In 2001 her debut novel, Wringland, was published.
Sally has twice won the international Welsh Poetry Competition and has also received the prestigious H.E. Bates award for her short story, Strangers Waiting, which features in her collection of the same name.
In addition to her poetry and short stories, Sally has written several stand-alone novels, a trilogy featuring
ex-Detective Inspector John Lyon, and The Devil’s Garden, published at the end of 2019, is the second novel in her recent Delphine Rougier series.
She is an active member of Mystery People and Crime Cymru, and also belongs to the Crime Writers’ Association, assessing manuscripts sent in by those entering its Debut Dagger Award and/or seeking publication.
Dot: I am always impressed by the landscapes in your books. Could you say something about the importance of place and mood for you as a writer?
Sally: Setting is crucial and is, in my work, an overriding ‘character.’ Annie Proulx once said, “Get the setting right, and your characters will be in the right place.”
Wringland, originally called Snare, was my first novel and part of a two-book deal. It was written from my sense of grief at leaving Wales for Northampton. I used a ruler to find the nearest bit of sea and it was where the River Nene divides Norfolk from Lincolnshire - the endless flat Fens and what Hilaire Belloc described as the “vague intermingling of mud and tide.” This landscape provided the mood and setting for Wringland, but it was only after I’d finished writing the book that I read Belloc’s Hills and the Sea, the collection that described his travels. Belloc mentions a man who is cleaning the bridge at Sutton Bridge and when it was done, he writes:
Sally: Blood at Beltane is the fourth in the Delphine Rougier series and when my publisher realises its length, he will probably shake his head! If I grovel enough, however, it will come out after the next one (provisionally called Fatal) which is set mostly in the Plâteau de Sault where Delphine, who is now a lieutenant, stumbles across the remains of an illegal school for children who have been sent from the French colony of Réunion in the 60s and 70s to repopulate rural parts of France. Here are people who will kill to keep their shocking secrets safe.
Books by Sally
Night With No Stars (2004)
Prey Silence (2006)
Come and Be Killed (2006)
Cold Remains (2012)
Cut To The Bone (2015)
The Yellowhammer's Cradle (2016)
Behold A Pale Horse (2017)