Sarah the mechanic was the first character to arrive in my head when Car Thieves was just a tiny story embryo, although she originally had a different name. When I first started writing her, she was Yarah, a name I’d never heard before but felt suited her. Then when the TV adaptation of Game of Thrones happened, (that’s how long Car Thieves has existed in my brain) they changed one of the character’s names from Asha in the books to Yara in the TV show. Since it was an unusual name and Game of Thrones is a big thing, my character became Sarah, which now feels perfect for her and I couldn’t imagine her with any other name. Also, she had a grey cat long before my husband and I adopted one, so I guess sometimes life does imitate art.
You can see my aesthetic reference board for Sarah on Pinterest.
From my character notes
Self-reliant, resourceful, independent. Practical, reliable, dedicated to efficiency. Not afraid of hard work and thrives under pressure. Gets things done. Totally chill even when there’s shit going down. Determined to the point of stubbornness. Believes hard work will always get her through but has an underlying fear of fucking up, especially if it means letting other people down. Always true to her word. Blunt and straightforward. Takes a while to get emotionally close to people, but deeply loyal once she does. Really just wants everything to work like a well-oiled machine.
From the book
It surprised her how quickly she had stopped being horrified by the sight of the terrible things people had done to one another. On reflection, the world had been full of people doing terrible things before all this, but they’d been far enough away that it hadn’t affected her too deeply. Since that realisation, she had been carrying a small knot of shame in the pit of her stomach. Her life had been easy, before. Not everyone’s had.
Sarah turned off the stove and began to get washed in the blissfully warm water, momentarily ignoring the larger problems faced by the world. Craving order and logic, she did her best to put inconvenient emotions away and figure out a plan of attack.
If she could get to a supermarket, even a small one, she might have some chance of finding food that hadn’t already been taken. The stench of rot left in the shops after the chillers ceased to function was disgusting enough to be thoroughly off-putting.
The roaming animals she had encountered in search of food in human places were off-putting too. Previously someone’s pets, they had been quick to become self-sufficient. She was partly nervous for her safety around them and partly broken-hearted that they each had a loving home once but were now left to fend for themselves.
The farm animals made her feel even worse, mostly due to the immediacy with which she had encountered their remains during her travels on foot. Many had died through a lack of provision and she’d seen signs of some having been crudely butchered in the fields by people unable to carry them off in their entirety.
Car Thieves will be available to read online and download free in February! Find it here on 9th, and DeviantArt, Tablo, Wattpad and Instafreebie on 16th.