Quotes: Sara Sheridan

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Like most little girls, I found the lure of grown-up accessories astonishing - lipstick, perfume, hats and gloves. When I write female characters in my historical novels, getting these details right is vital.

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Lately Mirabelle had reflected wistfully if people even noticed her – a smartly dressed woman who came and went along the Promenade, always alone.

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I'm very aware we are the first generation ever to have such incredible opportunities to express ourselves publicly to a worldwide audience.

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I thought of myself mixing the fragrance of a certain day – the heavy musk of the hillside after the rain with the lightness of fresh blossoms doused in the downpour. I thought of each little bottle as the essence of a happy day or a sad one. I mixed the scent of a lonely moment – sandalwood and bergamot lingering over a rich, peppery base.

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It seemed to me that these months of watching and listening, second-guessing words and phrases, seeking so much that was new, had somehow changed me.

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Digital distribution has widened the reading world.

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I didn't expect to love being online as much as I do. I've met some wonderful people and discovered that however arcane some of my interests that there are people out there who are interested too.

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You spill a lot of beans in historical fiction. Crime fiction is about spilling no beans at all. You spill the least beans you possibly can. So because I had already written historical fiction before I was really good at the spilling beans section, but the new skill I had to learn when I was writing Brighton Belle was difficult. I had to avoid the equivalent of shouting, "this character's a murderer! Look who did it!.

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At the end of the day, that's what a family is - a group of different people who accept each other.

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The space where I write is in my head, I suppose.

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Most fellas like the races, though, Miss. It’s only human nature

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In the industry, trying out new genres is not always encouraged but what I've discovered is that as a writer, a jaunt outside my comfort zone generally brings new skills to the main body of my work.

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On Twitter, people who had read my book followed me and I could see what else they were reading, why they'd liked what I'd written and by the by, more about them than I'd ever elicit from two minutes in a tent at a book festival, stuck behind a signing desk.

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You've got to make an effort to get the details right, because even through someone picks it up and knows it's a novel, they know someone's made it up and they know it's not real, if you make a small mistake they will cease to imaginatively engage with the story.

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There were so many wrongs piling up on both sides, so much of the past being dragged into the present, that living there was like carving the story of your life on to a sepulchral monument.

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You couldn’t see the soldiers as people. They were icons.

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Research material can turn up anywhere - in a dusty old letter in an archive, a journal or some old photographs you find in a charity shop.

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She wishes her grandmother had not been so protective, and that she understood better what passes between a man and woman. As it is, she simply enjoys the feelings and wonders if they are what lightning is made of, for everything comes back to the weather. Tears like rain. Smiles like the sun. Hair as dry as sand and fear like the dark ocean.

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The atmosphere felt unexpectedly intense and the music was frantic. The beat made it both difficult to think straight and pleasant to move – like swimming almost.

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Crime writers, I've noticed, can be jumpy. They live in a world where there are murderers on the loose and they haven't been caught yet!