Today, we welcome the very versatile author Sally Quilford to RBH. When I say versatile, I don't say it lightly. Sally's last release was a paranormal historical and her current release is what you could call a western romance - as in, set in the wild west of the USA, back in the days of cowboys and Indians. Sally has come to tell us about her new release LONESOME RANGER. So now, over to Sally.....
Can you share a short bio with us?
I was born in South Wales and moved to Derbyshire in my teens. As a result Derbyshire makes a regular appearance in my stories and novels. I live with my husband and four westies. I’m a mother of two and a doting grandma (I’m not saying how many grandchildren because every time I think we’ve reached the definitive figure it goes up!)
I left school at 15 with no qualifications, then in my thirties I decided to go back to ‘school’ I achieved a 2.1 degree in Humanities with Literature, which gave me the confidence to become a writer.
I’ve been writing since 1995, but only started taking it seriously in 2007, when I decided I was no longer going to work for free. I earned £10 that year for a letter in Woman’s Weekly. Deciding to work for pay really helps to focus on getting things right. Since then I’ve had countless stories published in women’s magazines and anthologies, and I’ve had 10 pocket novels published by DC Thomson. I am also a columnist with Writers Forum magazine, with my monthly Writing Calendar column and my semi-regular Love Notes column. I have also had articles published in Writing Magazine and The New Writer.
You are extremely versatile as an author - your latest release is a cowboy/wild west romance, what other genres have you written?
My main genre is romantic intrigue, but that can take place in any time period, so it also includes historical romance. I’m a huge Agatha Christie fan and I love the breezy laconic style of her early books. Because of this quite a few of my romantic intrigues are set in the 20s and 30s. I also like to find a specific era in the 21st century, like the sixties and explore that too. Romantic intrigue also encompasses crime and paranormal. I have also written a family saga, called The Steps of the Priory. I’ve written science fiction. I like to challenge myself as an author and trying out different genres allows me to do that.
Is there a genre you haven't yet written that you'd like to try?
Although my romantic intrigues often include crime, I would like to write a pure crime novel. I’d also like to write a proper cowboy story, without the romantic elements. I also have a hankering to try some YA. I have a story in mind. It’s just finding the time to write it. Basically I’ll have a go at anything as long as the right story comes along.
What gave you the inspiration to write this novel?
I’d already written one western romance, Bella’s Vineyard, and I loved writing that, so I always wanted to return to the genre. So I decided one day I wanted to write another western romance. My way of approaching this is to find something a bit different about the Old West, and something that lends itself more to romance, and then build a story around that. In Bella’s Vineyard it was, as the title suggests, vineyards.
With Lonesome Ranger I had the hero first and he was inspired by 1980s mini-series king, Peter Strauss. When I was looking for pictures of him to inspire me (ahem), I found out that he now has a citrus farm in a place appropriately called Ojai in California and that Ojai is famous for its pink sunsets. How romantic is that? Ojai became my fictional town Ocasa so I could decide for myself what attributes the town had. The hero, Nate, isn’t a citrus farmer, but there are lots of descriptions of oranges and lemons, and the pink sunsets.
Will you write more of this genre in the future?
Yes, I hope so if the right story comes along. As before, I need the setting first, so I can decide exactly what my heroine, who is always British, will find when she gets there. I’ve done vineyards and citrus farms. I’m thinking maybe apples next time…
SALLY ON THE WEB
Englishwoman Connie arrives in California with nothing and no one in the world. She has the chance to take a job as a schoolteacher, but this chance is based on a lie. Handsome cowboy Nate Truman has his own secrets, but can he forgive hers?
Read review here
Read review here