Yay – I Get To Be A Year Older! And Other Thoughts on Turning Forty

Birthday candles

No, that header is not sarcastic. Those of a cynical disposition who would prefer not read a soppy post, please look away now…

I turn forty this month and I’m absolutely thrilled about it.

For various personal reasons, I have always been aware of how lucky I am to be alive. I mean, we’re all lucky to be alive, but I very nearly didn’t make it out of babyhood (having been born with a literal broken heart, I was saved by a wonderful NHS cardiology department) and, without wishing to be too vomit-inducing, I’m so happy and grateful for my life and that I still get to be living it.

Rather than worrying about ageing (let’s face it, there can be few less-productive things to fret over), I’m truly celebrating. I get to be forty: I’m so blinking lucky!

I adored my thirties and so many amazing things have happened to me in the last decade – both personally and professionally – that it is only natural to feel a little sad at waving it goodbye. However, I have every intention of making my forties just as enjoyable and fulfilling. More time with family and friends, more writing, more travel and fun and nice food and reading good books!

Perhaps I have an unfair advantage; I was the child who couldn’t wait to grow up, the teenager who always wanted to be older, the woman in her twenties who ran joyfully into the arms of marriage, mortgage and motherhood. I have, frankly. always been middle-aged (reading, radio four, comfortable shoes, saying ‘gosh’) so it’s quite nice to be at the ‘right’ stage for my natural inclinations.





In The Light of What We See – Spotted In The Wild!

In The Light of What We See - Amazon Kindle Top 100
My book cosying up to The Night Manager in the Kindle Chart!

Hello, my lovelies.

I apologise for my continuing obsession with In The Light of What We See. Normal service (AKA book recommendations, cat pictures and writerly fretting) will be resumed shortly.

Reviews have been rolling in (eighty five-star reviews on Amazon so far!), it is still in the top 100 of the Kindle chart, and some folk have been kind enough to send me pictures of my book ‘in the wild.’

In The Light of What We See, Sarah Painter, book,

There’s one from my friend Rachel… Doesn’t my book look lovely with a glass of bubbly? What an EXCELLENT combination. Also, a big thank you to Aimee, who posted the lovely Kindle pic on Twitter.

Also, for those who may not know, this week was the London Book Fair (massive industry trade show). Keris Stainton (YA author and wonderful human being) spotted my book on my publisher’s stand and was kind enough to take some snaps. I almost fainted with excitement when I saw them. Seriously. I have been reading about London Book Fair (and deals struck there) for a decade and now my book was there: Displayed next to mega best-selling superstars Mel Sherratt and Mark Edwards. Meep!

I have also been thrilled with the number of book bloggers who have taken the time to read and review the book. Thank you to every single one – I am hugely grateful.

‘In The Light of What We See is a book that will stay with me for a long time, with two female characters who had such good stories to tell, in vastly different ways, but both were just as important and I never wanted to be done with Mina to get back to Grace, or vice versa. This was a delightful tale, and absolutely perfect for Sarah Addison Allen fans, you will not regret reading this book.’Bookish Escapes

In other news, I have been struggling with the WIP, drowning in a sea of admin (courtesy of my volunteer role at local youth theatre group), and trying not to let publication/deadline stress take over my life. Ha.

I am almost at the end of a new (very messy) first draft and that’s a bit of a tense time. I wrote about my fear of finishing over on The Worried Writer, if you’re interested.

Thank you for visiting and I hope you have a lovely weekend!


In The Light of What We See Publication Day! Meep!


Hello my lovelies!

*Standby for excessive exclamation marks and random CAPITAL LETTERS*


I am thrilled to share this book with you all and I really hope that you like it.

It’s a story I have wanted to write for a long time, and Mina’s voice came to me very clearly back in 2010, when I was doing my masters in creative writing at St Andrews university. Now, a mere (!) six years later it’s a proper shiny book and on the shelves.

Yay! I am celebrating with a meal out later on (and the champagne in the picture).

