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S-Jay Hart: A Sapphic Fiction February Interview

Just look at that book cover for Oh My Stars. Isn’t it beautiful?

Cover design is just one of S-Jay Hart’s many talents. Among the others are being an awesome friend, poet and human being… oh, and that other tiny matter of being a fabulous writer too! She recently released a book of poetry, called Pluto and the Debris (isn’t that an incredible title?), but what really shot them into the Sapphic fiction world was her debut novel, Oh My Stars. Which is exactly what most people say when they realise how beautiful it is, I imagine.

I loved interviewing S-Jay for Sapphic Fiction February (well, I suppose that should technically be Sapphic Fiction March since I’ve overrun, but you know what I mean). She was one of the first people to say yes to it! But I’ll stop talking for now and let them get into it… over to you, S-Jay!

Introduce yourself! Tell us a little bit about you - who are you, and what do you do?

I’m a newly minted Sapphic Author who spends her days working with small humans.

What made you want to sit down and write your first book?

I have been writing since I was young, had a poem published when I was 5. It was about walking through the park at night. So I’ve always been writing but I never knew publishing could be a possibility until I found the sapphic community just before lockdown. I’ve always had stories to tell. This community and its wonderful authors made me believe I could.

How do you develop your plots and characters?

Honestly, they come to me at all times of day. Regardless of what I’m doing. Some plots come from dreams, some from things that have actually happened to me. Life experiences are important. They always say, write what you know.

Which of your characters do you relate to the most, and why?

Honestly, my good friend Skye (who is also a wonderful sapphic author) tells me that she sees a lot of me in both Honey and Liv from my debut book, Oh My Stars. But I like to think there’s one character in an upcoming book I have yet to announce, that has been with me since I was 11 and really… she is me. 🥰

Has your own writing ever made you cry?

Yeah. I think that’s a commonality for all writers. You have to feel it in order to write it. I tend to write gentle romance with some moving parts. I want my characters to be deep, three dimensional. We are all human with flaws and moments of weakness. We all make mistakes and we definitely all cry. Why not make our characters feel everything life has to offer too?

Does anyone you know in real life read your books?

Yeah. I’m really lucky. Most of the people who have supported me majorly with my debut were close friends. I’m lucky to be part of a wonderful community of Earpers. *waves* Hey Bacon Donut/Chicken Kickers!! They’re such a wonderful found family to be a part of and they came out in droves to support me at my first ever signing at a convention I was working. They waited until I clocked off at night so they could have their books signed and they made me feel incredibly loved. I also have some wonderful Author friends I’ve met online and chat with via FaceTime daily who have supported me too. They know who they are and I love them dearly.

Imagine your book, or one of your books, was made into a film. Who would play the lead roles?

Oh gosh. I have a few friends who are indie film makers and who reached out after I published Oh My Stars to say they could see it as a movie and would I be interested. So I allowed myself to imagine who would play Liv and Honey if it was ever big time. Honey was written based on Ali Liebert. I have loved her since Bomb Girls and she’s the perfect mix of sweet and sultry. Liv would be Katie McGrath because she was who came to mind when I was writing her.

When you’re not writing, what do you do to relax?

Lots of things. I have a problem being still. I like to go camping with my Beaver Scout Group. I go kick-boxing, I crochet… two ends of the spectrum I know! Haha! I read more than average , drink lots of tea and I love spending time with my two teens. They’re my entire world and I’m squeezing in as much time with them as possible before they grow up and don’t think I’m cool anymore. So we go to a lot of movies and gigs together.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given with regards to being an author?

A wonderful author once told me, you won’t be everybody’s cup of tea. Don’t let that stop you. Write for you. So I do.

I also feel like I should shout out my high school English teacher Miss Dargan here, she told me that she knew I would find my way in the literary world one day. She gave me a passion for prosaic language and etymology. She told me the importance of finding deeper meaning in the words on the page.

How about in general life?

The best piece of advice I’ve been given in life? Oh gosh. Well, at the convention I worked at last I had this idea of having all the guests attending write me a piece of advice in my authors copy of my debut novel. They all pretty much centred around making sure I find time for myself. Zoie Palmer wrote “There is only ever in existence one you, be kind to her always.“ That really stuck with me.

What is a motto you live by?

My Nanna used to tell me, “what’s for you won’t go past you.” I’ve had a rough 2022 and some things I thought were for me, did indeed go past me. I’m holding tight to that saying in the hopes that I’ll find what’s meant to stay. I’m a hopeless romantic at heart.

How can people connect with you?

People can connect with my via my Twitter page @uhohpopquiz or on Instagram as @SJayHartAuthor and I’m hoping that by the time this comes out I will have a mailing list and website up and running (or my business/marketing manager Conny will kick my ass… wait, can I say ass?)

Finally a light-hearted one. If you were a sandwich, what sandwich would you be?

Oh gosh! BREAD!!! I love bread and sandwiches are the superior food. As a Brit we have a motto that you can practically put ANYTHING in a sandwich, right? My fave sandwich or butty as we call them up North, is a vegan egg mayo with added crisps. You HAVE to have crunch or what’s the point. But I guess if I was a sandwich I’d be a vegan chick’n and Bakon Mayo with all the salad toppings and extra jalapeños. Because I’m complex and tend to get a little bit spicy when I’m messed with. Haha!!

We’re not done yet! February may be over, but Sapphic Fiction February isn’t! There’s still a few author interviews left… don’t go anywhere!

If you enjoyed this interview, then make sure you’re following my social media accounts (@kblakemanwriter on Twitter and @katherineblakemanwriter on Instagram) to get all the latest updates! And if you want to support my own Sapphic Fiction journey while you’re here, my new novel The Summer We’ve Had is available now!


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