Interview with Sarah Butfield   5 comments

Today’s interview is with Sarah Jane Butfield, author of a lot of books. Welcome to the blog. Tell us something about yourself. 

Butfield Sarah SoloThanks for the invitation Lela, I am originally from rural Suffolk in East Anglia, UK. I was born in Ipswich, but we lived in small village called Stonham Aspal where I also attended primary school. We later moved back to Ipswich when I was in college studying my pre-nursing course. My nursing years were spent in Colchester, Essex and Liskeard in Cornwall. Later we lived in Australia and then France. I am a bit of a gypsy! After 28 years as a registered nurse working in all sorts of healthcare establishments I am now a full time author and freelance writer which makes me very happy and pays the bills. I am also a mentor to new and aspiring authors via my website and social media groups called Rukia Publishing, providing a range of free service to help author navigate the early days of book promotion. I am married, third time lucky with 4 children and 3 step children, all grown up and spreading their wings into the big wide world, but always finding time to skype or visit mum! I am also now a first time grandma which is so fulfilling. Baby Shane is eight months old and he lights up my world with his baby smiles and chuckles.


Butfield SarahAt what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?

At school I was absolutely rubbish at English, but I needed it for entry to the school of nursing so I had to persevere with it. In college I studied English literature and that really started my love of books.


Tell us about your writing process.

I like to write the first draft without editing, but I am really bad at sticking to my own rules because I am always afraid I will miss or forget that sudden editing thought by the second time around! I have my beta readers start reading from the first draft so that I can get chronology and facts correct as they are the best at spotting where I get carried away in my head and change timelines!


Bufield Glass Half FullWhat is your favourite genre … to read … to write?

My favourite to read at the moment is crime novels which is not usual for me but I received one as a gift and became hooked on the series. In my writing life I write memoirs and nonfiction but I love to read this genre too so it’s like a busman’s holiday!


What are you passionate about?

Healthy eating and enjoying food.


What is something you cannot live without?

My family and my dogs are the backbone to my life and I can’t imagine being without them in my life.

If I had to name an object/thing that I couldn’t live without it would be coffee!


Butfield Two DogsOh, coffee! So necessary for life! When you are not writing, what do you do?

I am terrible at leaving my writing alone, but as a new grandma to a beautiful grandson who is now 8 months old I spend as much time as possible with him because he changes so quickly and recently started crawling. Happy daysJ


Have you written any books that made a transformative effect on you? If so, in what way?

I think writing my first book Glass Half Full had a transformative effect because I never planned to be a nonfiction author but I had to download the story in my heart and the ripple effect on my life since I published it has been amazing.


Butfield FrugalIf someone who hasn’t read any of your books asked you to describe your writing, what would you say?

I write a combination of travel and nursing memoirs all based on my life and experiences. They are honest and revealing which opens me and my work up to criticism of my life choices, parenting methods and career choices, but it’s been my life and there was no road map issued so I found my own way as we all do.

The new author series I am currently publishing is aimed at aspiring and debut authors and it hopefully acts as a self help guide in which authors can find out what I tried, what worked, what didn’t and learn some of the tips I have picked up from networking with experienced self-published authors along the way.


Butfield Accidental AuthorDo you have a special place where you write?

I do now!  We recently made one of the bedrooms into an office. It overlooks our garden as I don’t like to see and hear traffic so this is ideal. It also keeps my notebooks, maps and research books in a more orderly fashion because until recently they took over the dining room and lounge!


Do you find yourself returning to any recurring themes within your writing and, if so, are you any closer to finding an answer?

It is a very cathartic exercise to write about your own life as you constantly revisit decisions, and pockets of memories from the past which you thought were well and truly buried. On a positive note that helps you to finally work through why you did what you did and what you learned from it!


Butfield Dogs

I’m going to drop you in a remote Alaska cabin for a month. It’s summer so you don’t have worry about freezing to death. I’ll supply the food and the mosquito spray. What do you do while you’re there and what do you bring with you? If you’re bringing books, what are they?

Wow, thanks I love to travel and visit new places so I will have a travel journal ready to record everything I see and experience, my camera and for a month I would need several good books on my kindle plus a couple of paperbacks because I love holding a book. The paperback books would include something from Bill Bryson, Cathy Glass and James Patterson and my kindle is my indie only zone, so packed with awesome indie titles from all genres!


Talk about your books individually.

Butfield AmateurGlass Half Full: Our Australian Adventure

Tells the story of a big life changing decision to move to Australia to escape a bitter ex-husband to try and build a new life. However, life events and Mother Nature decided to test us a little bit more with grief, illness in the form of TB, CRPS and PTSD topped off by losing our home and belongings in the Brisbane floods of 2011.

Two Dogs and A Suitcase: Clueless in Charente

In this book readers pick up the story as we arrive in France for another new start nearer to our grown up children. The highs and lows of living and trying to find work in a country where you don’t speak the language while dealing with the continuous stream of family dramas.

Our Frugal Summer in Charente: an Expats Kitchen Garden Journal

This is a light hearted spin-off from two dogs and deals directly with the actions we took to survive with little money in a house with no bathroom or kitchen. We converted piece of meadow into a vegetable garden and learned how to grow, eat, preserve and forage for survival. It’s a fun read where a clumsy expat woman (that’s me) who can burn water had to become a culinary goddess to keep her family fed. There were a few mishaps along the way, especially with the foraging of wild mushrooms, but it’s got recipes, gardening tips and funny stories about hens ducks and cooking disasters.

The Accidental Author and The Amateur Authorpreneur are books 1 & 2 in a new series aimed at aspiring or debut authors, but becoming increasingly popular with experienced authors experiencing the need to spread their wings and increase exposure in the world of social media.


Was it your intention to write a story with a message or a moral?

No, but I am glad that readers find my books inspirational and motivates them to follow their travel or writing dreams.


What do you want readers to think or feel after reading one of your books?

I don’t have any preconceived ideas of what readers might think or feel after reading the travel memoirs in particular. They document my personal and physical journey through periods in my life when a series of challenging life events tested us on many levels. Some will empathise with our journey, relate to some of the parenting issues we encounter. Some may just love to read about places they have never been or aspire to visit so everyone potentially thinks or feels something different from the process of reading our stories.


What influenced your decision to self-publish?

A single rejection and an inspirational indie author network on Authonomy and Facebook who gave me the confidence to tell my story. I haven’t looked back since. I love the autonomy of deciding my content the revision, covers etc.


Thank you so much for a great interview Lela and if you ever want to drop me in Alaska then I will get my books packed J

Sarah Jane


That cabin is supposed to be built this summer. In the meantime, people are always welcome to crash at our house.

So where to readers find you?


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5 responses to “Interview with Sarah Butfield

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  1. Reblogged this on Daermad Cycle.


  2. It is always interesting to get a bit more insight into another Indie author, more so when that author is such a great supporter and a valued friend. Wish you well Sarah, and success in whatever you do


  3. Great interview you two –


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