How would you describe Chelsea Wives and their
Mistresses in a sentence?
Chelsea Wives and their Mistresses is a modern, fresh new angle
on 'chick lit' novels, with the main characters being bisexual or
lesbian. It is an upbeat story but also covers some real issues.
The character Cara Brooks illustrates how a woman may struggle in
accepting her sexuality and finding the courage to face the
personal hurdles, which may arise in 'coming out'. Elle Milne-Smith
however is more discreet with her tribulations over her love for
another woman, which she covers up by her more playful nature
towards her lover, Lyra.
Who do you think would enjoy the novel?
I think anyone with an interest in what goes on in society, and
in this case, behind closed doors! My website www.sarahbramley.com has a
few extracts which provide a small insight into the story.
When did you start work on the novel and what inspired
I started the novel about two and a half years ago while working
full time in marketing. It was a constant learning process,
especially at the beginning, but I just kept working at it whenever
there was a slot of free time. Taking up writing brought so much
into my life - the huge motivation came from the amazing people
whom gave me the inspiration; they taught me so many things.
Although Cara, Elle, Sirena and Lyra all have characteristics taken
from people I know… no one character is solely based on one
particular friend or myself.
Glamorous, sexy women who truly love other women are barely
represented in British mainstream media, so after my personal
experiences of such women, I felt compelled to write a story
inspired by it. I'm a big believer in a society where old
stereotypes are flattened so people simply feel comfortable to be
who they truly are.
What's your writing background?
Not extensive! Before I started writing Chelsea Wives and their
Mistresses, I had previously written and submitted a short screen
play to various agencies, which was based on my humorous
experiences at a call centre where I worked as a student in
Brighton. I developed my passion for writing plays while at
secondary school but when I left for University, I had put all of
that on hold to focus on a marketing career to support myself
financially. Although I had always intended to step back into the
entertainment arena at some stage after graduating, I didn't have a
strict plan that it would be via writing a novel.
The novel has been called controversial by your
publisher and in an article in the Evening Standard. Did you ever
have any doubts about the book?
Yes I did have doubts - especially when I was on the verge of
signing the publisher's contract! But as its inspired from
experience and also from what I've heard from other friends, I
couldn't not go ahead. If all writers and other artists worried
about the reaction from others towards their work, to the point of
not releasing their creations on that basis, we wouldn't be the
free-thinking society which we embrace as a healthy
How difficult was it to find a publisher for a lesbian
novel? Did you approach large mainstream publishing
I was lucky to have knocked on Quartet Book's door, the only
publisher that I directly turned to, and then be published soon
after. They are a fantastic publishing house for manuscripts which
offer something different to the book world. I knew that the
chances of being published with a lesbian theme would be more
difficult in an already highly competitive market, but I had so
much belief in what I was trying to achieve that after each
rejection by the big literary agents, I kept on
Any plans for another book?
Yes. The whole process of being published has been a massive
learning experience so my second novel will benefit from the
knowledge and skills that I have gained.
Will that have a lesbian theme too?
Well I need to feel passionate to write… so yes it will.
Buy a copy at amazon.co.uk