Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Insert Excited Girly Squeal Here!

An amazing write up from the very talented Martina at HerCanberra


‘Enlightened’ with Sarah and Jen’

By Martina Taliano — August 02, 2014

  After you watch an episode of your favourite TV show or finish reading a great book do you have that friend that you just have to debrief about it with? That friend that when something wonderful happens you ring them and tell them about it and they give you the exact response that you need? Or when something terrible happens they are the one you ring, and if you are lucky enough to live in the same area they rock up with wine/chocolate/pizza/flowers.
Jen and Sarah met years ago and have not let interstate relocations, home renovations, marriage or the birth of children hamper their friendship. When their favourite book series ended they decided to write their own urban fantasy and their debut novel, Enlightened was born.
Not only is writing a book a huge feat for one person but to write in collaboration, stay friends and still maintain some semblance of a life with partners and children is just amazing. I am in awe of these women and thought you should get to know them a little too!

M -Tell us about Enlightened…
SJ – After reading popular books in this genre we were left wanting and decided to fill the gap. Enlightened is an Urban Fantasy aimed at an older audience. It is witty, sexy and a little bit dangerous – all of the things pure escapism requires.

M – Have you bought any parts of yourselves into the characters? If so, which parts?
SJ – There are certainly traits our heroine possesses that we wish we did but we probably have the more undesirable aspects, such as frizzy hair, clumsiness and the potential for verbal diarrhoea. The banter between our two female leads certainly reflects our own friendship and we did draw inspiration from real life experiences; we all like to watch The Walking Dead while eating Laksa.

M – Will there be more for fans of Enlightened?
SJ – Yes! Enlightened is the first in a series of four, we are currently working on book two and can’t wait into get to book three!

M – How did the collaboration between the two of you come about?
SJ – When the supply of books from our favourite genre dried up, we decided to write our own. We had our own little book club on opposite ends on the country which survived cyclones in Cairns and weddings in Canberra. We would chat for hours over the phone about the latest novel we had read, and an animated discussion would ensue as to what we would have done with the plot. At this stage one of us would always make the comment “You know we should write a book”. Eventually we did.

M – Most books are written by one person, what made you decide to write a book together?
SJ – It was the blending of both our original literary passions. Sarah loves the supernatural and Jen the romance. Urban Fantasy blends the two worlds, allowing each individual to bring their favoured elements to the fore, creating an exciting story via a fabulous friendship.

M – How did you manage your lives while writing?! (This always fascinates me!)
SJ – We probably didn’t manage our lives while writing, maybe it was more a case of survival – for all of us! We both work and are married with two sets of young children so finding time to write was very tricky. There were a lot of late nights and Sunday afternoons in front of the keyboard. Not to mention the frantic searches for vital plot twists, scrawled on scrap pieces of paper that had been lost in amongst school notes and shopping lists!

M – What’s next for both of you?
SJ – Life and more writing, we have already mapped out our next big project after this series, which we believe Enlightened readers will thoroughly enjoy!

An indication of how many people are loving Enlightened is that in the few short weeks it has been available it is already in the top 100 best sellers in the Australian iTunes ebook charts, top 50 best sellers in the New Zealand iTunes ebook charts and ranking 4.29/5 on Goodreads. If I still haven’t convinced you, you can download the first three chapters from Sarah and Jen’s website and I know that will be enough to hook you into the story!


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