Posted by: Lisa Hill | January 7, 2016

Meet an Aussie Author: S.A. (Sarah) Jones

SA Jones headshot credit Stephanie Fargher

SA Jones (Photo credit Stephanie Fargher)

One of our quirkiest awards here in Australia is the MUBA – the Most Underrated Book Award, and it exists to bring to public attention some really great books that haven’t had the attention they deserve.  Last year among the shortlisted titles (2015) was Isabelle of the Moon and Stars (see my review), and I am delighted to be able to introduce to you the author of that very fine book, S.A. (Sarah) Jones.

Isabelle of the Moon and StarsRed Dress WalkingSA Jones holds a PhD in History from the University of Western Australia and is currently based in Melbourne.   She’s published two novels: Red Dress Walking and Isabelle of the Moon and Stars.  In addition to the 2015 MUBA,  Jones’ work has been shortlisted for the Fish International Short Story and Memoir Prize and in 2015 won the Mama Mia/Harper Collins writing competition in the Attitude Category.

By day, Jones is a regulatory analyst.  She was recognised as one of Australia’s 100 Women of Influence (sorry, you may find this link pay-walled) for her work in public policy in 2013.

Somehow in the middle of all the fuss and bother of the festive season, Jones (thank you!) found time to answer my questions for Meet an Aussie Author.

SA Jones The Aqua Gumpoo
1. I was born in Chesterfield in the United Kingdom.

2. When I was a child I wrote stories for my sister. One was called Octavia, Gillian and the Aqua-Gumpoo. I also wrote poetry. Badly.

3. The person/s who encouraged/inspired/mentored me to write were my parents. Though not highly educated themselves, they emphasised reading and narrative in their parenting and never censored what I read.

4. I write wherever, however. I’m extremely time poor so I’ve trained myself to write on planes, in my lunchbreak, at my desk while my child and dog play in the same room.

5. I write mainly on Saturdays and Sundays as I have a full time job.

6. Research is something I love. I’m a historian so fossicking around in archives, on the internet, in journals is second nature.

7. I keep my published works in my bookcase, alphabetised appropriately along with all my other books.

8. On the day my first book was published, I drank champagne with my girlfriends and watched with some amusement as my mum told everyone in the English-speaking world.

9. At the moment, I’m writing a long-form essay on the relationship between narcissistic personality disorder and recent Australian politics. It will be in the April edition of  Kill Your Darlings.

10.When I’m stuck for an idea/word/phrase, I swear, then go to the online thesaurus. If I still can’t find the right word it’s remarkable how often I’ll hear it or read it in the next twenty-four hours.

Jones is mad-keen on chardonnay and lives in fear that something might happen to Hilary Mantel before the final instalment of the Wolf Hall trilogy is released.  [I can relate to that, I love Hilary Mantel’s work!]

I’ll be interested to see that article about narcissistic personality disorder and recent Australian politics.  At the 2014 Bendigo Writers Festival I attended a session about narcissism with Anne Manne and her book The Life of I: The New Culture of Narcissism but I hadn’t thought about how it impacted on politics, but like any cultural phenomenon of course it must.

Red Dress Walking and Isabelle of the Moon and Stars are available from Fishpond or from any good bookshop.


  1. Article sounds intriguing. I’ve written KYD on my April calendar.


    • Hello Karenlee, Happy New Year!
      I’ve read some good stuff at KYD. I sometimes I think I should subscribe, but it would end up joining all the other journals that I’ve subscribed to, in a pile making me feel guilty because I haven’t had time to read them. So now what I mostly do is borrow them from the library, and buy the occasional one-off or pay to read online.


  2. Thank you for the introduction! I’ve added these to the TBR list!


  3. You already know I enjoyed Isabelle of the Moon and Stars, so thanks for this interview. It’s nice to know a bit more about S.A. Jones.

    Liked by 1 person

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