Sunday 23 October 2011


1.              What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now? 
My name is Sarahjane Funnell, I was born in Croydon in Surrey but lived in Plymouth, Devon all my life and have only recently moved to Epping in Essex after graduating from University.

2.            Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be? 
I haven't always knowingly wanted to be a writer however I have always written stories since I was a child. I wanted to be an actress and professional dancer, which trained for until I was 20 and then decided to go to University and study Fashion Journalism.

3.            When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
 I first considered myself a writer when I completed my BA (Hons) degree in Fashion Journalism and when I found out one of my short middle grade stories was to be published in a children's anthology, which I discovered a few days after my graduation ceremony.

4.            Did it take a long time to get your first book published? 
The first story I have has published only took a year to get published. I emailed the story to a company called Rebel Books who were searching for authors of magical stories for the 7-9 readerships. My story Princess Rose and the Royal Tea Castle, which I had submitted to about 6 publishers and agents, was accepted and this is my first published works.

5.            Do you work another job as well as your writing work? 
I work as a Regional PR Officer for Lush Cosmetics.

6.            What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say? 
My latest book is a YA ebook entitled Blake. Blake is a captivating short story that will spark the imagination of Young Adult readers, taking them on an emotive journey of self-discovery within two contrasting worlds.

7.            Who is your publisher? or do you self publish? I self published Blake with a company called Gibson Publishing.

8.            How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it? 
Depending on the length of the book it usually takes me around a week to write the story spending around 2 hours per night to write from start to finish. The editing process takes me a bit longer and I often read the story and re-read it several times changing around certain points.

9.            Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others? 
My books to date are all short stories. I have a young children's picture book soon to be released during early 2012, which is also relatively short however I am currently working on a middle grade novel, which has around 15 chapters and is taking me longer to write than usual. This is due to me wrking full time ad working on the PR for my other books at the same time.

10.        What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre? 
I will be releasing several young children's picture book series in print and ebook format and then a middle grade novel.

11.        Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
 My up and coming picture book sue to be released in March 2012 will be part of a series.

12.        What genre would you place your books into? 
My stories, even though are for a variety of ages, are all part of the fantasy and adventure genre.

13.        Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite? 
My favourite story I have written so far is the children's picture book I am soon to release. It is magical, imaginative and fun and will appeal to lots of children.

14.        Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite? 
Phillipa who is the little girl in my forthcoming picture book is my favourite character. She is a curious girly girl who has a sense of adventure.

15.        How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write? 
I have been writing all my life and I think my inspiration to write comes from my love of books. As a young child my mum would read to me every night and when I was about 12 years old, my best friend and I would spend Saturdays in the local City Library looking at books all day.

16.        Where do you get your book plot ideas from?
Ideas can sping to me from anywhere. Often a colourful picture or image will spark a sudden idea and from that an entire story can develop in my head and I have to write the bullet points for the basic plot in a notebook.

17.        Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?
 I always give my drafts to my best friend who is a Primary School Teacher and she often reads them with her class to find out their opinions. My boyfriend is also a Teacher too so he helps check the grammar.

18.        Do you gift books to readers to do reviews? 
My debut book is an ebook so I have provided complimentary electornic copies to reviewers and I will do this with my printed picture books also.

19.        Do you read all the reviews of your book/books? 
I always read my book reviews and record any coverage. It's important to read all reviews so you know what readers and reviewers think of you stories and plots so you can develop as an author. It's also great to look back on all the coverage.

20.        What was the toughest/best review you have ever had? 
All my reviews have been really positive and the only thing that could be improved was the reader wanted to find out more. Blake is a short story and is designed that way however there could easily be a follow on story or a series, which I am considering.

21.        How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books? 
The title for my stories usually features the lead or one of the lead characters names and my friend Dimitra Mathoudakis who is a Graphic Designer designed the cover illustration for Blake.

22.        How do you market/promote your books?
 I market and promote my books my contacting book bloggers and local media. A lot of my university friend also has blogs, which is a wonderful way to promote my work.

23.        What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ? 
I think a book becomes a best seller when it appeals to it's intended audience, is affordable and widely available.

24.        Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"? 
I think writer's block is easily solved with a cup of tea and a biscuit. It often helps to step away form the computer and look at some inspirational pictures or magazines.

25.        What do you do to unwind and relax? 
I like to relax after a nice bath with a cup of tea.

26.        Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you? 
I have taken inspiration from real life events or people but this is only as a starting point. I always develop new characters and new situations.

27.        Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..") 
My stories usually have an obvious realisation within the story.

28.        Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
Lewis Carroll, Walt Disney, Enid Blyton are my main influences.

29.        Which format of book do you prefer, ebook, hardback, or paperback? 
I love hardback books and I think they look brilliant on a bookshelf. Paperback books are great for carrying around and ebooks are a wonderful way for authors to lauch themselves into the market.

