The following is an edited version of an online chat with Sara Douglass chats on community.news.com.au Monday, 29th November 1999 8pm AEDT, taken from the Harper Collins Australia website.
Host Mark: The last time we chatted was when the World Science Fiction Fair was on…what have you been up to since then?
Sara Douglass: Working! Building my new web site …And also planning out my next novel.
Jason from Sydney asks: Are you writing a new book?
Sara Douglass: Next week I start the second book in The Crucible trilogy called The Wounded Hawk.
Host Mark: Does that mean you start researching or sitting in front of the computer actually writing?
Sara Douglass: It means sitting in front of the computer and writing. I’ve spent a while planning and so now comes the hard bit where I have to put what’s in my head onto the small screen. It is going to be a busy Xmas! The book is due on March 1 next year so I don’t have much time. Gulp.
Christopher Heron from Melbourne asks: Do you feel funny writing about good and evil as the millennium approaches it’s end…do you think it will influence your writing?
Sara Douglass: Oh gosh, not the millennium. If you actually date the millennium from the birth of Christ then we had it 4 years ago! The short answer to this is that, no, the millennium has had no effect on my writing or on my perception of good and evil. I have always been fascinated by the perception of good and evil, even as a child who is to say what is good and what is evil? In my next trilogy called the Crucible (a plug!) I twist the entire notion of good and evil about so that what is evil good, and vice versa.
Host Mark: How long does it take you to research and plan…it seems you are incredibly organised.
Sara Douglass: Well, first of all I ‘dream’ a book which is when I think of a topic for a book/s and then spend some year or 2 dreaming about it. All this time, of course, I am working on something else! Then comes the day when I can actually work on the new book and I spend some time planning (I can plan a book in under 3 hours – scene by scene) and that short time is because I have ‘dreamed’ it so long and then all I have to do is write it, which is the very worst part! Am I organised? No, I don’t think so, but I am disciplined.
Christopher from Melbourne asks: Do you write everything down from your dreamtime? Or does it just live up there so to speak?
Sara Douglass: No, of that time almost nothing gets written down it all lives in my mind. If you can imagine that for every physical book of mine, there is something like ten more books of adventures etc that never got into print!
©1999 Sara Douglass Enterprises / Harper Collins Publishers. To read the full community chat with Sara Douglass on the Harper Collins website please click on this link.