Sally SpeddingI was born by the sea near Porthcawl in Wales and trained in sculpture in Manchester and at St Martin's, London. My work was detailed, accurate and in demand, but I began to realise words can deliver so much more than any narrative sculpture or painting. Even the imagery of the Flemish School or later Symbolists and Surrealists however startling, is, by comparison, limited.

My strong familial connections with the Pyrenees, Germany and Holland have provided me with themes of loss and exclusion. The dark side of people and landscape. The deceptive exterior, the snake in the grass are all themes which recur in my writing. I also believe, like the Cathars, in the transmigration of souls.

I am married to the painter, Jeffrey Spedding, and we have a house in the Pyrenees where most of my work and dreaming is done. France, like Wales, is a country full of unfinished business. Magnetic but disturbing.

Crime writers whom I most admire are the late Friedrich Durrenmatt, Pierre Magnan and Jean-Christophe Grange. The single book which has most influenced me, is Emmanuel LeRoy Ladurie's 'Montaillou.' Its factual account of love and betrayal in a French mediaeval village is moving and engrossing, and to visit it today is to experience an eerie time-slip.

My first crime mystery, Wringland, has a strong historical thread and is set in the bleak fenland around Sutton Bridge. Cloven also invokes the past while in A Night With No Stars, published in January 2005, it's a fourteen year old murder which destabilises the present.

Prey Silence, set in SW France, featuring an animal rights activist, was published in July 2006. My next, Come and be Killed, set in the Malvern Hills, came out in January 2007.

I was featured as Author of the Month for July 2011 on the www.crimesquad.com site with a good review of Prey Silence.

My poetry and short stories have won awards and been widely published. Strangers Waiting, my first crime mystery short story collection, was published by bluechrome on February 1st 2008, followed in March by The Cool EP collection, also featuring stories by acclaimed writers, Patrick Chapman and Sarah Salway. Please check out BOOKS for Sally's new titles in 2011 and 2012.

Read Sally's fascinating INTERVIEW with reviewer and author Dorothy James on her My Place for Mysteries blog site.