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Sarah Pinborough talks Poison!

poison coverToday’s the day!! Poison is here, and to mark the day we have an interview with the brilliant Sarah Pinborough, about sex, fairy tales, characters, feminism and more, so without further ado, here it is!

You’ve had to do a lot of research into fairy tales for these novellas. If you could be one fairy tale character, who would you choose and why?

That’s a really hard question to answer, primarily because now that I’ve created my own versions I tend to see *those* characters in my head rather than the originals. It would have to be someone with magic – maybe a saucy wicked queen or a fairy godmother.  That dichotomy also probably sums up my personality. 

Many fairy tale retellings take a serious turn, often a feminist one. Did you find that happening to you?

It’s very hard not to discover your inner feminist when retelling these tales because so many of the lessons they teach women are so ridiculous and out-dated. A few from the top of my head: you must be beautiful find true love, if you’re ‘ugly’ you’re going to be mean, marriage to a rich man is the ultimate goal, and if you find yourself in trouble then a man will come along and save you (as long as you’re young and beautiful!). 

It was tricky to start with because I wasn’t trying to write ‘serious’ stories and I wanted these books to be fun and sexy and also have romance, but those rules still annoyed me, so I just allowed that world to exist but gave the characters motivations that were the same as we might have. 

Poison has been described as ‘Fifty Shades of [Snow] White’ (The Independent) – how do you feel about that?

My lord, if they think Poison was saucy wait until they get to Charm and Beauty! The sex ups with each one! I don’t mind the comparison at all, as it happens. I’m hoping that the sex scenes show something about the characters involved and actually help drive the plot as well as maybe adding a tingle to the reading experience. Personally, I don’t believe true love exists without great sex, so it needs a place in there.

You have an incredible writing career. Do you have any writerly tips for aspiring writers?

That’s very kind – I still think of myself as a newbie. I’m always a bit cautious of giving writing advice because everyone has their own way of doing it (a bit like sex, really), but I guess I’d say just set aside some time each day for focussed writing or give yourself a word count to achieve, and the book will eventually arrive. And then armour yourself with a tough skin and a charming smile.  

If you could have one writerly superpower, what would it be?

The ability to write in my sleep and therefore have my days to myself. 😉 Actually, scratch that, I’d just like to sleep properly. But, you know how it is, no rest for the wicked!

There’s a brilliant launch party happening this evening for Poison, can everybody come?

Yes! ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE. If we run out of wine, the pub is just across the road….I’ll be the tipsy blonde at the bar.

If you’d like to join us for the publication event en please do! We’ll be in Blackwells on Charing Cross road, with wine, cookies, books and a lot of fun planned, from 18.30 onwards. The more the merrier, so please drop in!