Thursday 2 August 2012


Writing And Getting It Right
by Sarah Mussi

Writing seems like it should be easy. Just 26 letters in the alphabet and you jumble them together and put them on paper and that’s it. That what I thought when I was about 5. I used to do pretend writing and line up letters to make words, show them to my mum who would then turn them into a story. I was fascinated by very long words and thought the longer they were the more sense they’d contain. If only!

Now I agonise over every word, every verb tense and every letter. I want to makes words as short as possible and believe entirely the opposite: the shorter the words, the briefer the sentence and more succinct the writing - the better. But being brief takes time. Winston Churchill once ended a very long letter with the comment, "I'm sorry this letter was so long – I didn't have time to make it short." He just said that so much better than I could have!

Once I get writing though, I go into what I call THE ZONE. In THE ZONE the length of the words don’t matter and time seems to stand still. I want to write madly, badly, compulsively until I ache from sitting down, until my hunger drives me into the kitchen and my eyes are all bleary. And I only stop because I get interrupted by REAL LIFE! You know the sort of thing: go shopping. Do the washing up. Go for a walk. (I love walking. I plug in my iPod and listen to books.) And it’s great. Unless it’s a working day. I mean a day-job working day.

On a day-job working day. I get up at four in the morning and try to do all the above before I go to work. Needless to say I often fail to deliver anything very succinctly at all with such a short writing stretch to work in.

Writing ANGEL DUST was done half during day-job days and half over the Christmas holidays. But because I loved the story so much and was so totally fascinated by the character of Serafina I was able to keep the routine up. Serafina, the protagonist of ANGEL DUST, is an angel – a seraph – who is sent down to Earth to collect the soul of Marcus Montague, a gangsta, who is bound for Hell. Marcus is shot in a turf war exchange – but when Serafina catches him and makes ready to help him into the afterlife she can’t do it. There’s something about Marcus that stops her. He’s so handsome and brave and so mortal. She’s shocked at that. So very mortal. And then he looks into her eyes. And she sees something in him worth saving. And to make it worse, he thinks she’s his guardian angel come to save him. So she doesn’t deliver him his death and the repercussions of that are her undoing.

ANGEL DUST is a metaphor for first love. For the kind of emotion that sweeps you away and tears you apart. While I was writing it I felt its power again, that dizzying rush of excitement at the thought of seeing someone you love – of being what they want you to be – of finding your soul mate - and that was amazing.

Such a buzz.

It makes me want to keep on writing and writing…

In fact I think I will…

Angel Dust by Sarah Mussi
Genre: urban fantasy

About Angel Dust:
Would you move heaven and earth for the one you love? ANGEL DUST is a powerful, gritty and utterly modern tragic love story with a twist. When Serafina, the brightest and most beloved of all God's angels, is sent to collect Marcus Montague - the original badman - and take him to Hell, she finds herself powerfully drawn to him and makes a decision that places her in the middle of a war between Heaven and Hell. Can Serafina fall in love without falling from grace? Can Marcus's soul be saved? And just who is the mysterious and ever-so-helpful stranger Harry?
Source: Info in the About Angel Dust was from GoodReads at on 30/07/2012.
Buy Link(s):

About Sarah Mussi:
Sarah Mussi was born in Gloucestershire. After her education at a girl’s school in Cheltenham, she completed a post graduate degree at the Royal College of Art before leaving the UK for West Africa. She lived in Cameroon, Nigeria and Ghana in West Africa for over eighteen years, finally teaching English in Accra. Sarah now lives in Brixton and teaches in Lewisham, splitting her holidays between England and Ghana.

Sarah’s first published novel The Door of No Return won the Children’s Book of the Year 2007 Award at the Glen Dimplex New Writers’ Awards and was shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award, shortlisted for Wirral Best Paperback of the Year and awarded Junior Library Guild Status in the USA. Her second novel inspired a London walk and was shortlisted for The Lewisham Book Award.
Sarah's Link(s):


  1. Cool metaphor.
    Nice cover!
    Awesome author pic.
    Great post!

  2. If only writing was that easy :D

  3. I always knew that writing is not easy. By the same sense do I know that I am a reader and not a writer...

  4. Oh wow. Great post. And sounds like you really put a lot into the book. :) Thank you.


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