Featured Friday! Sally Dickson
The author was born in Wallasey, England, in 1964, and moved to the South of France when she was eleven. She spent her teenage years living in the cosmopolitan city-state of Monaco and became immersed in its many languages and cultures.
An English girl in a French school, for three hours each week she would sit at the back of the class as her colleagues learnt English. To pass the time, she wrote stories. This led to a lifetime of writing novels, scripts, stories and articles. In her working life, Sally writes marketing communications and manages large international websites.
In 2010, Sally joined the Hogs Back Writers, a club located on the outskirts of Guildford, and she set about turning an old manuscript into this novel: Guy Erma and the Son of Empire. Sally currently lives in Farnham, and she is married with two children.
What’s your favourite part of the lifestyle of an Author?
My fountain pen, and curling up in a cosy sofa with just a pad of paper and my imagination to keep me company.
What made you start writing?
A story that needed to be told
Is there an Author that you consider your inspiration?
Iain M Banks, the one and only.
Peter Hamilton, a life-long inspiration.
Suzanne Collins for The Hunger Games. I consider Book 1 to be the most perfect novel as it appears to speak directly into your brain without the bother of reading the words on the page.
What’s your number one tip for an aspiring Author?
Writing THE END is the best feeling ever. Don’t ever ask your family for their approval or permission, they love you for other reasons, they don’t have to love the writing.
What type of book do you like to read and does this differ from the genre that you prefer to write?
I read all sorts. I try to keep up-to-date with the best sellers lists on Amazon, I devour political news from both the right and the left, but I also have a penchant for Jane Austin and Tolstoy, I will definitely read any of those classics that feature Sunday nights on HBO or BBC.
Which one of your characters would you most like to spend time with?
Guy Erma, my dark-haired, broody, blades fighter, he hates where he comes from, yet even more he dreads what the future may hold.
Which book do you consider a must-read?
The Player of Games by Iain M Banks
What’s been the hardest edit that you’ve had to make? Why did you want to keep the material in?
That’s why I self publish. I did once do an edit that reduced a 250k novel to 90k words thinking it would be easier to get a ‘publishing deal’ but in doing so the novel lost its soul. 108 rejections later. I decided to self-publish the original version. Taught me I have to be true to myself and the story that needs to be told.
If you could live in a book, which one would it be?
The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, as long as I could be an elf princess in Lothlorien, either that or married to Peregrin Took.
If you could pick an Author to write your biography, who would it be?
Peter Hamilton, he’s a super cool guy to spend time with.
Is there any conflict between what you want to write and what you think your readers will like?
Not really, I sometimes write a few scenes ‘beyond the bedroom door’, but I normally delete those in the final edit. I leave what goes on between the covers to the imagination of my readers.
What effect can a review have on you, if you read them at all? Both the good and the bad.
Good. Elation. Bad. Depression. Isn’t it the same for everyone?
Can you sum up your life story in ten words or less?
Short blond leaves Monte Carlo, dreams of being JK Rowling.
What’s exciting you about your next project?
The new Aliens series is a serial which could run and run, currently there are five linked stories: Aliens In Windsor, Aliens In Sequoia Park, Aliens Onboard the ISS, Aliens at Mysuru Dasara, Aliens on Kangaroo Island. But this is just the beginning this story could go anywhere… Why don’t you suggest the next destination?
And finally, you have one quote to be remembered by, what is it?
Sas Darona, Sas Darona. Pearl of the Galactic Sea, Sas Darona, Saa Darona. Where forever my heart will be…
Read the new series from Sally Ann Melia.
Five connected stories of female scientists just doing their day job, when aliens land. The first ever contact with an extra-terrestrials, I wonder… So what if the locations are far flung and exotic? Who said aliens only land in New York, London or Paris?