A Bad Winter by Samantha Priestley
Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?
A) I had a bit of a mis-spent youth and left school at 16 with no idea what I was going to do. I’d always loved reading and writing so I got a job in a bookshop. I never really thought writing as a career was a possibility for me, but when I met authors through signings and events at work, I realised they were actually fairly normal people! But it wasn’t until I left work to have my children that I decided to pursue my own writing. It took years of trying and learning with two young children at home, but in 2007 I had my first book published, Despite Losing it on Finkle Street.
Blurb for A Bad Winter-
When does passion turn to love? When does responsibility mean guilt? When does a death become a murder?
In A Bad Winter these hefty questions stir up echoes through time, from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century, to create an intimate and powerful tale of personal lives in freefall. With her trademark pictorial prose and beautifully phrased metaphors, novelist Samantha Priestley has created a ghostly romance set among wintry Derbyshire hills, and a shivering good read.
Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea to writing to publication?
A) I read a snippet of a local story about a Derbyshire village not far from where I live, which I couldn’t stop thinking about. In 1760 a young woman had been murdered in Hill Head House (no longer standing). The villagers became terrified of her ghost and took some drastic action. What happened next was where it got really interesting! This story gave me the idea for the novel, which I wrote much faster than any of my other books, it literally poured out – if only it was always like that! I gave it to my editor at Armley Press. I was a little unsure of what the reaction would be, as I’ve never written a ghost story before, but thankfully he loved it!
Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?
A) I love Kate Atkinson and Ross Raisin. I’d recommend everyone to read Ross Raisin’s Waterline, such an important book
Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?
A) My favourite book as a child was The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, but I wasn’t an amazingly well-read child. As a teenager it was the Bronte books, once I’d discovered Jane Eyre there was no going back!
Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?
A) I was doing a signing at Waterstones in Bradford for my first book, Despite Losing it on Finkle Street, when a man brought over his daughter, aged about 8, and asked if I’d speak to her as she wanted to be a writer when she got older. They didn’t buy a book, but talking to them made my day.
Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?
A) My partner, Wil, is very supportive, and he likes to remind me of all the times he’s helped me find the right ending to a story or fed me ideas. It’s true, I find having someone around who’s also creative and understands to be hugely encouraging and helpful in the process. And I steal all his ideas 😉 My daughters, Eva and Lily, have always been supportive of my work and both want to work creatively too, which is a great pay-off. We’re a very creative household so there’s always a lot of encouragement of each other going on.
*Thank you for taking part in the Q&A on my blog, I wish you every success with your writing career.