The Book Club Blog

Books for any occasion and other life stuff

{Homegrown} Sally Partridge

on July 13, 2020

Welcome to our 6th {Homegrown} Author Interview with the ever delightful Sally Partridge. Her name may sound familiar to you because her book Sea Star Summer has been hitting the Bookstagram feeds lately and for good reason. I recently had the good fortune to read said book – with great thanks to NBPublishers and you can read my review here. I enjoyed it so much, I wanted to get a better sense of the person behind the book aka Inside Author Information (forever now known as IAI).

So without any more delay, Thank you Sally for joining the {Homegrown} Q&A.

Sally and Hannibal


Do you have a specific routine that you follow when you sit down to write, or are you able to sit and write at any time?

Ideally, I’d like to be “in the mood” to write. I guess you could say that’s when the muse strikes, but in reality, I usually write in snatches of stolen moments and on weekends. A girl has to pay her bills! But I’ve also found – which was the case with my initial idea for Sea Star Summer – that if my heart really isn’t in the story, I’ll do everything but write. (My house is never so clean and shiny.) When I scrapped my original idea (an out-of-towner who falls for a local surfer) the story swept over the pages in waves.

What book/s are you currently reading?

 I just finished My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell, which is a total mindbender. I still don’t know how I feel about that book. Right now, I’m going through a bit of a comic book phase and am digging into my Harley Quinn collection. My next reads are going to be Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi and Wilder Girls by Rory Power.

Which SA authors have inspired you in your own writing?

 Mary Watson, who is a living legend in my eyes. Her writing is so lyrical and beautiful. She recently released two YA novels with Bloomsbury – The Wren Hunt and The Wickerlight. Both are excellent. Coconut by Kopano Matlwa will always be my forever favourite. Another local writer whose work is pure perfection is Henrietta Rose-Innes.

Did you always have a passion to write a book or did it / they stealthily creep up on you?

 I have stories swimming around in my head all the time. Generally, when I finish one project I immediately start another.

 Which has been your favourite book to write so far?

 The one I’m writing right now

What were your favourite books as a child?

 The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton, Nancy Drew, Peter Pan. Also anything by Christopher Pike and R.L Stine.

To date, what is the worst book you have ever read, and why?

 I don’t want to name names, but it was an international historical fiction novel I was asked to review. The book focused on a teenage monarch and I just found it totally inappropriate, especially since it was for an adult audience. (Don’t worry, it’s not Hilary Mantel. She is perfection incarnate.)

Do you think SA women writers and authors are treated differently to their male counterparts in the publishing world?

In my experience, I work with an all-women team at NB Publishers who are lovely. In general, local female authors like Lauren Beukes, Finuala Dowling, Sally Andrew etc are highly acclaimed and respected, so from that point of view, I would say no.

If there was one piece of advice you could give to aspiring SA authors, what would it be?

 Just go for it. There are so many opportunities here to have your book published – The Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature, short story competitions, open submission periods. Persistence helps


 If we weren’t in lockdown and you could have any authors around your table for dinner, who would they be and why?

 Local writer friends Karina Szczurek and Mary Watson, but any local female writer really. There is such a wonderful sense of community among women writers here. It’s a warm, cheering community of like-minded wonderful women who are so supportive and inspiring. The conversation and laughter would come naturally at any dinner table.

 What is one item you have either made/ tried/ learned while being in lockdown, and was it successful?

I unlocked the ability to bake, especially cookies. I have been baking endless cookies.

While the lockdown was fairly sudden, and our ‘new normal’ sprang up quickly, what has been a silver lining to you during this time?

 My father passed away last year, and it was a devastating and traumatic time for me. Life never slowed down till it was forced to because of lockdown, and I was finally able to stop and reflect and to grieve. I’m so grateful for the time to just be still.

 While we have more freedom than in Level 5, we have all had time to realise that we miss certain things or places that may or may not be available to us, what is/are yours?

 Sushi dates. The beach. Road trips.

I am so sorry to hear about your father, Sally but I am glad that the lockdown gave you time to grieve, and to be still.  Thank you so much for sharing with us today, I always find it so interesting how different everyone one is with regards to their writing and inspiration, also your cat is very handsome. PS Thanks for recommending a new to me SA YA author, Mary Watson. *Goes off to google*

If you’re looking to purchase Sea Star Summer you can order from your local bookstore – If you’re in Cape Town I can highly recommend The Book Lounge, or anywhere that sells books. (Did you know Exclusive Books deliver books via Uber Eats, so that is an option too if you really don’t want to waste a minute longer).

VN:F [1.9.8_1114]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
{Homegrown} Sally Partridge, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *