adult contemporary fiction
and children's fiction, writing as Wendy White
|Sara Gethin is a pen name
of Wendy White. She grew up in Llanelli and studied theology and
philosophy at Lampeter University. Her working life has revolved around
children – she’s been a childminder, an assistant in a
children’s library and a primary school teacher.
Her debut novel, Not Thomas, a contemporary story about a neglected five-year-old boy, was published by Honno Press in June of this year. It has been short-listed for the Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize 2017.
She also writes children’s books as Wendy White, and her first book, ‘Welsh Cakes and Custard’ published by Gomer Press, won the Tir na n-Og Award in 2014. She has written two further children’s books – ‘Three Cheers for Wales’ and ‘St David’s Day is Cancelled’.
Questiions for Sara
1. Are you working on a new book?
There’s a second novel for adults fully formed in my head at the moment, just waiting to be typed up.
2. What’s your preferred genre?
I would have said writing for children until I started writing for adults, but now I love them both.
3. What do you love most about writing in your genres?
The freedom to be funny one day, deadly serious the next.
4. What is your writing style?
I have a tendency to make life difficult for myself – Not Thomas is written entirely from a five-year-old’s point of view. I’ve not been kind to myself in the next book I’m planning either.
5. What gives you inspiration for your books?
Life, newspapers, my teaching experiences. Music is extremely important to me too.
6. Of all the characters you’ve created, which is your favourite?
Tomos, the central character from ‘Not Thomas’ – he’s child #3 in my family.
7. What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?
Mrs Pugh Year Two. She’s that terrible thing – a teacher that doesn’t like children.
8. What is the biggest surprise that you experienced by becoming a writer?
The amount of work you need to put into promoting a book – you’d imagine writing the thing would be the hardest part!
9. What has been the best compliment?
It was the night after my book launch for Not Thomas. I was nervous for Tomos out in the world all alone, and couldn’t sleep. I turned on my phone at three in the morning and a message came through on Facebook. It said: “Just finished your book. Am in tears.’ I was a little less nervous about him after that.
10. Tell us about your plans for the future.
I’m hoping to have a little time away from promoting Not Thomas soon, so I can begin work on my second novel. I need to get it out of my head and onto my laptop – before I forget it all!
Read an interview with Sara (Wendy) on Judith Barrow's Blog
links as Wendy White