About Sarah

Sarah was born in Manchester and grew up in the north of England and in London. She attended Oxford University and, after graduating, worked in London as a trainee producer at the BBC. Sarah later qualified as a barrister and pursued an academic career for a number of years, becoming a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Westminster.

Sarah has four children and began her writing career when her children were at school. She has written three medieval mysteries for young adults: The Riddle of the Poisoned Monk (shortlisted for the Branford Boase first novel award and the Waterstones Book Prize), Tom Fletcher and the Angel of Death and Tom Fletcher and the Three Wise Men, which was also published as an audio book. Her latest novel, A Berlin Love Song, written for young adults, concerns the persecution of the Roma in WW2; the book was longlisted for the Carnegie Medal, shortlisted for the North East Young Adult Fiction Award and was winner of the Shropshire Libraries Award. Sarah regularly visits schools and libraries all over the country. Sarah is a volunteer and ‘author in residence’ at City of London Primary Academy, Islington, an inner city school in the centre of London. She also sits on the governing body of the school. She visits the school weekly to run creative writing projects with the children and to assist in the classroom with maths and literacy.

Sarah’s charitable interests include involvement in Elephants for Africa, a Botswana-based conservation charity, committed to protecting the endangered African elephant through research and education. Sarah’s husband, David, is Chair of Trustees of EfA and Sarah and David regularly visit the EfA bush camp on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park.

Sarah’s involvement in Southern African Conservation Trust

Sarah met Brian Courtenay, Chair of Southern African Conservation Trust, many years ago through a mutual friend, Dr Kate Evans, founder of Elephants for Africa. As an established writer with a keen interest in conservation, Sarah quickly became interested in Brian’s successful comic project for rural school children in southern Africa: Vusa the Wildlife Guardian. Whilst on a holiday in 2022 with her husband and Brian Courtenay in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, Sarah caught her first glimpse of the critically endangered African Wild Dog. Few people have ever seen these beautiful creatures as there are only about 6,600 left in the wild. After this extraordinary encounter, Brian invited her to write a new comic in the series: Vusa the Wild Dog Guardian.

Vusa the Wild Dog Guardian

Having no scientific knowledge at all of the African Wild Dog, Sarah spent many months researching the endangered status of Wild Dogs with the help of academic books, films and websites of a number of NGOs, in particular Painted Dog Conservation. She was particularly grateful to Peter Blinston, Executive Director of Painted Dog Conservation, for sharing a private film with her of him removing a deeply embedded snare from the neck of a Wild Dog. The project was a ‘steep learning curve’ for Sarah, but she soon became fascinated in this beautiful, playful, iconic species, its complex family relationships and social interaction and the many threats to its survival. There is no doubt that unless we take immediate action, the wonderful African Wild Dog will become extinct in our lifetime. Vusa the Wild Dog Guardian is the result of Sarah’s research. In Hwange once again in October 2023, having completed the script for the comic, Sarah was particularly delighted when a pack of 6 adults and 9 puppies decided to visit her and her companions at a waterhole at sundown! They stayed for about ten minutes, posing for photographs, before running off together into the bush. A rare sighting indeed!

In 2024 Sarah will be updating and rewriting the existing Vusa the Lion Guardian comic and she is already planning a new donkey welfare manual where Vusa will be explaining to his family and fellow villagers how to best look after their donkeys and beasts of burden – a serious welfare issue crying out for immediate action. Sarah writes pro bono for Southern African Conservation Trust.

Author Visits

Sarah is very happy to take part in author visits for schools and colleges and really enjoys meeting young people, talking about books and reading from her own work.

Read more about author visits