Thank you so much for reading and for all your support. I truly believe in this book and, of course, am super-nervous about its reception/whether it will do ‘well enough’.

It definitely helps that I woke up to find over forty five star reviews on Amazon, and the book sitting in the top hundred on the bestseller chart – phew!

In The Light of What We Seeavailable now in audiobook, ebook and paperback.

Word of mouth is still the biggest factor in a book’s success, so if you could tell a friend, send a Tweet or leave a review, I’d be over the moon.


Publication Celebration Giveaway – Pretty Book Swag!

Hello, my lovelies!


On the weekend, I took my book out for lunch in Edinburgh, and a good time was had by all… As you can see, my book likes a splash of Prosecco. Quite right, too!

As promised, I have procured some goodies to giveaway to celebrate the publication of In The Light of What We See.

image1 (1)I have had two gorgeous book lockets made. They are quite tricky to photograph, but here’s one held by me. The locket measures 22 x 17mm, but might look as if it is larger in my small-ish hand.

The locket opens and has spaces for two (tiny!) pictures/photos.

I also have some notebooks (one bird-themed as a nod to the ‘ghost birds’ which appear in the novel) and one with my book cover, and some lovely postcards.

Woodland Trust bird notebook
Woodland Trust bird notebook

On publication day (1st April – as if you could forget!), I shall pick three names at random from my mailing list and those lucky ducks will win one of the following prizes:*

1st: 1 book locket, 1 ‘bird’ notebook, 2 x postcards

2nd: 1 book locket, 2 x postcards

3rd: 1 book-cover notebook, 2 x postcards


In other (boasty) news: In The Light of What We See is still in the top 100 ‘Kindle Bestsellers’ chart. Huzzah!

Thank you to everyone who has bought it, reviewed it, or spread the word. I am so grateful!

*Giveaway is open Internationally and closes at midday (GMT) on 1st April, 2016.

In The Light of What We See Picked for Kindle First!

So, um… This happened. Meep!

Hello, my lovelies.

Something a little bit exciting happened with In The Light of What We See, but I was strictly forbidden from talking about it… It’s been killing me!

The book has been chosen as a Kindle First title, which means it is out (Kindle format and in the UK/Australia only) right now. During March, members of the Kindle First book club can pick up a copy of the book for just 99p and read it ahead of official publication on 1st April.

I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you about this before – I hope you will forgive me.

I also hope you’ll forgive a little horn-blowing… In The Light of What We See hit number 3 on the Kindle chart yesterday. Whoop!

It’s also currently NUMBER ONE in the ‘Contemporary Fiction’ chart on the Australian Amazon. Thank you, Australia!

I’ve also received my first three reviews and they are all five star… Cue a massive sigh of relief!

If you’re in the UK, you can join Kindle First (for free) and grab your copy for 99p here. For Australian readers, the price is $1.99.

For those in the rest of the world, there are only four weeks to go until official publication; do pop back next week (or sign up here) to hear about a pre-launch giveaway.

Thank you!




Monday Motivation: Happy Author Is Happy

The sparkly owl I knitted also makes me happy. Essential companion when reading and stalwart book-cosy!

It’s Monday morning as I write this – not traditionally a time of deep joy – but I am fizzing with excitement. Okay, some of that may be the caffeine (I didn’t sleep well and possibly over-filled the tea bucket) but it’s mostly happiness.

I am just so damn lucky because I love my job. I went out for a meal with my lovely husband recently and do you know what I started blethering about as soon as my first beer hit? My job: My current WIP, my ideas for this website, how amazingly nice and supportive my readers are, how flipping lucky I am, and how I still can’t believe I get to do this…

So, thank you to you all for being here. I am so grateful to you for reading and talking about my books and for hanging out in my corner of the internet.

And I’m grateful to all readers, too. They (well, ‘we’, since I’m a reader, too) support an industry which promotes creativity and empathy and enables a (lucky) few to work in their PJs.

On that note, if you fancy winning a signed copy of The Language of Spells, there’s a GoodReads giveaway running at the moment (finishes Thursday). You can enter here.