1. How did you come up with Mermaids Point? Do you believe in Mermaids?
As with most of the series I write, I start with the character names and then I start thinking about who they are and how they’ve ended up with those names. There’s usually a hook to the names – I’ve had three Greek goddesses, three women all named Elizabeth (because when I was at school we had four Sarah’s in the same class), names inspired by the Arthurian legends and now names of mythical mermaids. It’s probably a very strange way to go about things, but it’s what works for me and helps me to connect to my characters.
I think lots of legends and superstitions arose from our ancestors trying to make sense of the world around them and to try and influence those ‘forces’ in what must have been incredibly chaotic and frightening times. Setting out to sea with not much more than the stars to chart your way must’ve taken incredible bravery and so it’s no wonder sailors are still an incredibly superstitious lot. That’s not to say there isn’t any magic in the world or that there are still things we can’t yet explain.
2. Do you enjoy the sea and its mythical elements?
I love the sea. I love everything about it – the elemental force of it and how quickly it can change from benign to deadly. My husband and I are veteran cruise enthusiasts and there is nothing more grounding than waking up and stepping out on the balcony and seeing nothing but the ocean as far as the eye can see. It’s still such a place of mystery – I think perhaps we know more about space than we do about the very depths of the oceans. Who knows what’s lurking down there?
3. Who are the top 3 people (dead or alive) that you would have at a dinner party and what would be on the menu?
I find these questions so hard! It’s going to be a bit of an eclectic mix –
Elizabeth I to try and understand what her life was really like. She was a scholar of great intellect, a thinker and an incredible strategist to be able to survive in such turbulent times.
Nalini Singh because she is my favourite author and I am an absolutely fan girl of hers. I think her world building is second to none and I want to know how she holds so many threads together.
Christopher Nolan is my favourite director and another amazing world builder. I’d be fascinated to understand his process and be able to shadow him as he puts a film together from script to final cut – it’d have to be a very long dinner!
The menu would be scallops on black pudding and pea puree to start, followed by filet mignon with bearnaise sauce, minted new potatoes and mushrooms and asparagus side dishes. Dessert would be something light and refreshing – a champagne sorbet with fresh raspberries.
4. Tell me about your last evening out? What did you do and whom with?
We took my mum out for her birthday and went to a lovely local Italian restaurant in the town where we live. I’m lucky that when we decided to buy our own place that my mum decided to sell up and move here as well.
5. Where do you go for your inspiration?
I’m a big believer in filling the well so I consume lots of different books, films and tv shows. I love podcasts, particularly ones where you get to hear creatives talk about their craft – not necessarily writers because that becomes a bit of busman’s holiday – film makers, comedians, tv producers etc.
You can find Sarah’s latest book here. Christmas Surprises at Mermaids Point: The perfect festive treat from bestseller Sarah Bennett for Christmas 2021 https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09BCBGJ78/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_XV41PJN00A5SQEH9KQ80
You can find our book club here https://www.facebook.com/groups/876922556116687/?ref=share