Interview with Sally Gould

What was the inspiration behind Dead Scary?
My young son used to wake up screaming and terrified of ghosts. Being the perfect mother, I’d comfort him with, “There’s no such thing as ghosts.” The exact words my mother said to me when I was little and would wake up screaming because I was terrified of the ghost in my wardrobe. But his terror was so real and his stories so consistent that I did some research. I went to my local Borders bookshop (the global chain store that existed before ebooks took over the world) and bought a bunch of books on the topic. Then I read them. Then I realized once again why there is a saying that Our children are our greatest teachers. By this time, Nic had fought the ghost and banished him from his bedroom (no joke) and I had a story idea.
What was the inspiration behind The Max Books?
The Max Books are written from Max’s point of view. My youngest son, Nic (the ghost-slayer) is funny, crazy and has always got up to mischief, like Max. The competitiveness between Max and his older brother, Charlie, is inspired by my sons. What is it with boys? Someone has to win and someone has to lose or they’re not happy. And Nic used to try his hardest to convince me that Josh was an alien, but we all knew it was actually he who was the alien. Of course, some events in the Max Books were inspired by other people. It was my brother-in-law who ate the dog food. It’s me who is truly terrified of crocodiles and, in my family, only my husband and I have climbed Uluru (I’m not a total wimp).
What was the inspiration behind Race You?
When my sons, Josh and Nic, were young they raced each other everywhere and raced each other to do everything. Who cares who touched the car first, eats breakfast first, cleans their teeth first and gets dressed first? They did. I took them to the family doctor who diagnosed them as having a serious disorder where they needed to be FIRST at everything. Now my sons are older and they’re completely cured. If they don’t get anywhere on time, if they don’t eat, don’t clean their teeth or don’t remember to get dressed - they don’t care.
What is your favorite children’s book?
'Holes' by Louis Sachar is a favorite. Who would imagine that a story about a bunch of naughty boys digging holes out in the middle of nowhere could be a masterpiece.
When did you first start writing?
When my sons were at school, I noticed an alarming trend. Other mothers went back to work. My view was I’d given birth and after that effort, I shouldn’t have to work hard ever again. It seemed like a problem, so I enrolled in a writing course. I’d never been interested in writing, I’d only loved reading. Then I noticed people consider writers to be busy and interesting. That was good. I called myself a writer. Then I sold a picture book and then I sold a few more books and before I knew it I was a children’s author. Problem solved.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My agent was excited about a proposal I had for a series for middle grade readers. At the time, I had six books traditionally published, but she said we’d change my name (if you only use initials there’s a chance you’re a man and, apparently, men sell more books) and auction it to the publishing houses. Then everything changed (as it always does for the hero). Sales of print books plummeted, publishers cut their lists and their print runs and retrenched their staff and no longer took risks. So I took a risk (as heroes do) and decided to self publish. I’ll publish the Enki’s Quest series next, however I have to actually write it first.
Published 2015-03-16.
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Books by This Author

Dead Scary: The Ghost who refused to leave
Price: Free! Words: 26,260. Language: American English. Published: March 16, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Adam is an ordinary boy, except he can see and talk with ghosts. When his family moves into what seems like the home of his dreams, Adam finds a bossy ghost who was Adam's age when he died. Edward regards the home as his and he doesn't want to share it with an annoying boy who can see him. Edward seeks powerful help to get rid of Adam and his family. But can Adam get rid of Edward first?
The Venetian Job: Bad guys and action - Max's Italian holiday
Series: The Max Books. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 24,920. Language: American English. Published: March 16, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Entertainment, Fiction » Adventure » Action
In 'Mafia Encounter', when Max and Charlie are in Sicily, they notice the mafia seem to be following them. Are they related to the mafia boss? In 'The Venetian Job', Max wants bad guys and action, so he’ll have a good story to tell when he goes back to school. Then with their policeman uncle, in a Palace on the Grand Canal, Max notices something. Will he get bad guys and action after all?
Outback Hero: Max conquers outback Australia
Series: The Max Books. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 23,280. Language: American English. Published: March 16, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Entertainment, Fiction » Adventure » Action
In Nothing to Fear and Outback Hero, Max is on a family holiday in outback Australia. Three times Max faces death. Three times, Charlie, Max’s older brother, saves him. Charlie is a hero. Max desperately wants to be one too. But you can’t plan to be the hero.
Max's Revenge: a wedding, a party and a plate of dog food stew
Series: The Max Books. Price: Free! Words: 23,610. Language: American English. Published: March 16, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Entertainment, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
Max is out for revenge. In The Wedding, Max gets dumped from being the pageboy at his uncle’s wedding. Max isn’t happy and he knows who is to blame. His evil aunt. Max wants revenge. Will he get his chance before the wedding is over? In Dog Food Stew, Max uncovers his aunt’s evil plan to sell his nanna’s house. Will he stop his nanna’s house from being sold and get revenge on his evil aunt?
Race You and Other Stories for Young Readers
Price: Free! Words: 9,840. Language: American English. Published: March 16, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Readers / Chapter Books, Fiction » Adventure » General
In Race You, Travis and his brother race each other everywhere. That changes when Travis breaks his leg, but then he discovers there is a bright side. In The Pretender, Sam's love of pretending leads to a part in the school play. In Fitness Fanatics, Zack is the fastest runner in his grade until Ben joins his class. Ben wants to be friends, while Zack wants to win the cross-country.