'People were complimenting my weight loss' Sarah Rees Brennan on battling cancer
"My judgement went a long time before my writing did".
Sarah Rees Brennan is our guest on Girls With Goals this week. An accomplished author, she's currently writing the tie-in novels for Netflix's hit series 'The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina". In the episode we discuss the first stories she ever wrote, how a documentary about wolves inspired her love of fantasy and how being diagnosed with stage four Lymphoma changed everything!
Click below to watch the full interview:
It sounds like every writer's dream to write for a massive Netflix show but when the streaming giant came knocking, writing novels wasn't at the forefront of Sarah's mind. In 2016 Sarah was diagnosed with stage four Lymphoma, she explained the shock she felt when first diagnosed:
— Sarah Rees Brennan (@sarahreesbrenna) February 16, 2020
Sarah wrote her first novel The Demon's Lexicon, while studying for her Creative Writing Masters in the UK. On the back of that came a three-year book contract and her career as a YA author was firmly cemented.
When she was diagnosed in 2016 writing, understandably, took a back seat. Sarah's health was the priority and for a while she explained the confusing sentiments she faced while getting progressively sicker but constantly being applauded for weight loss:
"You get thin and everyone is like 'good job you must have worked hard' and I was like 'I didn't?'... I was very tired and my writing was actually rubbish at the time. One of my friends, who is also a writer, would read to me sentence by sentence and be like 'do you see why this isn't working?' And I'd be like 'no, I just can't see it anymore,' that was very strange for me, my judgement went a long time before the writing did."
Thankfully, Sarah is now cancer free and she explained that the opportunity to write about Sabrina gave her the courage to keep battling through:
"I was told that the Riverdale creator was rebooting Sabrina so I was just excited as a fan, I was like 'great, this is coming it's going to be amazing' and then an editor who I knew a little and who was a fan of my work said 'would you be interested in writing a tie-in novel for a TV show, I can't tell you which one' and I was like 'oh, maybe?' - and then my friend who knew us both was like 'Sarah, you're going to want to do this, you've been talking about this show for six months', I said yes pretty soon after that"
You can listen to the full episode with Sarah Rees Brennan below and for more on her Sabrina novels check out the interview she did with our resident Netflix expert Keeley Ryan.