hilary west

Biography

I started life as a librarian but quickly became interested in writing and started to write novels and short stories. Now I have one novel in print and three as ebooks and three books of short stories, 'Tangerine City', 'The Silk Peacock' and 'The Iridescent Butterfly'. I have written a children's book entitled 'Witches' Treasure' and also the 'Harriet' series of holiday books. I have a blog on Goodreads where I talk about some of the characters in my books. My novels are 'The Dome', 'A Picaresque Tale', 'Where the Boys are', 'Apollyon' and 'House of Parrots'. My latest novel just out is 'Fraudster's Folly' and available from Bookcountry.com, BarnesandNoble.com etc. It was published by Booktango.

Smashwords Interview

When did you first start writing?
I started writing about 1993, after working in libraries. I felt unfulfilled and was desperate to break out into a new area : writing was it. I found it gave me a freedom and was both fulfilling and satisfying. But first of all I needed something to write about. I set off on my adventure. I left home and lived in various places, some of them not very nice but all full of characters and situations that would get my creative juices flowing. I even lived in homeless hostels in places like Liverpool and Manchester in Britain just to widen my experience of people. Living in a small town my experiences had been to say the least restricted. There was a big wide world out there and I wanted to see it. I had travelled further afield when I was young, going abroad and visiting countries in Europe, but there was still a lot of my own country I did not know. Being legally homeless I qualified to write for the Big Issue, the homeless paper, and in total I had eleven articles published. It was the first time I had been paid for my writing so you can imagine I was quite proud. But then I found I wanted to write on a more extended scale and in 1999 started my first novel which was 'The Dome'. The book was accepted by Minerva Press for publication and came out in 2000. It has since been republished by Booktango and is now an ebook. Its theme covers areas like prostitution and knavery in the medical profession. It was a book born of experience and also tempered by quite a lot of imagination. It was then the big self publishing firms were coming into their own and I knew that was the route I would be going down. I had become an indie. First I published with Wordclay and had print books for sale but this was soon superceded by ebooks with Booktango who have now been taken over by BookCountry, a Penguin firm. At the last count I have sixteen titles for sale, some novels, some books for children, but nearly all of them are ebooks. Twenty years have passed, I don't know where the time went, and maybe financial considerations are not uppermost, but I am glad I decided to write and wouldn't change anything. They always say the journey is the important thing, not the arriving. I guess they are right!
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is called 'House of Parrots' and is a mystery book. The story behind it is just made up but based on news events and what goes on behind closed doors. I won't say any more than that for fear of giving the plot away. Really what inspired me most when writing the book was the setting. I visited a small village in Northumberland one beautiful summer's day and was really taken with the place. By the river was stunning, so still and calm with a heavy canopy of trees filtering the warm sunlight. The village was wonderful with a small shop, a couple of pubs and assorted houses as well as a superb twelth century church. The village had its own castle too, now in ruins. It was really a bit picture postcard. If they ever wanted to film my book they would have the perfect location. I gave the streets fictional names of course but more or less stuck to the actual physical lay out of the roads and position of the pub etc. I gave the village a fictional country house on its outskirts though that was to become Abbeyfield Manor. There is a lot of soul searching goes on in the book, done mainly by Robert Bailey, the young butler at the Manor, and he is torn between love for Julie and the local barman Darren Bignold. Love affairs abound in the village and there are several love scenes where all concerned get their bit of nooky. It is a book about parrots too of course and they play their part in the unfolding drama. They are in fact a central symbol.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find hilary west online

Twitter: @WestHilary
Facebook: Facebook profile

Where to buy in print


Books

House of Parrots
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 47,690. Language: English. Published: March 31, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Traditional British
(5.00 from 1 review)
'House of Parrots' is a murder mystery novel set in a small village in England. It tells of Gerald Brown, the parrot man, who attracts something very nasty, a madman attacking his house, leaving dead birds on the doorstep stabbed through the heart with a dagger. It is a well-knit, village community rocked to its core by the goings on, not to mention illicit love affairs, gay scandal and murder.

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Smashwords book reviews by hilary west

  • To Finish A Quilt on June 29, 2012
    (no rating)
    I found 'To Finish a Quilt' a delightful read. With a grand sweep, Grant Staley takes us from the impoverishment of Eunice's youth to the success of Pasadena where she establishes herself as a socialite with husband Jules. Secrets in the past are an ever present threat and times can be awkward. Examining family ties and interrelationships in a most convincing fashion, the book is an engaging read. In part 2 Tommy and his wife Pilar meet up with Gary, Eunice's son and the book describes the bouyant scenery and affluent homesteads which they encounter. This book is a most attractive read and I recommend it to anyone without reserve.
  • To Finish A Quilt on June 29, 2012

    I just reviewed Grant Staley's book but I would like to add the following. By Hilary West (Author of 'Where the Boys are' and 'The Dome')
  • A World of Possibility on Oct. 03, 2013
    (no rating)
    I thought this a very professional debut by the authors of ASMSG. There is tremendous variety in this selection and the tales are at times charming and just downright impressive. I recommend you read this book at your earliest opportunity, it is worth the time. An excellent start to the series of books about to be introduced.