'There's a real hunger for story-telling amongst readers of all ages right now and one thing that fantasy writers can supply is great stories!'
Sarah read music at New Hall, Cambridge for four years, studying with Robin Holloway and John Rutter for her finals. Her interests in music and drama led her into teaching where she has been lucky to work with many dynamic and talented young people.
Although she had co-written several musicals for young performers, she decided in 1991 to concentrate her creative energies on her other passion: writing. Having been shortlisted in the final ten of the Guardian Children’s Fiction award for a – still unpublished – fantasy The Mabinogion Mice, her breakthrough came in 1992 with the publication in Interzone of the short story 'Moth Music'.
Her first attempts at writing were comic strips, and plays which she persuaded schoolfriends to act out. At twelve (inspired by C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien) she began to write fantasy fiction, at one stage burying early efforts in a biscuit tin under an ancient apple tree in a garden in Bath. Her first completed fantasy novel was called 'The Miglas'. It was painstakingly handwritten in many different colours in several red Silvine exercise books.
At Cambridge she was soon involved in many and various dramatic productions. As a member of David Wiles's troupe, she had the chance to go out on the road, and into schools, borstals and prisons. She still hasn't rid herself of an addiction to the theatre.
Unlike many other authors, she didn't venture into exotic jobs such as trapeze artist, night-club chanteuse or mortician - instead she entered the arguably more demanding profession of teaching. A class music specialist, she kept up her writing as she gained one (very supportive) husband and two (very lively) sons.
A major breakthrough came when she bought her first word processor, an Amstrad 9512. After years struggling with a faithful old typewriter, computerisation freed her from typos and endless frustrating trips to the photocopying shop.
She now runs a primary school library and school orchestra, an enjoyable combination of roles which combines literature and music with working with children.
You can find Sarah's own website at www.sarah-ash.com
Sarah is published by Bantam Press in the UK