Byron Bay author Sarah Armstrong proudly shows off her first book, Salt Rain.
Byron Bay author Sarah Armstrong proudly shows off her first book, Salt Rain.

Film deal under way for new Byron Bay author

By JANN BURMESTER

When Sarah Armstrong moved into a small rustic cabin in an overgrown rainforest valley at Huonbrook in 1997 it wouldn't stop raining.

It was the wettest season for years, but rather than detest the endless wet, Sarah embraced it and the rain became much of the inspiration for her first novel, Salt Rain.

"My relationship with rain changed," Sarah said.

"It wasn't the nuisance it had once been. It wasn't an assault on me, rather it was an inspiration."

Salt Rain took five years to write and was published by Allen and Unwin in July last year.

Negotiations are now underway to make the book into a film.

Sarah's Sydney agent Curtis Brown is in discussions with an Australian production company who hope to secure the rights to the book.

"I am very excited about this prospect," Sarah said.

"It means that someone likes my work and I honestly believe the book lends itself to being made into a great film."

Salt Rain is set in rainforest country in northern New South Wales during a hot, sticky wet season.

The story revolves around a 14-year-old girl Allie, who is taken from Sydney by her aunt Julia after the disappearance of her mother, Mae.

Sarah's inspiration for the characters in her book 'just appeared'.

"It's hard to say where my inspiration comes from," she said.

"I free write, I don't criticise my work and my eight years as a journalist in Sydney have certainly helped with my writing."

A keen and long-time yoga practitioner, Sarah finds yoga helps her writing.

"Yoga definitely takes me to a place where I can connect with my creative essence," Sarah said.

"It makes me calm, less distracted and if I find I am struggling with my writing, then I will take some time out to just deep breathe, or do a simple yoga practice."

Sarah also gives herself permission to write 'crap'.

She has a saying pinned above her desk at home in Myocum that reads, 'The first draft of everything is shit' - Ernest Hemingway.

"It is a very freeing experience to do this and not to be so critical of every word you write," Sarah said.

Sarah's passion for writing came from an early age.

She grew up in a household where there was no television, so from the age of 10 she would read a novel a day.

That love of reading led her to a career in journalism.

Sarah is now writing her second novel, but also finds time to conduct writing and yoga workshops.

For workshop information phone Sarah on 66843403.


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