Everyone loves a good novel where they can't wait to get to he next chapter. Sometimes it's a matter of the next page, and that is the case of author Sara Stamford's "The Honeycomb Diamond." This suspenseful thriller is a page-turner and the gorgeous author is taking in being the #1 Best-Selling International Author. Sara Stamford is a captivating author on the rise. Learning about her creative process is both incredible and artistic. Sara is also a former international model and a well-known philanthropist who is recognized as an established producer and screenwriter.
"The Honeycomb Diamond" centers around beautiful socialite Margarita Levnik. Margarita is held captive and tortured in her London townhouse by a brutal and well-organized gang in search of her rare £20 million pound vivid pink diamond (the whereabouts of which only her missing billionaire husband knows). Yet, it's after her daring escape that she encounters an even greater threat -- a secret organization called Honeycomb. Yet, it's after her daring escape that she encounters an even greater threat -- a secret organization called Honeycomb. Slowly she realizes that the price for her safety and freedom might be far more than she can afford.
Sara was kind enough to take time from her busy schedule to speak with Gemma Magazine about being an author, "The Honeycomb Diamond" and her creative process. So, let's get started!
Did you enjoy modeling and what is the biggest lesson you learned from the industry?
I did enjoy modeling; I met some great, talented individuals. But people should know that modeling is challenging, especially when you're a teenager. You're like an innocent lamb surrounded by wolves. Everyone around you tries to manipulate you and tell you lies.
Unfortunately, many agencies are not on the models' side because they're accountable to clients who pay the big bucks. Also, they have hundreds of models, so if one reports inappropriate behavior by a photographer or works very late and without a lunch break, they can get another one who is younger, more shy, afraid to speak up, or doesn't speak English. There's a lot of room for improvement in the industry. I learned to stand up for myself and speak up. I'm glad we have Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok now because anyone can share what's happening in this glamorous yet dangerous world. I miss it sometimes, though, and I still get calls and offers to do runways and photoshoots. If I squeeze it into my busy schedule, I can go back and do a few photoshoots here and there.
Congratulations on "The Honeycomb Diamond" What drew you to a career in writing?
While modeling, I was also writing because it comes naturally to me. If you don't have friends in a foreign country, and you don't go out partying on weekends, you have much more free time. So, pen and paper became my best friends. Since leaving modeling, my writing has taken many forms: novels, poetry, screenplays, and short stories. I plan to continue in all of these mediums.
Tell us a bit about "The Honeycomb Diamond?"
The book is about a woman who named Margarita who becomes a hostage in her own home after it is made public that her husband bought her a very rare pink diamond. After she stumbles upon an enticing invitation from a secret organization, she uses it to escape and hide from gangsters occupying her home simultaneously. Once Margarita arrives at this remote place called Honeycomb, she soon realizes it's not a haven after all. There's something eerie and sinister about the area. Furthermore, she is not safe being there. All kinds of strange things are happening. What is it? Where is it? No one is telling her anything. She's stuck in this ambiguous situation with no one left in the real world, and she can only rely on those around her in Honeycomb.
"Margarita is a strong, driven and complex woman. Broken-hearted and facing many challenges, she yearns to find the truth." (Sara Stamford)
How did you enjoy the writing process as a whole?
I loved the whole process of writing this novel. I took attributes from different people I've met and characters I've imagined and molded them into a single persona. Each character is unique with their voice, needs, likes, and dislikes. I never take the people I know and write all the characteristics about them, and that's it. It's too easy and not fun. It's almost like a painting, and you're the artist, so you take all the colors available and mix them to try to create a masterpiece - and that would be each of the characters in the book.
Did you ever have the desire to write nonfiction?
I was approached by several people asking me to write a memoir about my life. Beginning with my time as a ballet performer and then becoming a model and telling the world about the whole fashion industry and what it's like behind the curtain. What is it like behind the stage of a runway show, and what are these famous designers like? What it's like to work with a specific photographer. Which city has the nicest people in the industry, and where they're not so lovely? It could be a fascinating book, but that's something I might do later on. Right now, my main focus is on "The Honeycomb Diamond."
