Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Murder in the English Countryside: Meet Author Stella Stafford

I love England, especially Oxford and the surrounding areas, so today it’s great to welcome an English author from Oxfordshire, Stella Stafford. First Stella, could you tell us something about your books?

I write mystery crime novels, the Little Wychwell Mysteries, which are set in Oxford and in the village of Little Wychwell. Little Wychwelldoesn’t exist in reality but there are many villages very similar to it all over Oxfordshire. The first Little Wychwell Mystery (Did Anyone Die?) is already published both in paperback and on Kindle. The second one (A Very Quiet Guest) is due to be published in paperback at the end of May this year (2012) and will be out on Kindle shortly after that.  I have written three more which do not yet have publication dates. Every time I decide that my current book is the last one in this series I find I miss my characters and wonder what they are up to now, so I write another. I also write science fiction, my first science fiction book is ‘Hunting the Thingle, the First Demeter Chronicle’, this does not yet have a publication date as yet. People who follow my tweets will know that I also write about the local Oxfordshire natural history. My books are written in UK English with UK spelling.

What inspired you to write them?
I have always written, ever since I was tiny but only really for my own amusement although I have had poetry published in the past (under a different pen name).  However a few years ago I became a carer for a disabled relative for two years.  This gave me time to write, because I was in the house so much more, and also motivation to write as she read twenty or more library books a week and refused to re-read books.  So I thought ‘I know, I’ll write them myself!’ This was, in many ways, a silly idea, principally because it takes far longer to write and publish a book than it does to read it, but it was my original inspiration for writing and publishing full length novels.

What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment I’m writing a collection of fantasy/science fiction short stories. I find it quite hard to write very short pieces of fiction so this is quite a challenge for me! I am planning to simply Kindleise this when I have finished, I’m only really writing these for fun!  My next big writing project is the second Demeter Chronicle which I am planning at present.  ‘Hunting the Thingle’ necessarily involves a lot of scene setting because it’s the first in the series.  The second one will be more action packed.

What are you currently reading?
I have just finished reading ‘Pigeon Pie’ by Nancy Mitford and am about to read ‘Wigs on the Green' by the same author.  I am also reading ‘Wait for Me!’ which is the autobiography of Deborah, Dowager Duchess of Devonshire.

I understand you live in Oxfordshire. What is the best (and worst) thing about living in this part of England?

Oxfordshire is very English.The best things about it are that it has beautiful countryside, very charming villages and Oxford itself which is the best city in the world.  (I am not at all biased, as you can see) The worst thing about Oxfordshire is that it does not have any mountains. I am very fond of mountain walking!

What do you like to do in your free time?

I spend a lot of time walking in the countryside. I also sing, (first Soprano). Also a lot of other things but the list might look quite boring if I write them all out, it will look like my CV!

Do you have advice for other authors?

Write because you enjoy writing.  Being published is lovely but secondary.

Do you have any parting comments?

Thank you very much for interviewing me.

Where can readers buy your books and find out more about you?

You can find out more about my books and myself on my website. This will give you links to where you can buy the books as well. www.stellas-home.co.uk

I also have an author profile on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Stella-Stafford/e/B006QCMXR4/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1331396989&sr=8-1

Did Anyone Die? is published in paperback by Melrose Books www.melrosebooks.com  and is also available from many other outlets including most branches of Amazon.
A Very Quiet Guest will be available in May 2012 and is available for pre-order now.

You can find me on Twitter, @stellastafford, and also on Facebook at:

Thank you so much Stella for the taking the time to chat with me today!

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