Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Before There Were Angels by Sarah Mathews

What inspired you to become an author?

I wrote my own auto-biography when I was four – my mother still has it. I made it up out of paper and with a felt cover and illustrated it (my drawings are pretty much the same level as then, though I like to think my writing has improved). In it I even described my own death at the grand old age of twenty-eight – apparently I was to die in a hot air-balloon accident. Funnily enough I was given an opportunity to go in one at around the same age – I declined and lived long enough to become a proper writer.

Do you have a specific writing style?

Not that I’m aware of. I write a number of different genres, in different names, and I’d like to think that I can turn my hand to a number of styles.

If yes which is your favorite genre to write?

Oh paranormal! I just can’t get enough of ghosts and things that go bump in the night.

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

The book is based on the story told to me by a friend about another friend. She was being plagued by the crazy ex-wife of her husband. As it happens, this woman had become obsessed by the idea that she had a whole gamut of angels looking after her.

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?

There’s always a working title. Sometimes my publishers keep it, on other occasions they ask me to rethink. On this occasion the working title was kept.

What book are you reading now?

I just finished The Wedding Gift, by Kathleen McKenna. It was gripping – one of those books you feel grief for when it finally ends. Tonight will be a ‘new book’ night – which means I’ll take myself off to bed nice and early with a cup of tea and my seriously overloaded Kindle. I haven’t decided which book to read yet, but I’m toying with the idea of re-reading Marya Hornbacher’s astonishing memoir on eating disorders, ‘Wasted’. I’m very interested in psychology – I think most writers are.

How long have you got?

I still haven’t got round to reading ‘Life of Pi’ and I’m really looking forward to reading Charlotte Castle’s ‘Simon’s Choice’. She is a ‘stable-mate’ of mine (we have the same publisher) and it has received rave reviews.

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

I’m writing the sequel to Before There Were Angels, amongst other writing projects.

Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?

Before There Were Angels is set in my beloved home town of San Francisco, so for this one, no. But I have hopped on planes and crossed the country just to visit reputedly haunted houses before. Some writers can write without visiting a place, but for me I simply have to experience the atmosphere, sounds and smells of a place to write about it.

Who designed the cover of your latest book?

My publishers handle it. They are rather sweet and unlike most publishers do allow me a say in the final artwork, though ultimately the choice is theirs – they put the money up, after all!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Be ruthless with your own writing. There is no point in clinging to paragraphs that don’t work because you think the writing is pretty – it probably is, but you will write other pretty paragraphs – you must keep the plot moving forward and you must make the reader care. Reader’s don’t care about colourful adjectives – only writers do. Write for readers, not yourself.

Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?

I would say the Carmina Burana, but that’s been done in The Omen. Something creepy – with lots of twanging strings and dischords.

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Before There Were Angels
Sarah Mathews

She was the ex-wife who wouldn't go away

When Luke leaves his wife, Rafaella, divorces her, moves to the US, meets Belle, falls in love with her, and then marries her and her two young sons, they all settle down to live happily ever after.

Until Belle spots an ad for a classic San Franciscan Victorian in which four murders have just taken place. It's ideal: it's a Victorian, it is probably haunted and it is unbelievably cheap to rent.

However, they could probably have done without the terror, torment and tragedy that pursued them in their new house.

Should they have stayed in their cozy mid-city apartment and spared themselves the anguish of what was to come? Possibly, but Rafaella was not the kind of woman who was ever going to leave them alone.

Chapter 1

There was a time when everything was perfect, when there was pure love, and pure hope, and pure dreams – pure ecstasy.

We had it all.

But that was in the time before there were angels. Avenging angels.

And some angels will avenge anything.

When I saw her for the first time, that was it. Pure love even pure thoughts, for a second or two.

She was tall, lithe-limbed, with knowing eyes and Scandinavian white hair that invited me to dive my fingers into it to make her tense and preen.

Yes, those pure thoughts really did only last a few seconds.

Astonishingly, my immediate reaction to her was reciprocated. She wanted to rake her hands through my hair too (dark and tangled) and to run them down me as we kissed, as she told me afterwards many times when we reminisced about that first meeting.

We were a human taste explosion that neither of us had ever experienced with anyone else, and it wasn’t as if either of us was inexperienced.

Nothing had ever happened to us like this and nothing could again, or so we thought.

We were magic together from that first moment of that impossible soul fusion.

And already our best moments were behind us, and not for want of trying.

Before she became an avenging angel.

About the Author- Sarah Mathews

Sarah Mathews lives in San Francisco and has written her first book set in an architectural symbol of the city - a 'Victorian'.

There is the slight  problem that while there are reputedly several ghosts who march around the city, there are very few murders that take place there, however Sarah seems to have corrected that