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 latest published work is a novella, The Deceit, first released as an Audible Original in July 2022 and published by Blackstone (US/Can) in February 2023. She is currently working on a new psychological suspense When She Was Gone, due for release in 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 regularly for her readers on her Substack Novel Thoughts and Wild Ideas

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  • 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.
  • Motivated Monday! Sitting in a very cold cafe wearing my hubby’s jumper which he thankfully left in the car … it’s a very busy week of writing and sorting ahead as this time next week I will be on the other side of the world! So after this week my posts will be erratic for a while, but before then I have a substack tomorrow for paid subscribers on Deep Fakes and a brilliant thriller author on the check-in this Thursday. Stand by!
  • 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 Lisa Ireland! 

ABOUT LISA: Lisa Ireland is an Australian author of historical and contemporary fiction. Her novels include The One and Only Dolly Jamieson, The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan, and the Australian bestseller, Feels Like Home. Her eighth novel, The Studio Girls, was published in April 2024. Lisa lives in Stratford, Victoria. When she’s not writing, she spends her time mentoring aspiring and emerging authors. Other than at her desk, you’ll most likely find Lisa drinking copious amounts of coffee at her local coffee shop, or walking her ageing (but surprisingly energetic!) boxer, Lulu.

So Lisa, tell us what you are…
READING: Gone by Glenna Thomson
WATCHING: After the Party on ABC iView
LISTENING TO: Nick Cave. I saw him in concert last week and have now dragged out all the old albums!
THINKING ABOUT: A breathtakingly good manuscript written by one of my clients. I can’t wait for her talent to be discovered by the world!
WORKING ON: The next book! It has multiple timelines: 1960s, 1980s and the present day. Right now I’m deep into the 1960s timeline.

LISA’S LATEST BOOK:  The Studio Girls was released on April 30. It’s a dual timeline story, which alternates between the 1950s and the last week of 1999. The story follows the fortunes of four young women who meet at the Hollywood Studio Club, a boarding house for aspiring movie stars.

Instagram: @lisairelandbooks 
The Reading Couch (Lisa’s online book club):

Thanks for checking in, Lisa!
  • Have you experienced research overwhelm, when all of a sudden a brilliant idea becomes a muddle, thanks to the mountain of research you’ve decided you *must* do?! Fortunately, over time I’ve found a few ways to help me through this scenario - check out the link in my bio to see how I control my research process...
  • Motivated Monday! Sleepy author sitting in cafe trying to do too many jobs at once. Why don’t I drink coffee?! 
Still trying to decide which half-written piece I’ll finish for Substack tomorrow so it will be a surprise this week. And another lovely author coming on Thursday’s check-in - we really are spoiled for choice with so many amazing Aussie writers, I’ve barely scratched the surface! 
I’m going on hols in less than 2 weeks, so if you’ve been lost in a great book recently and think I should read it, let me know. I can’t wait to get some extended reading time! ⬇️
  • 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 Anna Downes, whose new book Red River Road is out this week! (That cover sucks me right in!) 

ABOUT ANNA: Anna Downes is an actor-turned-author who grew up in Sheffield, UK and now lives on the NSW Central Coast with her family. Her internationally bestselling debut novel, The Safe Place, was published simultaneously in Australia, the US and the UK in 2020, and was shortlisted for the 2021 Sisters in Crime Davitt Awards. Her second book, The Shadow House, was published in 2021 in Australia and New Zealand, followed by publication in the UK and the USA in 2022. Both have been translated into over ten different languages.

So Anna, tell us what you are…

READING: Several books at once! Nightwatching by Tracy Sierra, One of Us is Missing by BM Carroll, and an early proof of forthcoming debut The Hitwoman’s Guide to Reducing Household Debt by Mark Mupotsa-Russell

WATCHING: Currently it’s His Dark Materials (HBO/Binge) and Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones (Netflix). The last shows I properly loved were One Day (Netflix) and Mr and Mrs Smith (Prime), and the last film I raved about was Poor Things (Disney+).

Continued in comments…
  • My author notes for April are hot off the press… talking publishing insights, the latest on AI, new research on crime writing, a way of supporting local bookstores, and some great author interviews. I hope you enjoy this one! Link in my bio.

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