AWW Feature: Q&A with Sara Foster

Sara Foster

Welcome Sara Foster!

Bestselling author of psychological suspense,  Sara Foster  lives in Western Australia with her husband and young daughter where she divides her time between writing, book editing and being a mum. Sara loves to travel and is passionate about animal conservation and photography.
An avid reader, Sara enjoyed working in the  HarperCollins fiction department in London, before becoming a freelance editor. It wasn’t until 2007 that Sara decided to take her aim of getting published seriously, and she took time out from editing to finish her first book. Come Back To Me was published by Random House Australia in 2010 and reached the Sydney Morning Herald top ten Australian bestsellers list. Her second book, Beneath the Shadows, reached No. 4 on the Australian Sunday Telegraph bestsellers list, and has been published in the USA and Germany.

Shallow Breath, Sara’s third novel, published earlier this month by Random House Australia,  asks how far you would go for love…

Two years ago, Desi Priest made a horrific mistake and destroyed her family. Shallow Breath
Now, she is coming home to make amends: to her daughter Maya, who’s nurturing her own dangerous plan; to her brother Jackson, who blames himself; and to her close friend Pete, who has spent years shielding her from a devastating truth.
But as Desi returns to her beloved house by the ocean, there is a stranger waiting for her. Someone who needs her help. Someone whose arrival will reveal a chain of secrets hidden for over twenty years.
And one by one the family will be forced to confront the possibility that they have somehow got things terribly, tragically wrong …

My review of Shallow Breath is posted HERE, but first, read on to learn more about Sara Foster and her newest release…

Q & A with Sara Foster

Q: What was your inspiration for Shallow Breath?

Sara: I began with two images that I couldn’t shake. The first was a woman looking out to sea from her small house by the beach, watching the water, obviously searching for something. And the second was my own passion for marine life and conservation. I think that really began when I swam with a minke whale twelve years ago – I went from nervous to enchanted in a few seconds, and it opened up a lot of questions about the bigger picture of life that I wanted to explore further.

Q: What is the central theme of Shallow Breath?

Sara: The one word I would use to describe the book is Connection. It’s about the connections we make with one another and with animals. It’s about how different places on opposite sides of the world can be interlinked. It’s about the chain of consequences that result from a single action. And it’s about the many connections we make within our thoughts, which result in so many different interpretations of what is significant in life. It’s also about the strongest connection of all: Love.

Q: Why did you choose to tell the story from multiple perspectives rather than with a single point of view?

Sara: I think the scope of the story decided this for me. I wouldn’t have been able to explore so many places and ideas without writing from a number of perspectives. It’s a challenge to get the voices right and to keep the story flowing, but I hope the reader feels more immersed and connected to the characters when they are allowed to experience their lives directly.

Q: What was the most fascinating piece of information you learnt during your research for Shallow Breath?

Sara: Where do I start?! I learned so much. What has remained with me is just how little we really know of animal behaviours, never mind the reasons behind these behaviours. It’s only in the last ten or twenty years that researchers have discovered things like elephants communicating between herds that are  up to 100 kilometres apart, using subsonic calls/rumbles that they receive through the earth using their feet and trunk. Or that octopuses are extremely intelligent and can unpick locks. I could go on and on … I found it all fascinating.

Q: You are passionate about animal conservation, what do you hope Shallow Breath will contribute to the discussion?

Sara: I’d love it if Shallow Breath made people more interested in and aware of animal conservation. I don’t think many people realise just how close the world is to losing so many different species, some of them unknown and others iconic, like the elephant and orang-utan. We’ve been hearing about ‘endangered species’ for so long that it’s easy to become complacent. But nowadays, poachers and loggers have such high-tech equipment and weaponry that entire populations can be wiped out with horrifying speed. I hope the book will also allow people to make connections they might not have been aware of – i.e. what’s happening in the background to dolphins who end up in marine parks all over the world.

Q: I’m curious if you ever visited The Atlantis Marine Park while it was still open – I have some wonderful memories of the Park and was saddened to learn of its demise.

Sara: I didn’t visit Atlantis because I didn’t grow up in Australia. I can guarantee that if I had been here I would have been desperate to go, and I would have been one of the thousands of Western Australians who remember it very fondly.

Q: Can you share three of your favourite books by Australian women writers?

The Shifting Fog by Kate Morton – Kate is such an incredible storyteller.

If I Should Lose You by Natasha Lester – a classy, thought-provoking and heart-wrenching story.

The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty – I love escaping into Liane’s books, they are so full of life and warmth.

Q: What is your preference?

Coffee/Tea or other? Other – I don’t drink coffee or tea except for the occasional herbal tea. I try to stick to water – or hot chocolate!

Beach/Pool or River? I can’t choose – I love them all, I just wish I had more time to spend at each of them!

Slacks/Jeans or Leggings? Leggings.

Butterfly/Tiger or Giraffe? All beautiful, but I think I’d have to pick the giraffe for their grace and elegance.

Swing/Slide or Roundabout? Swing – whenever my daughter’s at the park I always end up having a quick go on the swings!

Learn more about Sara Foster at:

Website I Blog I Facebook I Twitter

Shallow Breath is available for purchase

@Random House Australia I @Boomerang Books I @Booktopia I @Amazon Kindle

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Review: Shallow Breath by Sara Foster « book'd out
  2. The Australian Bookshelf
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 17:37:04

    Sounds like a fascinating read, Sara. I’m interested to see how you’ve weaved in your passion for animal conservation into the storyline- i’ll have to check it out!

    Great interview Shelleyrae!

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