SECRET WEAPON: Author Sarah Armstrong, who is negotiating film rights for her novel, Salt Rain.
SECRET WEAPON: Author Sarah Armstrong, who is negotiating film rights for her novel, Salt Rain.

Yoga inspires author?s novel approach to writing

By ALEX EASTON

SARAH ARMSTRONG'S name went on the cover, but it was really Downward Dog that wrote acclaimed Northern Rivers novel Salt Rain.

No, Downward Dog is not the name of a hip-hop ghost writer, it's a yoga position, and Ms Armstrong yesterday said it was one of several that gave her the inspiration to write the novel.

Ms Armstrong conceded yoga was not a technique that worked for everyone, but says it is the secret behind the success of a novel so successful it now appears set to be turned into a film.

Ms Armstrong yesterday said her agent, Curtis Brown, was negotiating with an Australian company that wanted to turn Salt Rain into a film.

Since it was released to critical acclaim six months ago, Salt Rain has sold more than 3000 copies, a figure praised by top Australian author Thomas Keneally.

"What all writers hope is that their work will reach a critical mass ? that those 3000 will tell at least 9000 others...that generates the word of mouth a writer needs, and Ms Armstrong has made a pretty good start," Mr Keneally said.

Ms Armstrong said yoga had been a critical part of her writing, with different poses helping her reach the frame of mind she needed for different parts of Salt Rain.

Downward Dog, done on all fours with hips in the air and head near the ground, made her centred and calm, while the strengthening warrior pose would give feelings of endurance and stamina.

Ms Armstrong is now teaching others to use yoga in writing through workshops that will ultimately tour Brisbane and Newcastle. For details call 6684 3403.



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