Another author on my Get To Know feature today and this time it’s the turn of the lovely B A Steadman.
I was born and raised on a huge estate in south Manchester in a noisy household with three younger brothers. To escape, I began to read, and I have had my nose buried in a book ever since. I started with Enid Blyton, moved on to myths and legends, fantasy and science fiction, and discovered crime when I hit my thirties. Now I also enjoy contemporary women’s fiction, but find myself writing crime…
I taught English and Drama in various secondary schools in Lancashire and in Devon for many years and have lived in my small village in east Devon for twenty-five years. A chance meeting with a pensions officer convinced me that taking early retirement would be a brilliant idea – and it was. Friends were horrified. ‘You’re too young to retire! What will you do all day?’ they asked. ‘I’m going to write,’ I said. And I did, with very little to show for it for five years!
I completed my debut novel, Death and Deception, in 2013, and began to send it out to agents, but got nothing back. It was almost two years later, when a new, independent publishers, Bloodhound Books, opened their submissions desk that I finally found a home.
These days I write, walk as much as I can, and I’m a very keen student of Iyengar yoga, which has me doing things I never thought I’d be able to do… I have a husband and two cats, and live in the East Devon countryside. I am a passionate supporter of wildlife, and am vice-chair of trustees at a local animal sanctuary – after all, animals have no voice but ours to speak for them.
With the publication of the second book in the Dan Hellier Crime series, I guess I’m planning several years of adventures for the team in the apparently peaceful city of Exeter, England. As I live in a small village, where the usual crime rate is zero, it was with great delight that I set the books in and around Exeter. It’s an ancient Roman city which has seen its fair share of murder and mayhem over the centuries, so I’m merely adding to the list. Death and the Good Son takes the action out of the city and towards the Exe estuary and up on to Dartmoor. Book 3 will extend even further along the Jurassic coastline.
You can keep up to date with B A Steadman and her books on the following sites:
Favourite book as a child?
Any of Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven or Famous Five. When you live a very boring little suburban life, the adventures of those kids was something I longed for. I also wanted to be called Peta, because it was incredibly exotic, to have a girl called a boy’s name.
Favourite book as a teenager?
Wuthering Heights – It taught me about hopeless, doomed, love – we were all learning about that in my girls’ convent school!
Has to be Lisbeth Salander, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. She’s been so badly damaged but her innate courage, intelligence and sheer doggedness mean that she cannot be defeated. A brilliant creation.
Favourite book to movie adaption?
The original black and white film of Of Mice and Men – still makes me cry at the end and I’ve seen it dozens of times.
Favourite book to movie adaption?
Tea and a dark chocolate-covered ginger biscuit. Delivered at exactly 4.00pm, just to keep my pecker up when I’m beginning to flag. It’s too late if he arrives and I’m playing Words with Friends!
Favourite highlight of your writing career?
When Death and Deception was accepted for publication, and actually appeared a few months later. I never believed it would happen, and now I’m writing my third novel – we never really know what the future has in store for us. I had a dream, a fantasy, really, that I might be able to write. It’s worth more than anything to know that other people enjoy reading my stories.