Hit The North: SHEILA QUIGLEY INTERVIEW
‘Sheila Quigley became a national news story when Random House acquired her first novel, Run For Home, with major coverage throughout the press and television. A documentary about Sheila and the making of Run for HomeBBC1. Her latest novel, Road to Hell, was published by Tonto Books on November 5, 2009.’
was broadcast on
That was back in 2004 and since then she’s published six more best selling novels -which take place in the fictional SEAHILLS ESTATE, with more on their way
Sheila was kind enough to answer a few of my questions as part of HIT THE NORTH! where I talk to crime writers from the North of England.
Q1: Has your childhood had an influence on your writing?
Perhaps being an only child with huge dreams, I would say yes. Although I was equally happy with a book in my hand or climbing a tree.
Q2:Is the Seahills Estate based on anywhere in particular?
The Seahills is set on a large empty field opposite the estate called the Homelands that I used to live on. Although the Seahills does resemble the Homelands in some respects ie, working class people, everything about it is fiction. I would still be living there today if they had not pulled the place down around me. Yes there was trouble towards the end with drugs and booze, but the laughs and the good times far outweighed everything else.
Q3: Isn’t crime writing an unsuitable job for a woman?
No, I don’t think so. Woman are reportedly more the victims of crime than men. I read horror and that’s what the first thing I sent out was,a horror novel. It’s still in the bottom drawer. I suppose that crime, especially violent crime is the nearest thing to horror. And women can write about it every bit as good as men.
Q4: So which horror writers are you a fan off?
The first horror I read was Dracula by Bram Stoker. I was fifteen, started reading it at five o clock and finished it at one in the morning. The house I lived in had a long passage way with the light switch at the other end. I stood there screaming for my dad to switch the light on. Then I moved to Denis Wheatly, thought his stuff was great. But my all time favorite is Steven King.
Q5: The spiderwebs of a small community is a very important part of Kings’s writing. Is it the same for you?
Oh yes. Every character should be well rounded even the minor players, this is what makes you feel part of the place you are reading about. Or, perhaps I’m just to damn nosy!
Q6: Do you watch a lot of crime shows on television and what interest has there been in adapting your books for TV?
Don’t really watch much TV, except for Emmerdale. There has been a lot of talk from a few companies, but that’s all it is up until now. Talk.
Q7: When and why did you start writing fiction?
When I was 11 I wrote my first play. Which I and a friend performed , without an audience in our shed. Why I started writing fiction is because I simply cant not write. It’s like breathing, something you have to do.
Q8: Which crime writers float your boat these days?
So many good ones out there that I can’t really pick one. When I have time I mostly read horror.
Q9: Do you see yourself as a Northern writer?
I think my books can be set on a housing estate any where around the world. People are people where ever you go. And I honesty got sick of reading about either middle class hero’s or hero’s with penthouses and big flash cars.
My hero’s are your ordinary guy off the street, struggling to make ends meet every day of the week.
Q10: What’s on the cards for 2010?
September 30, sees the first book in the Mike Yorke series, that starts off on Holy Island. Thorn In My Side.
I’m really excited about this book.
I’m now working on Stand By Me, another Seahills story and thinking about Nowhere Man, a
Mike Yorke story.
Sheila Quigley‘s website is HERE!