes. So you can concentrate on your writing without the worry of organising it.
Me: I’m glad you talked to Anne.
Nell: I knew you would be.
Nell: I told you to use Scrivener last time.
Me: I know and I should have listened to you.
Nell: And to Anne.
Me: Yes. Sorry.
What can I say?
More about Sara Martin
Whether as a radio presenter, subtitler, teacher, voiceover artist, mother, or author, words have always been a part of Sara’s life. Talking to her animals comes naturally to her, only now we can listen too.
Nell: You wrote your first play when you were seven.
Sara: Words are my life.
Nell: You lived in Africa for six years broadcasting for the BBC World Service and teaching drama to teenagers.
Sara: I also worked as a subtitler and editor in Berlin and I speak fluent German.
Nell: You have an M.A. in English Language and Literature and you’re also a professional voiceover artist.
Sara: But my dream has always been to write.
Nell: It’s why we moved down to Devon.
Sara: Yes. I am living the dream.
Nell: I may just be a Labrador, but I feel I played a part in all this.
Sara: Yes. Sorry.
More about Nell
Conversations with Nell follows the adventures of the real-life Martin family through conversations between writer Sara and her wise and loyal Labrador, Nell. Available from Sara’s website and on Facebook.
You can also contact Sara via her website.
If you would like to have a guest blog spot, contact me!
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