This week we chat with Catherine Blackmore (a.k.a. Sarah O'Brien) to learn a bit more about how she chose her pseudonym and what keeps her going during a writing session...
Who are you? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Sarah O’Brien. I worked in an office for over ten years however, I didn’t like my career path so I decided to go back to education to improve. During my first year I wrote Can’t You Just Get Over It? and published it under the pseudonym, Catherine Blackmore. The pseudonym was inspired by both my Grandmothers as one would publish under the name Catherine in the local papers, and Blackmore is the maiden name of the other.
Thanks to having a degree, I now tutor students in a variety of subjects to help them fulfil their potential.
What first inspired you to start writing?
I read a lot as a child and this inspired me to write although I gave up because of harsh criticism from a teacher. However, I missed writing and started again about 8/9 years ago and haven’t stopped since.
What made you want to work with Rowanvale and be published?
I chose Rowanvale because they were honest from the start. They made the progress easy and the feedback I found helpful.
When you’re not writing, what are you reading?
I read James Patterson books such as the Women’s Murder Club and Alex Cross series, and John Grisham. For easy reading, which makes me smile, I read books by Wendy Holden. Although, I try other authors from time to time.
Which work are you most proud of?
I’m proud of my first novel as it gave me the confidence to put my work out there and continue writing, which is why I'm working on my next novel.
What’s your best advice for handling writer's block?
Write anything and try different things. I’ve used mind maps and shopping list styles to get over the dreaded 'writer’s block.'
What’s one thing you always have with you when you’re writing?
A drink. As writing can be hard work I always have a drink of tea, coffee or a soft drink to keep me going.
What is the one book you would take with you if you were stuck on a desert island?
This is a tough one. I can’t think of just one book because there are too many I like, so I'm not sure on the 'one book!'
What is the best part about being an independently published author?
I can set my own timetable that I’m comfortable with to get things done. This means I can be happy with the work I publish.
What’s next for you?
I’m in the middle of writing my second novel. Also, I’m planning my third novel and am starting my Masters in October.