Where do you get a lot of your inspiration when writing?
I need a quiet space and a cup of tea. I close my eyes for a moment and let the magic begin. Once I have that spark, that first idea for a scene and crafting a character, I start writing. I become glued to my laptop for hours until it gets late, and I fall asleep. Sometimes I would dream about a scene for my book, and when I awoke, I'd hurry to write it down, so I wouldn't forget it. Dreams can simultaneously be intriguing and perplexing and inspire you for a new scene or the next chapter. When I write, I will become each character in my book. I would experience every emotion they feel. I would see what they see. I would feel the dread they're going through, especially with Margarita, my book's main character. I would eat what she ate. I would think what she thought. Also, I would help her. I'd be the God to who she's praying to. I'd be her only chance of survival. You want to cherish every page because it is alive and has its own soul. A book has a soul, and every page has its heartbeat. I want to be friends with Margarita and know how she's doing and where she is now. She is alive. She's out there somewhere.
Can you explain a challenging time/moment on your journey to becoming a writer that you overcame?
I want to say that it can be very easy to get discouraged and abandon your dreams. Every day, women face constant pressure from society on how to look, behave, and choose a career. They are judged by their school, where they are from, and their parents' backgrounds. Of course, their appearance. Based on all these things, you get treated differently. It is so absurd. Being a young female writer can be challenging. Even though the world has become more equal between men and women, it is still more difficult for women writers. I've spoken to many, and they vouch for this fact. What I realized from the beginning is that I need to have thick skin. I'd like to tell new authors to refrain from being influenced by what people say, what they want them to do, or what they want you to write about. Always listen to your own heart and have your voice. Follow your dream and tell your story. If you believe in yourself, everyone else will start believing in you.
Top habits/characteristics to being a productive writer would be...?
Every serious writer needs to have discipline. You can't stop writing in the middle of a sentence, even when you feel like having a snack or calling your friend to invite her for dinner. Once you stop the flow, it might not return. So, if you have a great scene or a great line, don't dismiss it, and don't procrastinate. Write it down immediately. You must write regularly. Just like an athlete, to be in great shape, you need to train regularly. It's the same with writing. You don't have to write novels daily, but at least a line here and there to keep the creativity awake. Also, you must be a great observer. Just watch people around you. When you're writing a book - you give life to many different characters. It's like meeting new people. They all have their vices and needs; they use other jargon and manners of speaking. They each have their peculiar habits.
What do you love most about writing?
Breathing life into each character in the book brings me joy—experiencing so many personas in one day—creating unexpected twists and turns for the readers. To have each person finish the book with many questions circulating in their heads and make them yearn for a sequel.
Who are some writers that you admire and why?
I admire quite a few writers. For example, Edgar Allan Poe is one of my favorites. His dark, eerie tales always intrigued me so much as a child. Aside from him, l also love Emile Zola, Knut Hamsun, Ayn Rand, and Leo Tolstoy, and I have eagerly read all their works. As for recent authors, I greatly admire Lucy Foley, Ellery Lloyd, and particularly Liane Moriarty.
What draws you to philanthropy, and what organizations are you involved with?
I've always wanted to help others, whether it's a person in need on the corner asking for some change or your best friend facing challenges in life. It is essential to give back to people who seek help. Working closely with underprivileged girls is mostly about kind words of assurance that they're worthy and can achieve their goals and follow their dreams. A warm hug is always appreciated. With support from other women and building confidence in oneself, everyone can succeed. Currently, I serve as a board member at a wonderful organization called StepUp. Their goals inspired me to join them in mentoring girls and young women to overcome barriers in life without being afraid to make tough decisions. We do many Zoom sessions and in-person meetings with teenagers at schools. I attended some of them this last year, and I plan to attend many more this spring and summer. It brings a smile to my face to work with like-minded people with great intentions who are also driven to make this world a better place for future generations.
What is next for you?
I'm working on some short stories I'd love to publish. And, without giving too much away, there is a possible sequel to The Honeycomb Diamond that is tentatively planned for the end of this year.
To keep up with Sara Stamford, follow her on her social media platforms: