Friday, June 18, 2010

Author Interview--Sarah-Jane Lehoux

Yay! My first author interview. I want to say thank you to Sarah-Jane Lehoux for answering a few questions. Her debut book Thief became available May 25th 2010.
Book Blurb
In the crumbling city of Eloria, there is one indisputable fact: everyone has a price. Protestations of morality and better judgment have little meaning when confronted with the chance to obtain the unobtainable. The only question remaining is just how much a person is willing to sacrifice in order to win their heart’s desire.

Sevy has always been a quick study in the wicked ways of Eloria. She has no qualms about taking what she wants, and when the love of her life is mysteriously murdered, Sevy will stop at nothing to get him back. Elvish black magic, necromancy and demonic pacts are of little consequence if it means she can once again have her beloved at her side. But is she willing to murder her only friend to get the job done?

How long did you work on Thief?

I began writing the first draft of Thief in January of 2005, and completed it that August. I then spent the next year rewriting it until I eventually worked up the nerve to submit it to a publisher in September of 2006. Rejection after rejection followed. I edited the hell out of that baby, and my hard work was finally rewarded in December of 2008 when I was offered a contract with Mundania Press.

How many rejections before the big yes?

Yikes! Do I really want to admit this? Thief was rejected by 18 agents and 10 publishers. And that’s not counting the rejections I received for various short stories and flash fictions I was submitting at the same time. I managed to build up quite a thick hide during this process, and now I can laugh at the whole experience. The best part is looking back at all the old blog posts I wrote during that time. Can we say pathetic whiner much?

Are you a pantser or plotter, or a mix?

I’m a mix. When I begin a story all I really know is where I want it to start and where I want it to end. I don’t even know how many characters I want to have. I then break it down in my head. I’ll start the first chapter again knowing only the beginning and the end, and then I just start writing and go from there.

I do spend an awful lot of time staring into space, figuring out how I’m going to get from point A to point B.

How did you fall in love with this story idea?
I fell in love with Sevy, the main character. Basically, I wanted her to be everything that a good heroine shouldn’t be. She’s not that attractive and not that nice. She’s stubborn, ruthless, paranoid, irrational, and a hell of a lot of fun to write. I had actually created her for another story, one that I was co-writing with a group of people online as a writing exercise, but she just got under my skin and forced me to write a story just for her. 

Best thinking activity? (e.g. washing dishes, folding clothes, driving)

Listening to music and staring into space. I’ve been told by a few people that I seem “out of it” a lot of the time. But really, I’m constantly thinking about characters and plots.

Best part of the writing process?

When I’m been stuck at a certain part of a story, and then all of a sudden, I’ll get a jolt of inspiration and everything will just fit. Even better is when I’ve gotten to a certain point in a story and can see underlying themes that tie a bunch of little ideas together in a way I had never imagined. It makes you sort of sit back and think, “Wow, did really I write this?” Moments like that make up for the rest of the time when I’m thinking, “Man, I suck!”

How do you go about choosing names, locations etc?

I write fantasy, so the majority of my names are made up. I usually just take syllables from different names and mash them together until I get something that sounds halfway plausible. I try my best to make sure they’re pronounceable, but I admit that I have a few tongue twisters. Even I stumble over the name of one of my gods—Eewerel—how did I ever think that was a good choice?

And every now and again, I’ll throw a real world name in there too, just for fun.

Here’s a super secret. I’ve worked a variation of my own name into the story. It’s not a character name; it’s a place. And I will give a signed copy of Thief to anyone who figures it out and emails the answer to

Worst/most interesting writing related injury? (e.g. falling off chair or tripping over whilst trying to do something you're sure your MC could manage)

Please! I wouldn’t attempt half of what my characters do in real life because I know I would break my neck. I am nowhere near as athletic and limber as a bunch of thieves. I’m not even as coordinated as the story’s resident alcoholic. The worst injury has been to my pride…when I get stuck or write something that’s particularly sucky.

How long until the next book comes out?
Shades of War, the sequel to Thief, will be released in November of this year.

Anything else you want us to know about you, or the book?
I’m really hoping that anyone who happens to read Thief will drop me an email because I’d love to hear everyone’s opinion, good or bad. Thief was a real labour of love for me, and I’m so excited to finally be able to share it with the world.


  1. Great interview! Yeah, I have that look, too. My kids know it as the mommy-is-thinking-about-her-book look.

  2. Love your refreshingly honest answers Sarah-Jane. Can't wait for a UK release (but have friends going to the states soon so will def get it in a couple of months) I really want a dead tree version to sit proudly on my bookshelf.

  3. Hello Stina. I should totally start a website where authors send in pics of themselves thinking about their books. I'm sure it'd look like we're all on drugs or severely constipated. :p Thanks for commenting!

    Hello Maddy. That avatar looks familiar ;) I will update my website as soon as Thief becomes available to purchase from online retailers, so you can have a dead tree version all your own. Thanks for stopping by! :)

  4. First off - the cover is gorgeous! The story concept is intriguing. Great interview. I went to Amazon to put it on my wishlist and I can’t find it. I went to the author’s site to get the ISBN (cool site by the way) and I still couldn’t find it. Do you happen to have the direct link to the book on Amazon?

  5. Hi Southpaw :) Thank you very much.

    Unfortunately, Amazon is taking longer than anticipated to get Thief up on their site. I'm hoping it will be there by the end of the month. I will update my website as soon as I have the link. Sorry about the inconvience!

  6. Hey, I left you something on my blog!


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