Friday Night Drinks with… Sarah L Campbell

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Friday keeps coming around quicker and quicker, doesn’t it? Or is that just me? I have had a really packed week, so that could explain why it has flashed by I suppose. But hey, the weekend is here, yay! Time to relax and enjoy a drink and a chat with another bookish friend. Tonight I am delighted to be joined for Friday Night Drinks by author… Sarah L Campbell.

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Thank you for joining me tonight, Sarah and welcome to the blog. First things first, what are you drinking?

Pink Prosecco or a lovely cocktail like a passion fruit martini.  

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Yum, two of my favourites. Passionfruit is my go-to flavour in cocktails at the moment. If we weren’t here in my virtual bar tonight, but were meeting in real life, where would you be taking me for a night out?

We’d definitely have to have pre-dinner drinks at a cocktail bar, then on to an Italian restaurant, I love pasta. After that to a bar or small music venue to watch some live music. I like indie music, Jazz and folk etc. Also, 70’s and 80’s music… anything as long as it’s not dance! 

Picture of Sarah with a cocktail

Sounds like we are on the same wavelength for a perfect evening! If you could invite two famous people, one male and one female, alive or dead, along on our night out, who would we be drinking with?

I’d probably invite Stephen Fry for good conversation and witty banter and also Charlotte Bronte. I wrote my MA dissertation on her and I’d love to discuss themes in her books!

So, now we’re settled, tell me what you are up to at the moment. How and why did you start it and where do you want it to go?

At the moment, I’m writing the third novel in The Leaves of Change Café series. It will probably be the last book in the series and I wanted to tie up what’s been going on with the characters’ lives across the other books. 

What has been your proudest moment since you started writing/blogging and what has been your biggest challenge?

The proudest moment since I started writing for me was actually pressing publish on my first book. It took a lot of courage and I thought a lot about it beforehand, but I’m glad that I did it.  

My biggest challenge has been getting people to read my books as an indie author. It’s certainly been a steep learning curve, but it has all been worth it for that moment when someone leaves a review saying they enjoyed your book. 

What is the one big thing you’d like to achieve in your chosen arena? Be as ambitious as you like, it’s just us talking after all!

Oh well, I’d love for The Leaves of Change Café series to get made into a tv series or films. A girl can dream, right?

I’d like to write some mysteries, maybe that’s more achievable.  

Definitely achievable! What do you have planned that you are really excited about?

I’ve started a dual time story set in the first world war and the 1970’s. It’s completely different from what I’ve been writing. 

Sounds like your have diverse talents when it comes to writing! I guess that is one of the big advantages of being an indie author, no agent or publisher telling you that you have to stay in one niche! I love to travel, and I’m currently drawing up a bucket list of things I’d like to do in the future. Where is your favourite place that you’ve been and what do you have at the top of your bucket list?

Norway was one of my favourite places, such beautiful, breathtaking scenery and lovely towns. I had this gorgeous pancake style cake with milk there – I can’t remember what it was called, but it was delicious. 

I’d love to do a tour of Italy, I’ve never been. 

Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself.

I once raised money for Marie Curie by taking part in a swimathon. I had to train everyday but it was worth it in the end. I really should get back into my swimming. 

Sarah's Swimathon

I’ve just started open water swimming myself, it’s a great workout and exercise in mindfulness! Books are my big passion and central to my blog and I’m always looking for recommendations. What one book would you give me and recommend as a ‘must-read’?

If you’re looking for a laugh out loud read, I recommend Escape to Honeysuckle Hall by Rebecca Raisin. 

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A fresh start brings a second chance at love…

When Orly’s boyfriend and business partner dumps her for a celebrity fling, she finds solace in tacos, tequila and tears. One terrible hangover later, she’s packed her bags and swapped her London apartment for the overgrown grounds of Honeysuckle Hall.

After years spent catering to others’ whims, Orly is going after what she wants: a simpler life, surrounded by nature. Her plan to set up countryside retreats for burned-out city-dwellers means she soon has the social life she’s been dreaming of – and gorgeous carpenter Leo is always around when she needs something fixed…

As Orly’s new life blossoms, so does her friendship with Leo, and she wonders if she’s finally found somewhere to put down roots – until she discovers a series of anonymous notes, warning her off. Was she wrong to trust Leo? Or is someone else trying to sabotage her future?

So, we’ve been drinking all evening. What is your failsafe plan to avoid a hangover and your go-to cure if you do end up with one?

A cup of tea before bed and a snack like chips to soak everything up. I think above everything, sleep is the way to go, failing that, coffee and a fry up. 

Oooh, chips (I’m on a diet, I dream of chips!) After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?

Out for lunch somewhere artsy, browsing quirky shops like vintage and antique places or chilling out with a good book on the beach, or with a picnic at an historic house. 

That sounds absolutely perfect, we should definitely hang out in real life! Thanks for joining me tonight, it has been great fun and best of luck with your upcoming projects.

Sarah’s latest book is A Proposal for the Leaves of Change Cafe and you can buy a copy here.

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Things are going well for Michael and Aurora in Green Leaf until his ex-girlfriend shows up and starts causing trouble between them. Aurora begins to suspect that there is something more between the two of them than organising a book launch.

She comes to a drastic decision about the future for her and her baby daughter Robin. A return to acting sounds promising for her but is it worth moving away from everyone for? Can Michael offer an explanation for his behaviour and stop her from leaving?

Meanwhile the lives of those around Aurora begin to fall apart. When her mum’s partner Colin becomes ill, her mum, Catherine makes a decision about her future. No-one, especially Aurora saw that coming…

There’s trouble when Darren leaves Rachel, just at a time that she needs him most. She’s going to need her best friend Aurora more than ever.

After completing a variety of roles including working in libraries, the theatre and even training to be a teacher, Sarah L Campbell settled on writing in her early thirties. She decided that self-publishing was the right route for her and set about writing her first ever story, a children’s book about a muddled fairy. Since then, she’s self-published 4 more children’s stories and a teenage novel. She has written two books so far in The Leaves of Change Café Series.

She lives in the northeast of England with her family and beloved cat Louie, a one-time stray now king of the castle. When she’s not at home trying to work with the cat on her knee, she loves meeting friends for a coffee and having a good old natter, or visiting somewhere new, like an historic house or museum.

You can connect with Sarah via her social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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