Author Interview: Sally Thorne


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Today I have a fun interview with Sally Thorne. Sally is a published author of The Hating Game which is the gold standard of enemies to lovers romance. She also published 99 Percent Mine which was adorable and it was set in the world of home renovations.

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

A: I’m 37, a Virgo, I live in Canberra, Australia and I worked in a dreary office until I wrote a book called The Hating Game and changed my entire life. Now I am about to release my second book called 99 Percent Mine, and recently signed a deal for two more books. The Hating Game has also been optioned for a motion picture and is in the development stage, with David Mirkin (The Simpsons Movie, Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion) attached as Director. 

Q: Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?

A: I once plotted out an entire novel but was too bored to write it, so I absolutely prefer to just start writing and surprise myself along the way.

Q: What, according to you, is the hardest thing about writing?

A: The fact that it doesn’t happen instantly for me. It may take me all day at my desk to click into that creative zone. The wait for it is torture, and my brain unhelpfully repeats that I’m not cut out for this. Another hard thing for me is imagining people reading what I’m writing. If I think about the fact that a lot of my friends and family is going to be reading it, I freeze up. I have to block it out and pretend that I’m writing just for me.

Q: What would you say is the easiest aspect of writing?

A: I don’t think there is an easy thing for me. I have to work really hard at it. But the good thing about waiting for my creative zone is that very occasionally, I hit that stage called flow where the words just pour out. I write things I’m sure I’ve never thought of. I stay up very late, pass out and when I read it back, it feels like it was written by someone else. This moment of flow is the easiest aspect of writing, but also the hardest to get to.

I like that writing is very hard. In every job I’ve ever had, I became proficient quickly and then got incredibly bored. This stays hard, and I think that’s good for me.

Q: Do you share your work along the way or wait until it is complete to have others read?

A: I never let anyone read it while it’s a work in progress, because they’ll feel compelled to tell me what to improve and I likely already know all the places in which the draft totally sucks! I let my agent read my draft first, and she is always so delightful about the bits she loved, and what I can do in my next draft to make it even better.

Q: How do you organize yourself as a writer? How do you keep track of your ideas, inspirations, characters?

A: I don’t do anything special. I keep a folder in my computer where I save a few photos of people who look like my characters, and I have a playlist that I add songs that remind me of what I’m writing. But I don’t write very complex plots that require a lot of organization. I just have a Word document and that’s about as technical as I get. Sometimes if I’ve gotten myself into a mess I’ll write scenes out on index cards and lay them out.

Q: What’s your favorite character you have written?

A: I am extremely partial to Tom Valeska in 99 Percent Mine. He’s my favourite kind of man. My favourite small character was the HR lady Jeanette in The Hating Game, in her jingling Tibetan poncho.

Q: What inspired you to write 99 Percent Mine? 

A: My family was renovating an old seaside house that means a lot to us, so I wanted to set the story in the middle of a house renovation. I thought I could use those feelings of apprehension that something special was about to change forever. My mother is a twin (with a brother) and I’ve always wanted to write twins, so that was my second decision when creating the Barrett twins.  And lastly, I love the ‘brothers best friend’ trope. What resulted was an intense story of lifelong love and longing, twins fighting over an inheritance and the beautiful, pure-hearted best friend who gets caught in the crossfire.

Q: How much homework did you do when it came to the home renovation plot?

A: My brother is a builder, so I occasionally texted him when I needed advice. But as our real renovation was happening while I was writing, I just wove it in. I tried to not get too technical; people aren’t actually wanting to know how to demolish a bathroom, they want to know about the two people IN that bathroom!

Q: What types of books do you read? Do they influence your writing and if so, in what way?

A: I don’t read a lot when I’m writing, because (a) it’s depressing reading someone else’s brilliance when your own draft is abysmal and (b) I’m scared of absorbing or mimicking someone else’s writing style. I will often turn to something outside of my own genre, like an angsty dark erotic novel, or something set in the future.

I really enjoy Alice Hoffman’s writing; I love the sense of magic she perfumes her stories with. I aspire to write in the same way: everyday settings, unique characters and a layer of sparkling dust making everything beautiful.

Q: Who is your favorite author? 

A: I had to look at my bookshelf for this, and considering I’ve got every book Chuck Palahniuk has ever written, I guess I’ll say him. But I also adore Annie Proulx, Marian Keyes, Christina Lauren and JR Ward. It’s a tough question.

Q: What’s the last book you have read? 

A: Raw: Rebirth by Belle Aurora. It’s a very dark sexy book.


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Thank you Sally for a great interview! If you haven’t read Sally’s book, then you must pick them up. They are great love stories

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