Interview with Sally Quilford

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in South Wales, but moved to Derbyshire as a teenager. I set most of my stories in Derbyshire, because that's where I've lived for nearly 40 years. I haven't forgotten Wales, but I'm always afraid of getting something wrong because it's been so long since I went home.
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything and everything. Thrillers, crime, romance, historical, fantasy, science fiction, horror. I just like a darn good story.
Describe your desk
Cluttered, full of my computer, notebooks and various things pertaining to my work on the Romantic Novelists' Association committee. Oh, and tea. Always a mug of tea. And maybe a biscuit or bar of chocolate.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing in 1994/5 after returning to education. I'd always had a vague notion of wanting to be a writer without actually doing anything about it. It was literally like opening the floodgates and I poured out a lot of angst in those early poems, short stories and novels. Thankfully they're lost to the vagaries of computer formatting.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I'm a big fan of Wilkie Collins and epistolary novels in general, so I'd always wanted to write my own. The Secret of Lakeham Abbey is inspired by those I've enjoyed, but with my own twist in that the person driving it all is a 13 year old boy.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I wanted to share work for which I couldn't find a market, but which I hoped people would enjoy.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Just being able to share my ideas on paper and tell the stories that have been rattling around my head for years.
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans are so important, because they let you know you're getting things right, or wrong for that matter. Without readers, I'd be the only person who knew my stories. It gives me huge pleasure to know others are reading, and hopefully, enjoying them.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on a Christmas novel for My Weekly Pocket Novels.
Who are your favorite authors?
Agatha Christie, Lee Child, Stephen King, Nancy Mitford, Frederick Forsyth, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury... Too many to list.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The Westies. They wake us up very early to go out. Otherwise I'd quite happily stay there till lunch time!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Thinking about writing. Planning what I'm going to write next. Talking about writing. It really is an all-encompassing passion for me.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, and it was terrible. Then 11 years later I found it on my hard drive and decided that whilst it was terrible, it wasn't unsalvageable. So I edited it, improved on it and immediately sold it to The Weekly News. The moral is to never waste anything!
What is your writing process?
I get and idea then I sit down and I write. That's it. I seldom plan, except in my head.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Man in the Brown Suit - Agatha Christie. I love the heroine's voice, which is so intelligent and real.

The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins - the first proper classic novel I ever read. I couldn't go to sleep until I'd finished it.

The Day of the Jackal - I read it when I was about 12, and have read it at least half a dozen times since.

The Stand (1400 page version) - Stephen King - it's one of those stories I wish I'd written.

And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie - an absolute classic and so tightly plotted.
Published 2016-05-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.