Getting to Know You: Sheila Quigley

Today, we’re lucky to have another north-east writer, Sheila Quigley guesting on the blog.

Sheila, all of the titles of your books have song titles – where did you get the idea? Was it a conscious choice from the outset?

After sending stuff off for years, one morning I got a phone call from a London agent saying the screenplay I’d sent was brilliant, but asking if I would write a gangster type-novel set in the north-east. Still in shock, I headed for the stairs to start the novel and ‘Run For Home’ came on the radio. Perfect title, I thought, and since then they have all been song titles. The third, ‘Living On A Prayer’, actually has some of the action that was in the screenplay.

How did you first get into writing?

As soon as I learned to read I began to write, but even when I was very small there were stories going round in my head.

What inspires you?

Anything can set me off, hearing a conversation somewhere, seeing something that just isn’t quite right. Once I’m in the middle of something a brass band could march through the room and I wouldn’t hear them.

Do you have time to read at the moment? If so, what are you reading?

At this moment in time I’m busy judging for the ITW… International Thriller Writers. So my allotted reading time is taken up with that.

Do you have a favourite author or one that has influenced you the most?

Stephen King, I’ve loved him from the very first book I read of his and still adore him today.

How do you feel about the rise of digital books? Would you ever consider branching out into print-based publishing or do you think that is on its way out?

All 7 of my books are in print, hardback and paperback, plus large print and audio and will continue to be so…I hope! Digital does have its place in the present world and will continue to do so I think it’s great that a lot of people can be published today than even just 5 years ago. So far only ‘Thorn In My Side’ is on Kindle, I’m in talks with the publisher about the rest of them. I also think that e-books should definitely be cheaper than print, just not as cheap as they are. 90 percent of authors only get 10 percent royalties and spend a year writing a book. To see their livelihoods slashed in this way is soul-destroying.

As a writer, what do you do well? What are your weaknesses?

I’m told often that my characters are my strong point as well as plot. But to get these plots and people, smoking too many ciggies is my weakness!

Where can we find you online?

Facebook and my website:

What do you like most about writing? What do you dislike?

It’s hard to say, I love it when it starts to roll and I’m all wrapped up in the plot, and wake up in the morning with my next chapter in my head. I hate it when I’ve forgotten something or someone and have to go back and get their string going again. Although stuff like that is much easier than it was only 10 years ago.

What are your hopes for the future?

I would love to see the Seahills series on telly, I get asked daily off people, when is it going to be on. I guess it’s a waiting game – I’m hoping one of the books falls in the right hands.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Never ever give up. It’s so much easier these days to find help there are a lot of writing sites on the internet, and internet publishers.

My thanks to Sheila for sharing her thoughts with us today.

Vic x


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