Lily Montrose has endured a white-knuckle ride during her on-off affair with Nathaniel Deighton. She is sitting alone in a coffee shop when a brief but devastating call brings the whole thing to a crashing halt.
Fleeing her job and flat in London, she retreats to a farmstead on the shores of the north Devon coast to repair her broken spirit and regain her sense of self.
Here she finds an unlikely soulmate in Adam, a somewhat homespun but handsome local with unexpected qualities.
As the months pass by, Lily begins to put her troubled past behind her and – despite harbouring the most intimate of secrets – her relationship with Adam deepens.
But when Nat suddenly resurfaces, the malevolent merry go round begins to revolve once again, revealing the ugly truths that lie deep within Lily and unleashing a chain of events that will threaten not only her sanity, but everything she holds dear…
When and where do you prefer to write?
I prefer to write in the evening, but family life means that I mostly write during the day. It works well enough for me, but there’s something about having a good vent before sleep, and clearing out my brain. Mostly, I sit in the right-hand corner of our sofa, which is actually my partner’s usual space, so it doesn’t work if he’s around. I can see out of the window into an enormous field which is very calming and often inspiring. I always start with a cup of coffee and a bit of daydreaming.
Do you need peace and quiet when you are writing?
Yes, most definitely. Like most writers, procrastination is never far away and the smallest squeak will have me diving off to investigate! I’m less likely to focus when it is noisy.
If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
Ooo this is such a tough question. I’ve come back to it three or four times before committing. I’d have to say Helen Fielding just for the laughs, but if I were being more applied it would be Jed Mercurio.
Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?
I’d have to say the bad one! It would be a fantastic opportunity to let my hair down and be feral and outrageous for a change.
Who would you like/have liked to interview?
That’s a tough one to call. I’ll start with Nelson Mandela, but equally, I’d love a chat with the Queen, Helen Mirren, Anthony Hopkins, MC Escher or the ghost of George Mallory to find out if he really did summit Everest.
Where can I find you when you are reading?
Curled up on the sofa or in bed, I always have a book on the go during the day and a book beside the bed. Reading is the last thing I do before I turn off the light each night.
Where can I find you when you are not writing/reading?
Out in the countryside, usually with my dog Percy and my partner Keith, or on the other end of a paintbrush. I love painting in manyforms and, like my writing practice, I paint most days. I also volunteer for Macmillan and work as a Reiki practitioner, so am quite a busy person.
What goes through your mind when you hold your new book in your hands for the first time?
The feeling is quite incredible. The only way to describe it is to ask you to think of your happiest moment and recall how it felt. Hold the feeling in your heart, allow it to make you smile, really connect with it as the feeling zips around your body and then multiply it by at least 10,000. That was how I felt when I first held Merry Go Round.
How do you come up with a title for your book?
The story is about the merry-go-round of life, a vortex which is often impossible to escape, so the title came by itself. I often wonder whether it should have been something different but know there isn’t anything else which describes the essence of the story so well.
How do you pick a cover for your book?
Picking the cover was an adventure in itself. My editor asked me for covers I liked so that she could pass them on to her illustrator. To give her the gist of things, I sent her the titles of some books that are already in production and a couple of ideas I’d created myself. She really like my work and asked if I wanted to expand on one particular image. I set about drawing a detailed image of the merry go round sliding into the sea, with one white horse breaking free. It really epitomises Lily’s journey. Fortunately, my editor’s illustrator loved it so she did the typesetting and brought the finished piece together. Producing the book itself was completely fantastic but to have designed the cover too is beyond brilliant!
Thank you, Sarah Toll and Zooloo’s Book Tours
About the author
One fact that people may no know about Sarah is that she was an Olympic Torchbearer…She ran her leg of the relay in St Albans, Hertfordshire on July 8th, 2012. ‘It was the most wonderful day of my life, followed closely by the release of Merry Go Round. Carrying the torch was an honour and I’m so proud to be able to say I carried it.’
Sarah was born in Hertfordshire, where she lived and worked for many years in the NHS. She attended Oxford Brookes University and graduated with a merit in Creative Writing (MA).
Sarah now lives in rural Northamptonshire with her partner Keith, their dog and cats. She continues to write, paint and work as a Reiki Practitioner and Macmillan Volunteer.
Merry Go Round is her first novel, however, the next is already in progress. It is a ‘sidequel’ or re-write of Merry Go Round, following the same year but revealing the lived experiences of Adam and Lou whilst Lily was having such a bad time of things.
Website : http://sarahtoll.co.uk/