|Born near Porthcawl, Sally
Spedding’s dark crime fiction, often straying into horror and
the paranormal, is a response to people and places which are not what
Wringland, set on the haunted Fens, was her first published novel in 2001. Cloven, set near Lampeter, and inspired by the Welsh drovers, came next. A Night With No Stars set near Rhayader, followed, with dramatic scenery including the mighty waterfall, Water Break Its Neck, playing its grim part. Prey Silence set in SW France , where a hapless British family realise too late the danger they’re in, came next. Then Come and be Killed where the claustrohobic Malvern Hills help shield a determined killer.
Cold Remains, originating near the ruined leadmines in Rhandirmwyn, is somewhere one really shouldn’t linger, but to naïve, jobless Londoner, Jason Robbins, it offers an opportunity he soon regrets. Her How To Write a Chiller Thriller was published in 2014, and Cut to the Bone in 2015. Sally’s tenth chiller, The Yellowhammer's Cradle, set in rural Argyll during the Clearances, is out now.
She is currently editing Fearless, third in a series of crime thrillers set in France, featuring rookie cop, Delphine Rougier. Several of her award-winning short stories feature in her Strangers Waiting collection (bluechrome) and in CWA anthologies, while Trespass is included in The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Stories (ed. Maxim Jakubowski) and Der Karfreitag in the current French Literary Review.
Her poetry inspired by Wales, France, injustice and animal cruelty has regularly won awards and been widely published in The Interpreter’s House, Envoi, Seventh Quarry, Poetry Salzburg Review, to name a few. Sally has adjudicated national and international writing competitions, and enjoys helping new talent succeed, also meeting her readers. She is married to the painter Jeffrey Spedding, and they live in Carmarthenshire, but also spend part of each year in the eastern Pyrenees where timeslips occur.
Questions for Sally
1. Are you working on another book?
'Fearless' which is third in my Delphine Rougier crime series set near Le Mans.
2. What is your preferred genre?
3.What do you love most about writing in your genre?
Not knowing who to believe. To trust.
4.What is your writing style?
Fast and loose, then taking ages tightening and re-jigging. Finding hopefully better words...
5. What gives you inspiration for your books?
Settings. Every time. Especially Wales and France.
6. Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite?
Delphine Rougier. She's had a tough life, but is now at 25 years-old, a fearless sous-gendarme.
7. What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?
Athène Lardin, damaged goods who has no conscience.
8. What is the biggest surprise that you experienced by becoming a writer?
Shifting sands. Nothing stays the same...
9. What has been the best compliment?
My granddaughter telling me 'you're psychic,' because I do feel intensely that I'm an 'old soul.'
10. Tell us a little about your plans for the future?
To have time to explore places and ideas for my fiction and also my poetry.
Read an interview with Sally on Judith Barrow's Blog