Sarah Todman

Sarah Todman

Q&A with Author Sarah Todman

What inspired you to be a writer?

I think a big part of it was the desire for connection. When I read a piece of writing that really makes me think or that elicits strong emotion in me I know the writer who crafted those words has done something special. I’ve been chasing that power ever since I began writing stories in high school.

What prompted you to write 'New Year’s Eve'?

My youngest child was born on 31 December. The labour was induced and the obstetrician gave us the option of booking it in for either 31 December or 1 January. I remember my husband suggesting we choose the latter because New Year’s Eve would be an awful birthday to be saddled with, and that struck me as odd – who doesn't want a birthday that everyone celebrates? This idea of how being born on a celebratory day in the calendar year, like New Year’s Eve or Christmas, might colour a person’s life stayed with me. 

Do you have any more books in the pipeline?

Of course I do! My current WIP is another distinctly Australian story. It is set in North Queensland – sugar cane country – a part of Australia I fell in love with when I moved there to work as a cadet journalist in the late 90s. The story centres on Dolly Barnes, a trainee doctor who is searching for her identity. Dolly is called on to rescue her ageing country and western singer mother’s latest pub and clubs tour, because the band has quit, and ends up rescuing herself in the process. 

What is your professional background?

I have been working with words for more than two decades. An early career in journalism parlayed into roles as a PR and media professional for various organisations. Over time I was able to carve out my own space as a communications consultant and freelance content writer, which is the work I continue to do today.

Any advice you’d like to give aspiring writers?

If writing is the thing that makes you come alive, then do it. Try not to get tripped up focusing on the ‘will I’ and ‘when I’ of getting published. My journey to publication wasn’t fast, but I can look back now and say the writing I did along the way was what mattered.

Who/what inspires you?

I am inspired by people who are curious and anyone who enthusiastically pursues a new endeavour. Life is too short not to give something a go.

What are your hobbies, interests and favourite books?

I’m obsessed with poetry – both writing it and discovering the work of other poets, new and old. A good novel can take me under for days, and I love that. But a poem, in just a few lines, can tell me a story, connect me to something I’ve been holding inside, or make me see the world in a new way… that, to me, is magical.

I am an introvert, so I love alone time. A long walk with my headphones in and music playing, or swimming laps in the local pool is a treasured part of my day.

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