Thursday, May 10, 2012

Interview with author Sarah Tate

Today's guest is author Sarah Tate, who has written two books based on her personal experience. The focus today is on her first book, Web of Lies – My Life with a Narcissist.

Sarah Tate is a British single mother living and working in Switzerland. She arrived in Switzerland eleven years ago and apart from a brief stay in France, has remained ever since. Sarah has three young kids, who take up most of her time, but she still managed to find time to write her first book Web of Lies - My Life with a Narcissist

The book is an autobiographical novel which describes in graphic details, the ups and downs of life with a person who suffers from (amongst other things) Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Web of Lies gives a deep insight into what it's like to be sucked into the world of a disordered individual, and more importantly, how to escape with your sanity intact. Her second book, Renaissance - A Journal of Discovery is also now available. It describes the road to recovery from narcissistic abuse, and charts the progress of Sarah and her children as they rebuild their lives following the breakup of the family, and slowly come to terms with the devastation caused by Sarah's ex. Sarah is currently working on her third book.

Welcome, Sarah. Please tell us about your current release.
Web of Lies is an autobiographical novel, written in the first person. It begins with my arrival in Switzerland and tells the story of how I met (or thought I’d met) the love of my life. Marriage and children quickly follow, but the reader knows from the start that things just aren’t right.  The whole story unfolds for the reader as it happened for me, and I keep the reader with me through everything I felt and experienced during this extraordinary period of my life.

Narcissists and sociopaths live amongst us, yet because they are mostly undiagnosed many people don’t even recognize their character traits, and can be easily left distraught and confused thinking that they are the ones with the problem. 

By telling my story and sharing it with the world, I hope to help other women (and men) who have fallen for the seemingly endless (yet superficial) charms of one of these individuals. 

This is not a self-help book, but an honest and emotional account of what it feels like to be entangled in the world of a person whose reality is different to our own.  Leading psychologist, Dr. David Holmes, recommends the book to his psychology students as an extremely valuable case study. Apart from being a gripping read, it’s an important book for all those who have suffered in an unhappy relationship. 

What inspired you to write this book?
The book is an honest and open account of what happened to me in this relationship. It wasn’t until I was free of the relationship that I began to research it, and discovered how these personality traits manifest themselves. I wanted to write a true-life account to give ordinary people a chance to see how easy it is to get sucked into a situation like this, and to give them hope that it can be overcome. You can get away, and you can repair the damage that is done, but you need to fully understand what you’re dealing with. Web of Lies will enable many people to identify elements of their own situation, and hopefully help them to spot the red flags. It’s a useful tool for anybody who feels they may be in contact with a toxic personality, regardless of whether they are in a personal relationship with them or not.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I have already published the sequel to Web of Lies. It’s called Renaissance – A Journal of Discovery, and it documents the road to recovery for my children and me. Most people who have read Web of Lies then go on to read Renaissance.

I’m currently working on my third book, which is a novel called The Middle Aged Twist.  It’s the story of two friends who got to know each other against the backdrop of the early nineties, when they were both young students. Times were wild back then, and both were drawn into a world of excessive drinking and recreational drug use.

Their lives subsequently take very different paths, but as a result of the experiences in their youth, they share a common affliction which affects a high percentage of the population today, namely, depression and addiction. The book is an account of how they both deal with their demons in completely contrasting ways. It’s a very contemporary book and I’ve spent a lot of time researching the subject matter. I’m looking forward to completing it and getting it published.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I first began to get critical recognition for Web of Lies.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like?  If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Sadly not! I’m a typical ‘struggling’ Author. Not many of us are lucky enough to break into the big time. I work as a professional in the Aerospace industry in order to support my family. Writing is a hobby, and also a dream! I have ideas going around in my head all the time, but it’s difficult to find the time to actually sit down at the PC and put everything down on paper. As a single mum of three wonderful, vibrant children, I have to be incredibly disciplined about my writing. I mostly write in the evenings when they are settled, or I’ll snatch an hour here and there at the weekends when they are playing with friends. As any working mum knows, it’s a juggling game, but I enjoy writing and will continue to do it as long as I can find the energy!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I need silence. No TV, no radio, no music, and no people around me. The words won’t flow satisfactorily if there are any distractions (which is why I have to wait for the children to be asleep or out). I like to get completely submerged in each chapter as I write it. I tend to write quickly and therefore I need to set aside blocks of at least an hour at a time when I know I won’t be disturbed. I write a plan of what I want to achieve and I to stick to it.

Oh, and there’s usually caffeine involved as well!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was very small I always wanted to do something in creative arts such as acting or singing. As I grew I changed my minded and wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer. I ended up going in a totally different direction though!

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Thanks to everybody who has read my books so far.

I hope the readers all enjoy reading my books as much I enjoyed writing them. I welcome all kinds of constructive feedback and always try to reply to the readers who e-mail me personally to talk about their own situations. It may take a while, but I do my best!

Please feel free to join me on Facebook or my Blog to keep up to date with my writing career or ask any questions regarding the books.

Sarah, thank you so much for joining us today. Writing about such personal experiences must be so challenging.

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