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where do you get your ideas from?
A. Places I've worked, stories I've heard, conversations I've overheard on the train, movies, - you name it, my brain is constantly out there, trawling for story ideas. I blame my time on TV soaps for this – feeding the hungry story machine means you have to come up with lots of ideas all the time. I might come up with a single scene first, or a scenario. But then I have to find my characters, and work out what's keeping them apart. That's the fun/hard bit.

why romance?
A. It's happy, it's sexy, it's what I like to read. I do have a burning ambition to write a great fantasy opus, also, but romance is where my heart is. I used to want to write crime novels, and I definitely went through a stage where I was obsessed with Patricia Cornwell, but then I just reached a stage (or an age) when I decided I didn't want ugly, violent images in my head any more. Life is hard enough. So now, when I read – and when I write – I'm looking for escapism, joy, laughs.

Is Sarah Mayberry your real name?
A. Yes. I'd always planned on having a pseudonym if I ever got published – had it all picked out and everything. But then, when I did get published, I decided that the only reason I'd use a pseudonym is because I was embarrassed or not comfortable with what I was writing. And if I wasn't comfortable, I figured I probably shouldn't be doing it. So… the upshot is, my name is on the book.

Do you write everyday?
A. I write a lot. I'm still writing for television, so I often have scripts or other work to do for that. But I'm also constantly jotting down ideas and trying to work up proposals for books and other mediums. I like knowing what I've got ahead of me – having some projects in the pipe line. When I'm actually writing a book, it's a pretty full time gig. I start in the morning around 10 or so, and work through till six. Often I just zone out at lunch over the keyboard, dropping crumbs everywhere. I like to write in uninterrupted bursts – all day – and I like to work on a book in a big burst, too, and get it all down in one big blurt. I've been trained to be very disciplined about my writing schedule – years of deadlines from magazine and TV writing. There is no waiting around for the muse to arrive in this household.

Those sex scenes...
A. Okay. This is where we all start drawing lines in the dirt with the tips of our shoes and shuffling from side to side uncomfortably. Obviously, the sex in my books is pretty hot. Is it based on my life? It's based on my imagination. A good friend said once that when she read the love scenes in my book she just imagined me and my partner, Chris. Please, anyone who knows us, don't do that! My characters are fictional!

I love your website... who designed it?
A. Thank you. My fabulous neighbour, Shane Waugh, made my new site for me. He's utterly shameless about taking on new work, too! Feel free to get in touch with him by clicking on his credit to the left of the home page. 

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