I am delighted to welcome Sarah Sky to Bookbabblers. Sarah has answered a few questions for us below…
Please tell us a little about yourself
I’m a freelance education journalist and live in London with my husband and two young sons. I’ve wanted to be an author ever since I was a child. I love reading, writing, baking and martial arts – I’m a green belt in kickboxing and a brown with two white stripes belt in karate, currently training for black.
Please tell us about Fashion Assassin and your inspiration for the book
Fashion Assassin is the second book in the Jessica Cole: Model Spy series and takes place six months after the action in Code Red Lipstick.
Jessica has no intention of spying again after nearly being killed by deranged supermodel, Allegra Knight and a rogue MI6 agent. That’s until she’s blackmailed into posing undercover as a bodyguard for brattish Russian supermodel, Katyenka Ingorovka. What seems like a simple job aboard Mr Ingorokva’s superyacht in Monaco soon turns into a deadly mission to stop the world’s most dangerous weapon from falling into the wrong hands. Jessica needs lots of cool gadgets to help get her out of this mission alive.
I got the inspiration for Jessica Cole after reading a diary a teenage supermodel wrote for a Sunday newspaper – detailing her time at Paris Haute Couture Week, while trying to finish her homework. I’ve always loved spy novels and films and it suddenly came to me that a teenage model – who travels the world, often unaccompanied by parents – would make a very good cover for a spy.
I keep cuttings of interesting newspaper and magazine articles about spying, gadgets and technological developments in warfare, because I’m interested in that sort of thing and think they can provide inspiration for thrillers and spy books. I was fascinated by one newspaper article I found about a recent scientific development – and knew that this would be the basis of the plot for Fashion Assassin. I built the premise of the book around that cutting. I can’t say what it is as it’d be a major plot spoiler!
What are you working on now?
Bizarrely and rather madly, I’m working on two books at once. I’m about 40,000 words into one and 20,000 words into the other. I love them both. They’re both very different to the Jessica Cole: Model Spy series. I can’t wait to finish them!
What was your journey to publication like?
I won’t lie, it’s been difficult and had a lot of ups and downs. Along the way I’ve lost agents (who have quit agenting or been made redundant). I also lost an eight-book publishing deal (which I’d completed all the books for) when my publisher went into voluntary liquidation. I was that close to publication and it was all whipped away from me. Eventually, I picked myself up, dusted myself down and tried again.
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Years before I was published, I remember attending a talk by Philip Ardagh, which I found very inspirational. Addressing an audience of aspiring authors, he said something like: ‘The only difference between me and you, is that I tried longer and didn’t give up.’
Obviously, he was being incredibly modest given his huge talent, but he was right about publishing – you have to be prepared to be in it for the long haul.
My advice would be to keep going and don’t give up if this is what you’re really passionate about. It can be a very long journey but it’s worth it when you get there.
Thanks, Sarah. Scroll down to read our review of Jessica Cole: Model Spy – Fashion Assassin.
Models, spies and lipstick gadgets in this fast-paced teen series. Supermodel Jessica Cole has no intention of ever spying again after she was nearly killed by an embittered ex-model and a rogue MI6 agent. That is until she’s blackmailed into posing undercover as bodyguard to a very rich fellow model. What seems like a simple job aboard a luxurious yacht in Monaco soon turns into a deadly mission to stop the most dangerous weapon in the world falling into the wrong hands. Jessica will need every gadget in her make-up bag if she wants to get out of this one alive.
Fashion Assassin is available to buy now: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jessica-Cole-Model-Fashion-Assassin-ebook/dp/B00OGDUI4A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420281785&sr=8-1&keywords=fashion+assassin
Sarah Sky is the author of Scholastic’s Jessica Cole: Model Spy series with Code Red Lipstick and Fashion Assassin. Catwalk Criminal is published in June 2015.
Sarah is a freelance education journalist and lives in West London with her husband and two young children.
She grew up in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, and studied English at Nottingham University before gaining a post-graduate diploma in journalism at Cardiff University.
She trained as a journalist at the Western Daily Press in Bristol. Her highlight was interviewing screen legend Charlton Heston and lowest point was being sneezed on by a cow at a fatstock competition.
Sarah worked as an education correspondent for a national newspaper before going freelance. She now divides her time between journalism and writing.
She loves reading, baking, table tennis and martial arts. She’s a green belt in kick-boxing and a brown with two white stripes at karate, currently training for black.