Sarah Tate is an English born mother of three who lives and works in Switzerland. She is the author of Web of Lies - My Life with a Narcissist, an autobiographical novel about living with a person with a personality disorder. Web of Lies takes the reader on an emotional journey, as Sarah describes in great detail how she was wooed by, fell for, and almost had her life destroyed by, a pathological personality. Dr David Holmes, leading forensic psychologist at the University of Manchester in England, has endorsed the book as being a valuable tool for anybody who may have found themselves involved with a narcissist or psychopath. Her second book, Renaissance - A Journal of Discovery, charts the progress of Sarah and her children as they escape from the deceit, and carve a new life for themselves alone. It details the road to recovery from psychological abuse.
Tell us about Web of Lies. What was your inspiration/motivation behind this book? Was it difficult to revisit these memories?
Web of Lies is an emotional rollercoaster which takes the reader on an incredible journey and gives a deep insight into what it’s like to be sucked into the world of a narcissistic psychopath, and moreover, how to escape.
Narcissists and sociopaths live amongst us, yet many people don’t even recognize their character traits and can be easily left distraught and confused thinking that they are the ones with the problem. By telling my story and sharing it with the world, I hoped to help other women (and men) who have fallen for the seemingly endless (yet superficial) charms of one of these individuals. This is not a self-help book, but an honest and emotional account of what it feels like to be entangled in the world of a person whose reality is different to our own. Leading psychologist Dr David Holmes recommends the book to his psychology students as an extremely valuable case study. Apart from being a gripping read, it’s an important book for all those who have suffered in an unhappy relationship.
I had been encouraged by friends and relatives to write down the extraordinary events which happened to myself and the children. I was doing some research on the web about the psychological effects may be for us, when I came across an article on NPD & APD. When I read the article I thought it had been written about my life! I realised then that I had a very important story to tell.
It was quite draining to re-live it all in such detail, and to be honest it was quite difficult to read it all back again when it was finished. The book is of course very condensed, you get six years put into twenty-four chapters, so of course it's more intense than it was in real life. I'm glad I wrote it though, as the feedback I've received has been overwhelming and made it all worthwhile.
What was it like to publish a memoir? Was it a release? Freeing? Was there any anxiety in the publication process? Is publishing a memoir different from publishing fiction?
It was scary. You are laying bare some very raw and emotional events in your life and you don't know how they are going to be received by the readers. There was much trepidation at fist, but it helped that I had a strong belief in the book and it's message. I'd say it has been quite liberating, yes. I know I've helped people, as I get regular Emails to thank me for sharing my story. This has made it liberating for me. It's exactly what I wanted to achieve. I've not yet published my first novel so I can't say if it's a different process.
How did you get started writing?
Web of Lies was my first book, but I've always enjoyed writing and have written poetry and short stories for as long as I can remember.
What is your writing process like?
Computer. I plan out each chapter and exactly what I want it to achieve. I do this in some detail. Then, I go back and 'fill in the gaps'!
How do you get ideas for what you write?
Well, obviously the first two books are based on my own experience so that was easy! My third book is a novel called The Middle Aged Twist -- with this book I have used examples from real life as well as a lot of imagination. I'm really enjoying creating characters and watching them take on their own life in my mind.
What are some of your favorite books?
Anything by Stephen King, Emma Donoghue (in particular, Room), Jodie Piccoult or Patricia Cornwell. I love psychological thrillers or historical fiction, but I'm also not adverse to some chick lit from time to time!
What is your biggest advice for young people reaching for their dreams?
Go for it and believe! Keep trying and never give up. Don't let negative energy from others dissuade you. Remove negative energy from your life and stay focused!