An interview with Chiller-Thriller author Sally Spedding
Hi Sally, thank you for agreeing to this interview. John and myself are great admirers of your writing so this a lovely opportunity to get to know a little more about you.
Which writers inspire you?
Emile Zola, Pierre Magnan, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, and more recently, Nele Neuhaus and Christoph Fischer. In poetry, R.S. Thomas, Dylan Thomas and Sylvia Plath.
So, what have you written?
A lot. Well before and after I was first published in 2001.
My published crime chillers are ‘Wringland,’ ‘Cloven, ‘A Night with No Stars,’ Prey Silence,’ ‘Come and be Killed,’ ‘Cold Remains,’ Malediction,’ ‘Cut to the Bone.’ My Gothic horror ‘The Yellowhammer’s Cradle’ will be out in August. I have always written short stories alongside full-length works, and these have been widely published and won awards including the H.E. Bates Award. ‘Strangers Waiting’ my first collection, was published in 2008, and my most recent ‘Trespass,’ set in Poland, is included in the Mammoth Book of Best Jack the Ripper Stories. My ‘How to Write a Chiller Thriller’ was published in 2014 and is doing well. As for my poetry, which most definitely does not describe how a bird flies or whether or not I’m having a bad day, it has also been widely published and won awards. After twenty years, my collection, ‘Sacrifice,’ is almost ready.
What are you working on at the minute?
A series of noir crime novels set in France. ‘Footfall’ and ‘Featherblade’ are complete, and I’m working on ‘Fearless’ at the moment.
What genre are your books?
The crime genre, although that particular ‘box’ which agents and editors love, often seems too tight!
What draws you to this genre?
My observations and experiences. Research into human psychology, and how often lovely settings can – like people – hide terrible secrets.
How much research do you do?
Probably too much, as anyone who can squeeze into my study will attest! It’s the bedrock, and can often throw up a nugget which changes everything.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I have always, since very young, been far too nosey, too busy observing people when I should have been concentrating on something else. Then came illustrated stories before I studied at art college and began teaching. Having won a major writing competition based on my weird experiences in an underground mushroom farm, I was approached by an agent, who set me on my way
Why do you write?
To keep sane.
How do you relax?
By bunking off to our bolthole in the eastern Pyrenees, where I can work from morning to night, and continue to be inspired by the dramatic setting and history of our surroundings.
What is your favourite motivational phrase?
Nothing is wasted.
Thank you again for the chat, Sally; looking forward to seeing you at the Carmarthen Book Fair.