A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Sadie Maskery

with Sadie Maskery:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Sadie: I have always written, badly. My first favourite book was Watership Down. Its mix of children’s folktale, natural history, landscape writing and savagery definitely influenced my adult interests.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Sadie: I read only recently about Tolkien’s writing process. Having the patience and stamina to draft countless versions of a work, to have enough faith in the process and in the worth of what you are writing to labour, really labour, to create something, painstakingly working and reworking each strand, weaving the plot backwards not just to the end – that requires self belief and a faith in your writing. I am trying to find that confidence in what I write. If I draft it a long piece I read it, think it’s rubbish and delete it. I still say sorry as I submit things. Sorry, I know you have better things to do with your time than read this. Sorry. I need to orc up.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing?

Sadie: My Dad brought me up as my mother went to South Africa with her new family. He was a … strong character. We moved home a lot; I don’t feel I am ‘from’ anywhere. Dad did his best but it was a struggle for both of us. It had an impact on me, but I was socially awkward by nature as well as nurture. Overcompensating for introversion affects my whole life, I constantly cringe at myself. Damn right it influences my writing.

Q4: What do you consider your most meaningful work that you've done creatively so far?
Sadie: A collection about my childhood, funnily enough. It is not good poetry (well, it's not found a publisher) but it has been useful to put things in perspective. 

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Sadie: No pivotal moment, I just love it. I used to sing in a jazz trio, the pure joy when what you are all creating fuses to something special, my god. The sting is needing validation from other people. I love creation, hate rejection, so choosing poetry with all the rejections that involves is fun. At least with singing it was someone else's words, mostly. 

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Sadie: Reading. As I have aged I have lost interest in profound works with unresolved endings. Real life is messy and full of despair, why the hell would I read about an imaginary version of the same. I have turned during Covid to 1930s murder mysteries with neatly packaged solutions and courteous villains wearing smart suits.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you'd like to promote?

Sadie: Oh all of it. Contact me. I need to get better at in between bits, I have a tendency to apologise too much for being on a stage. But I like the time when I am in a poem or song.  It's a chance to be someone else. It is transfiguring when you can feel your words connect with other people.

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others, or a favorite piece of art or photograph? 

Sadie: A favourite photograph is this one of Louise Brooks. It was this or a photo of Bonnie Langford. I wanted to be a lithe, troubled siren; or bubbly, unashamedly redheaded and performing nightly with Brian Blessed in the West End. Either would have done. I got the troubled and redheaded bits. 

Favorite line from a song?

Is that all there is? If that’s all there is my friend, then let’s keep dancing, let’s break out the booze and have a ball. If that’s all there is. 

It’s the melody that goes with it. Peggy Lee or the PJ Harvey cover, either version stays with me on long, still nights.

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Sadie: David, husband and love. I wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for him. He literally saved me from drowning once and he does it metaphorically most days.

Thanks to these publishers/twitter tags


@feversof 🙂

A Poem by Sadie Maskery : “And what if this was all it is”

Poems about “Connections” by Sadie Maskery

Poems by Sadie Maskery : “Safe Spaces” “Faith” & “Haiku”

Avalanches in Poetry 2 Entry: To the End of Love by Sadie Maskery







Bio: Sadie (@saccharinequeen)
Sadie Maskery lives in Scotland by the sea with her family.  Her writing will be found in various publications both online and in print, and she can be found on Twitter as @saccharinequeen where she describes herself, optimistically, as “functioning adequately “.

A Poem by Sadie Maskery : “And what if this was all it is”

And what if this was all it is

Nice to meet you, old friend. 
I always knew you were there, 
somewhere between id and ego. 
You were the pulse of conscience
acting before the brain could re-act,
the voice sighing 
oh stop
so softly, lost in the breeze, a myth.
Now all is silent but the hissbump
of the ventilator;
you are not within but outwith.
In. Out. I drift. But breathe. You wait 
beyond my sight.
Today is the day for a choice to be made.

Do you feel for yourself or only through us?
Like childbirth the first time;  the agony
the not-knowing. 
You feel the wave crash down through 
and through,
and think there is no bearing it; yet you do, 
and keep on bearing unbearable masses
until eternity flares in the eyes
of your child and the terror just... passes. 
You forget. Still we persist. 
I remember when young thinking
"Go through all this mess? 
this horror?
Gladly choose a life of pain 
then choose it again?" 
What a silly thing to be a living creature, 

It has not been a bad life.  A lover, a child conceived.
Unhappiness, given and received. 
And so, so much stupidity.
If I could do it all over again would I hear 
your soft sigh 
stop       oh 
The boredom though, of eternal perfection,
it has been fun to be flawed, sometimes.

There is a small crease in the sheet 
beneath my thigh. 
I cannot move. 
I think I am suffering. 
I know I shall not wake and find life 
just a dream,
a soft sigh 
whispered stop
     oh    stop.
I remember one spring, fresh wind
heady with coconut from gorse
blazing yellow in the sun. 
The sound of bees and skylarks 
a symphony, salt sweet 
tang of his mouth on my lips falling, 
into ecstacy. 
Sweet serendipity of time, 
space and being.
Lost. Breathe in. 
Inspiration for a lifetime of love.
And your soft sigh whispered 
stop oh
Even universes end. 
We never said goodbye.

Here we are. The fraying begins.
I feel the flutter of frail valves, 
delicate whisper of electricity
as the connection 
between heart and soul loosens. Oh. 
Inarguable proof of the final doom.
If there is a chance to escape, 
the body screams 
'Run from 
that mess
that horror, 
the agony of the not-knowing. 
Continue to 
to pray for one last chance.'
Yet, strangely, no fear, here. 
It's a relief to surrender. 
I function despite myself, 
the puppets of pipes and wires,
so I stare at the ceiling and wait.
Nothing of me will resonate 
when I am gone.
All ... this... will dissolve. 
I am tired. Bored, even. I have lost it all
except the scent of gorse, sunshine, 
the texture of wool on bare thighs
 and a song without words. 
You have a question to ask me, 


not yet

Bio: Sadie (@saccharinequeen)
Sadie Maskery lives in Scotland by the sea with her family.  Her writing will be found in various publications both online and in print, and she can be found on Twitter as @saccharinequeen where she describes herself, optimistically, as "functioning adequately ".