I’m a military spouse. Being a part of the RAF family is a hugely important part of my life. Moving around a lot has given me the confidence to put myself out there and make friends. Connecting with readers is such a big part of being an author, and I feel like my life experience has made this easier for me to do.
I chose my pen name as a tribute to my grandpa. We were always very close, and he used to tell me these nonsense rhymes and poems when I was a little girl that I still remember word for word. He was always a big reader, and his love of books has been passed down to me via my mum.
I love a happy ending. It’s why I write and read romance. Whatever might be happening in the world, there is always comfort to be found in an uplifting story.
Friendships and ‘blended’ families are the bedrock on which all my stories are based. Coming from a very happy step-family, I think it’s vital to show the positive side of those relationships. Moving around makes it hard to keep friendship bonds alive, but there are people I have met along the way who will always be a part of my family. Whether we spoke yesterday, or three years ago, it doesn’t matter—I know they are there if I need them, and they know they can always count on me.
I’m never happier than when I’m on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean. There’s something very grounding about staring out into that vast horizon of blue. I also find that being on board is like stepping out of time for a couple of weeks. By the second day, I am totally attuned to the ship’s time and I lose track of even what day of the week it is. Being able to escape every now and then is vital in order to recharge my batteries.
My husband and I have our own phrases and words that won’t make sense to anybody else. I think most couples do. It’s a secret code that encompasses places we’ve been or funny situations. We also have nicknames for each other (well actually the same nickname), and that’s one of things I often bring into the couples that I write. I love that special bond which says ‘I know this person better than anyone else’.
I can’t stand coffee. Don’t believe all those myths about every writer being fuelled by caffeine—some of us run entirely on Chenin Blanc!
I’m friends with lots of people I’ve never met. Writing is such a solitary experience, I don’t know what I would do without the amazing people who live in my computer every day. I’ve got some brilliant friends within the writing community and I don’t think any of us would be where we are without the mutual support we share. We celebrate the highs, commiserate with the woes and give each other a kick when the deadlines are looming.
I’m normally in bed by nine p.m. I’ve always needed a lot of sleep. People told me I’d need less as I got older, but I’m still waiting. I could never be a secret agent—a couple of days of sleep deprivation and I’d be spilling the beans!
I hate the term ‘guilty pleasure’. Finding pleasure in things is a fundamental part of the human experience, so never, ever apologise for anything that brings you joy.
Sunrise at Butterfly Cove by Sarah Bennett is out now, published by HQ, HarperCollins in paperback priced at £7.99