Saturday, May 16, 2015

0 Sarah Alderson, author of OUT OF CONTROL, on not being too much of a perfectionist

We're excited to have Sarah Alderson here to tell us about her latest thrilling novel OUT OF CONTROL.

Sarah, what was your inspiration for writing OUT OF CONTROL?

Lots of producers tell me that my books read like movies and that’s because I’m heavily influenced by film. I grew up in the 80s and my favourite film was Terminator but I also loved John Hughes movies like The Breakfast Club - so in my books I think that I always blend wild romance and wilder thrills.

I set the book in New York, which is also one of my favourite cities. I wanted to utilise all those landscapes and that frenetic energy.

The other inspiration was from a friend at a party who told me I should write a book about human trafficking. She worked for the UN and at first I dismissed the idea (as did my agent) but then I went away and thought about it and came up with the idea for Out of Control.

How long did you work on OUT OF CONTROL?

It takes me about 6-8 weeks to write a book.

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

I have had a dream road to publication. I wrote my first book Hunting Lila almost on a whim. I had quit my job and my husband and I were travelling around the world with our then three year old daughter to find a new place to live. I needed some way of making money and thought writing a book would be the answer (stupidly I never Googled how much authors earn) so I wrote Hunting Lila having never studied creative writing at all.

It took me four months and during the process I realised just how much I loved writing. I got an agent straightaway for it and it sold within a month in a two-book deal to Simon & Schuster. I’ve since published seven books with them (in the UK) and I also write for Pan Macmillan under a pen name Mila Gray (new adult fiction).

I wrote a blog while we were travelling and that just got picked up by a publishing company too and is being published this summer.

I have written about three books that haven’t been picked up though by any of my publishers. Frustratingly it’s often because of trends, you write a dystopia and the publisher tells you ‘sorry, dystopia isn’t selling any more, can we have a contemporary romance instead.’

I’m storing them though in my bottom drawer and will publish them all eventually. It’s just a matter of time as now I’m doing a lot more screenwriting. Hunting Lila should be hitting the big screen in the next year or so, which is really exciting.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I can write anywhere so long as I have music and headphones. I’ve written on planes, in cars, on trains. I lived in Bali for five years and would write by the pool or in a cafe or on my bed. We moved back to London for a few months in the winter, and I’ve been writing in my bed with the electric blanket on full, wearing three layers of thermals and a hat (I live in a 17th century cottage in the middle of nowhere - it’s freezing cold).

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Don’t be too much of a perfectionist or you’ll never get anything finished. And read as many books and watch as much great TV and movies as you can (a lot of the best writers are working in TV at the moment). Don’t be a snob about what you read but do be discerning.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on three different screenplays and I just finished the edits for my second Mila Gray book This Is One Moment.


Out of Control by Sarah Alderson
Simon Pulse
Released 5/12/2015

A girl looking to escape her past in New York City ends up on the run from a dangerous conspiracy in this sizzling, high-stakes novel. 

When seventeen-year-old Liva came to New York City, all she wanted was to escape the painful memories of her past and finally find a fresh start. Her hopes for a new future were dashed the moment she became the sole witness to a brutal murder. When she's taken into police custody, supposedly for her own protection, she realizes something isn't right, but it's too late. Soon, bullets start flying, and Liva realizes that she is not just a witness, but the target and she needs to escape before it's too late. 

With the help of a sexy car thief that she met at the station, Liva manages to get away from the massacre unharmed, but now the two of them are alone in New York, trying to outrun and outwit the two killers who will stop at nothing to find them. Liva and Jay are living on the edge, but when you're on the edge, there's a long way to fall.

Purchase Out of Control at Amazon
Purchase Out of Control at IndieBound
View Out of Control on Goodreads


SarahAldersonfullbodysmallHaving spent most of her life in London, Sarah quit her job in the non profit sector in 2009 and took off on a round the world trip with her husband and princess-obsessed daughter on a mission to find a new place to call home. After several months in India, Singapore, Australia and the US, they settled in Bali where Sarah now spends her days writing by the pool and trying to machete open coconuts without severing a limb.

She finished her first novel, Hunting Lila (winner of the Kingston Book Award), just before they left the UK, wrote the sequel on the beach in India and had signed a two book deal with Simon & Schuster by the time they had reached Bali.

A third book, Fated, about a teenage demon slayer, was published in January 2012.

The Sound, a thriller romance set in Nantucket, was published in August 2013 and this was followed by the critically acclaimed Out of Control in May 2014.

She also writes New Adult romance for Pan Macmillan (UK) / Simon & Schuster (US) under the pen name Mila Gray.

You can find Sarah on facebook and at or follow her blog at

What did you think of our interview with Sarah Alderson, author of OUT OF CONTROL? Let us know in the comments!

Happy reading,

Martina, Jocelyn, Shelly, Jan, Lisa, Susan, and Erin

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