30.        What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once? 
My favourite book is a girly novel entitled Amy's Honeymoon by Julia Llewellyn and since reading it several times I've been longing to go to Rome.

31.        Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst book to movie transfer?
My favourite book to movie transformation is Narnia, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis directed Andrew Adamson as it is so life like. I think some movie work better than others when developed from a book however it depends upon the reader and how you imagine the story. I think the story always differs to the film however good the interpretation.

32.        What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
I am currently reading I Heart New York by Lyndsey Kelk in paperback. It's a great story and I can't wait to finish it.

33.        Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books? 
Ebooks will never replace printed books. Readers appreciate different things and have different needs. There's nothing like the feel of turning the pages of a thick hardback book filled with pictures.

34.        Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative writing?
I think children could be encouraged to read and write a lot more. Imagination is free and so is inspiration and it can open up an entirely new world of opportunity and should be encouraged

35.        Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them? I hope I will be an author you will watch out for!

36.        Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be? 
I don't think there is anything I would change about any of my books. I think about the bok I am working on at each moment and if I go back to a story it will be t develop a sequel or series.

37.        What do you think about book trailers? 
I am not too familiar with book trailers. I think a book trailer seems to much like a film.

38.        What piece of advice would you give to a new writer? 
Whenever you have an idea write it down. Don't be afraid to go above and beyond expectations and always believe you can do it even if you recieve negative criticism. You can achieve you dreams and all you need is a notebook.

39.        Do you or would you ever use a pen name? 
I will always use my own name as that is who I am.

 Where can readers follow you?
Readers can follow me on Twitter @sarahjanestyle and via my blog
Your blog details?
Your web site ?
Your facebook page?
Your Goodreads author page?
Your Twitter details? @sarahjanestyle
And any other information you wish to supply?

If you would like to download my ebook please visit these Amazon links:

ebook release 10/10/2011
New YA ebook by Sarahjane Funnell
Children’s Author Sarahjane Funnell has published her
first YA fantasy story entitled Blake, launching as an
ebook with Amazon and on Monday 10th
October 2011, published by Gibson Publishing.
Blake, downloadable for £2.99, is the latest literary addition
to her published repertoire, which includes the short story
Princess Rose and the Royal Tea Castle published within
the middle grade Children’s Anthology A Pocketful of Moondust.
Blake is an aloof and mysterious guy. He possesses a sharp glint in his eye and
harbours a hidden secret. Ebony, a schoolgirl, becomes completely mesmerised
by him and his strange character. Longing to unveil just what it is that makes
Blake so different, Ebony desperately searches for him to find the answer. When
Ebony finally has an opportune moment to discover the secret that surrounds
Blake, she learns that it is not only he who hides an unknown identity but that she
too has an inner secret that stretches far beyond her own existence. An unknown
secret that changes not only her thoughts and the ways of the world but also her
physical human form.
Blake is a captivating short story that will spark the imagination of Young Adult
readers, taking them on an emotive journey of self-discovery within two
contrasting worlds. Featuring rich language and powerful emotion, Blake is
perfect for readers looking for an introduction to fantasy fiction or shorter reading.

To find out more about Sarahjane Funnell please see extra notes below or visit or follow her on Twitter @sarahjanestyle.
Extra Notes
* Sarahjane Funnell a newly published children’s fiction author and is also the
Regional PR Officer for LUSH Cosmetics. She studied at UCA Epsom and
graduated in June 2010 with a BA (Hons) in Fashion Journalism. Predominantly
Sarahjane writes young children’s picture books and a middle grade stories but is
now launching her first short story written for YA readers. Sarahjane Funnell
“I can remember as a young girl being at home writing little stories and drawing
pictures then putting little books together. I remember reading adventure books
such as Enid Blyton classics and Alice in Wonderland as well as watching
fantasy films including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Disney’s Beauty and
the Beast and Sleeping Beauty. These stories and have inspired my love for
castles, magical lands and imaginative creatures. As a teenager I loved watching
Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was my favourite teen series and I always wanted to
be just like Buffy and became fascinated by Angel and the mystery that
surrounded him. I have also been inspired by the likes of other current fantasy
films such as Twilight and Avatar. I also have a fondness for nature, beautiful
gardens and historical houses which comes from growing up in Plymouth, Devon
and being surrounded by the likes of Dartmoor, many National Trust houses and
of course the sea.”
* A Pocketful of Moondust is a magical children’s anthology that was launched in
January 2011 by independent publishers Rebel Books LLP and is available to
purchase online from various online bookstores including, and
*Blake by Sarahjane Funnell will be available to download as an ebook from
Amazon and on Monday 10th October 2011
*Cover Illustration by Graphic Designer and Illustrator Dimitra Mathioudakis

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