Sara Foster is an internationally published, bestselling author living in Western Australia. She has written seven novels: The Hush, You Don’t Know Me, The Hidden Hours, All That is Lost Between Us, Shallow Breath, Beneath the Shadows and Come Back to Me. Her novella, The Deceit, was first released as an Audible Original and is published by Blackstone in the US and Canada. Her next psychological suspense, When She Was Gone, will be released in April 2025.
Sara is passionate about writing strong female characters and incorporates contemporary themes into her books, which often traverse the genre areas of psychological suspense, family noir and crime thrillers. She recently graduated from Curtin University with a Vice Chancellor’s Commendation for her PhD work on maternal relationships in dystopian fiction with young adult heroines. Her work has been optioned for television and You Don’t Know Me was turned into a chart-topping crime podcast dramatisation by Listnr. 
Sara writes every week on creativity, culture and connection for her Substack readers at Novel Thoughts and Wild Ideas


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  • Following Alice Munro’s daughter’s essay about her childhood abuse a few weeks ago, I’m writing about this vital topic on Substack today - it’s without doubt one of the most important pieces I’ve written so far, considering how voices are silenced and how much survivors must endure.
  • ‘All fiction authors must, to some degree, build a world for their characters to inhabit, but when an author constructs a detailed world, it interacts with and affects every aspect of the story.’

I’m talking all about world-building in this week’s post for all my Substack subscribers - and it’s giving me heaps to think about as I start a new book!

Follow my bio links to read.
  • Motivated Monday! I’m embracing my new life as mum of a teen with a growing social life who is not yet old enough to drive - therefore I am spending more of my time hanging out in car parks nowadays, but this time I’ve found a cafe to write in while she has fun. ❤️ Also getting back into the swing of the new book I’m drafting, and taking a look at some marketing plans for When She Was Gone as we will have proofs in just a few months! 😱
  • Who is coming to the inaugural Festival of Fiction in WA later this year? By the time I got back from my hols it had already been announced and sold out! Can’t wait to be part of it and for this brilliant panel! @festivaloffiction
  • My new post today is about the growing debate around book bans in Australia and the US. 

‘There are plenty of knotty questions like these around free speech, censorship and book banning, and they are regularly lost in news reports, particularly when the battle is defined as between the ‘woke left’ and the ‘far right’. The extreme pushback on both sides is often represented as towards two alternative visions of the world - inclusive and open, or safe and orderly - but efforts to silence others undermines both visions, and the zealots on both sides are capable of taking their witch hunts too far.

Can we ever make true progress by silencing others?’

Hope this one provides lots of food for thought. Link in my bio.
  • Happy Friday! How have you all been? I'm back at my desk after my month in the UK - and although we've been home for over a week now I still can't get my sleep right! I managed to read a whole book in the middle of the night last night!  But I'm starting to shift gears - one book is heading to proofread, another concept needs drafting over the next few months and I'm still writing a lot on Substack. I couldn't post much while I was away so I'll share my recent articles with you over the next week or so, along with some of my holiday snaps. I did get to do an impromptu lit tour while I was in the UK, visiting all sorts of writerly places, including Haworth, home of the Brontes, who took up so much of my reading life in my teens, and whom I still adore. I haven't been there for at least twenty years and it was such a privilege to go back and pay my respects. Will share more photos as I sort through them.
Hope you all have a lovely weekend!
  • I haven’t been doing any of my usual posts as I’m on a tour of the UK catching up with family and friends, showing our girls some special places and doing a little bit of book research. So here we have: the Pump Room in Bath where Jane Austen took tea and Mary Shelley thought up Frankenstein, the Great Hall in the Harry Potter Studio tour (so crazy to think it all came out of one person’s imagination!) and a Cotswolds country house that inspired me and may feature in Book 10!
  • Every week I check in with one of Australia’s favourite authors to bring you their latest news, and this week I’m delighted to welcome B.M. Carroll! 

ABOUT BER: Ber Carroll was born in Blarney, Co. Cork and is one of six children. She is an ex Financial Controller, a recovering helicopter parent, a compulsive reader, and the author of twelve novels. Ber moved to Sydney in 1995 and refreshes her accent with regular trips back to Ireland. Over the years, Ber’s writing has become darker and more suspenseful (reflecting her state of mind). Her recent books have been shortlisted for the Ned Kelly Awards for Best Crime Fiction and the Davitt Awards for Best Adult Novel.

So Ber, tell us what you are…

READING: I have just finished Jane Tara’s wonderful uplifting novel, Tilda is Visible. This book was exactly what I needed at a really difficult time: funny, poignant and utterly original. I am about to start reading Sarah Bailey’s Body of Lies, which will sustain me over a long-haul flight from Dublin to Sydney. I have heard fantastic things about Body of Lies and have loved the other novels in the series.

WATCHING: The Tourist: loving the Australian-Irish setting, the high stakes, and flashes of black humour.

LISTENING TO: A Mumford & Sons Mix including The Lumineers, The Fray and Vance Joy. 

(Continued in comments)
  • My latest paid post on Substack looks at the possibilities of the deepfake novel, inspired by my own recent experience of a deepfake at WA Museum’s The Moon exhibition… so many questions here, and lots of things we need to be talking about. 

You can subscribe to my Substack for free and get 3 posts a month, or join as a paid subscriber for just $5 a month to receive my weekly posts and my monthly Author Notes. Or you can read this post using a free trial :) My Substack is all about helping writers feel seen and supported by reflecting on my own journey, insights and experiences. 

Links in my bio.

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