I spend way too much time on the sofa. I have a desk and a nice little office, but for some reason I tend to be curled up on the sofa with my laptop, often with a YouTube ambience video playing in the background.

Stolen Girl

Stolen Girl

Beyonce gets me motivated. If I’m really struggling to find the words, listening to Formation tends to help me out. If she can slay all day so can I.

Sometimes I light a candle. There’s something particularly soothing about a good candle. You can match the candle to your book, too. For a book I set in the Carpathian Mountains, I chose a candle with an earthy, forest scent. For a domestic thriller, an indulgent mocha or a cinnamon bun scent could transport you into your character’s world.

I handwrite my plots. Nothing quite gets me in the zone like scribbling out a book plot. I picture the entire story unfolding as though it’s a movie or TV show and capture those beats as fast as I possibly can. Then the finer details can be added afterwards.

I often think about my next book while writing my current project. My books need to be digested before I can write them. That involves a lot of thinking before I even write a plan. Because the modern book market moves so quickly, I get most of my ruminations done while I’m writing one book and then I have things straight in my mind for the next one. This doesn’t always work, but when it does, it’s a lot of fun to dive into the next story.

Sprinting helps. Nope, not the pavement pounding type, but the Pomodoro method that many writers experiment with during NaNoWriMo. I set a timer for twenty minutes and the rule is that I write with no distractions for that time. If the phone rings, I ignore it. And then I have a ten-minute break and do the whole thing again. It’s a great way to ensure your writing is prioritised, though it might be tricky for authors juggling childcare.

I have TV and movie breaks. Reading is absolutely essential to being a writer, but I believe that watching good television shows and movies is important too. And it’s a great way for me to unwind from the often mentally exhausting writing periods. Sometimes I’ll be sitting at home in the middle of the day watching a horror movie when I eat my lunch. It’s a weird but wonderful job!

Sarah Denzil’s Stolen Girl, the hotly anticipated sequel to her Audible Thriller of the Year 2017 and Goodreads Choice semi-finalist, Silent Child, is out on Audible now.

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Like Nora in The Lost Girls of Foxfield Hall, I am a total rare books geek. Books are and have always been one of my favourite things in the world. In my everyday life, I work as a specialist librarian and have visited some of the most amazing libraries in the world. I’ve even held a first printing of The Prophecies of Nostradamus. Due to lockdown my library is closed at the moment and I miss it terribly...