How Sara Baume writes

Sara Baume ‘… something like, it’s a girl-going-mad novel, structured around roadkill and interspersed with descriptions of contemporary art.”
[when asked what her next novel was about, in an interview with ‘The Bookseller’ magazine, November 11, 2016]

Sara Baume

[photo: Tramp Press]

Every novelist will recognize this panic when put on the spot. The brain empties and your carefully thought-through second novel becomes a blur. At the time she was asked this question, Sara Baume was in Ireland talking to an audience about her 2015 debut and Costa First Novel shortlisted Spill Simmer Falter Wither.

The ‘girl-going-mad’ novel, titled A Line Made by Walking, was published earlier this year. Perhaps without realizing, Baume may have been confusing herself as the girl-going-mad with the character of Frankie. It is an autobiographical novel based on a difficult time in Baume’s life; she had graduated from art school in Dublin into a climate with no jobs.

The novel is ‘true and not true,’ she explains. ‘It’s based in truth but then there was a point at which I realized that Frankie had become her own person…. She’s an art graduate and she’s trying to be an artist. It beings as an exercise to try and remember the things that she’s learnt in college. She is on her own, formal education is over and she is responsible for her own intellect now.’

Sara Baume


‘A Line Made by Walking’ by Sara Baume [UK: William Heinemann]

See how these other authors write:-
Bill Clegg
Rose Tremain
Tracy Chevalier

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Using autobiography for fiction: how author Sara Baume writes via @SandraDanby #writing