Monday, November 07, 2011

Scene of the Crime with Author S.J. Bolton!

Within the span of two books I've learned to look forward to this author's next title with great anticipation, so I'm very happy to have the opportunity to interview her here on Scene of the Crime.

S.J. Bolton was born and brought up in Lancashire, England-- the same part of the world as my husband. Her childhood dreams were of becoming an actress and a dancer, so she studied ballet, tap, and jazz from a young age and read drama at Loughborough University. Sharon met her husband when she returned to full-time education in order to study for a Masters in Business Administration. The couple moved to London where Sharon held a number of PR jobs before she left to work freelance, to start a family and to write. She and her family now live in the Chiltern Hills not far from Oxford.

S.J. Bolton
If you'd like to learn more about Sharon, here are a few links for you:

Now let's get started with that interview, shall we?

What was the very first book you remember reading and loving? What makes that book so special?

Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre: in my view, the finest thriller ever written. I mean, what is going on in that spooky old house? Who is stalking the corridors at night? And where is all the blood coming from? Not only is this one of the most exciting, and deeply romantic books ever, it is also one of the most beautifully written. It wasn’t the first book I read, by any means, I was probably a teenager by the time I discovered it, but it was the first to leave a long and lasting impression.

Outside of your writing and all associated commitments, what do you like to do in your free time?

Cook for friends and family; tend my garden; walk in the hills; snuggle up in front of the TV; go to bed with a book.

If I were to visit your hometown, where would you recommend that I go? (I like seeing and doing things that aren't in all the guide books.)

Darwen Tower and surrounding country

You should walk up through Sunnyhurst Wood, a beautiful, steeply-wooded moorland valley until you reach the open moors, then carry on upwards (an old farm-track leads the way) until you get to Darwen (or Jubilee) Tower, high above my hometown of Darwen, Lancashire.

From the top of the 85 foot stone monument, built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee, you can see the Pennine Hills of Lancashire and North Yorkshire, as well as Morecambe Bay and parts of Derbyshire, Cumbria and North Wales. 

You have total control over casting a movie based on your life. Which actor would you cast as you?

Gillian Anderson
First of all, I’d have to completely re-write the script, and make my life a bit more interesting. (I have a very nice life – just not remotely exciting.) Assuming then, that that I’ve become the sort of woman who is never short of an adventure, Gillian Anderson, of The X-Files fame, might just do me justice.

Who is your favorite recurring character in crime fiction?

Hannibal Lecter

Name one book that you've read that you wish you had written. What is it about that book that made it come to mind?

The Secret History by Donna Tartt, because it has everything I try to put in my books – mystery, suspense, atmosphere, compelling characters, even a hint of the supernatural. It has all the hallmarks of an SJ Bolton novel - only one written by a genius.

How did you celebrate when you first heard you were to be published?

Sacrifice was auctioned in Germany for what seemed at the time like a huge sum of money. For the first few hours, I could do nothing but panic. I couldn’t help feeling there’d been some terrible mistake and it was someone else’s book that people were getting so excited about. My husband and I spent the evening sharing a very ordinary bottle of red wine (It was Monday and we had nothing else in the house) and trying to get over the shock.

What did you do the first time you saw one of your books on a shelf in a bookstore?

Worry that it hadn’t yet sold!

I don't know if you've seen it, but I love Parnell Hall's video about book signings. What is the most unusual experience you've had at a book signing or author event?

On Sale Now!
Genuinely wanting to kill the author I was appearing with! Probably enough said about that one. Usually, I’m just grateful when people turn up. I once got a bit worried because I thought I had a stalker. He turned out to be half my age, drop-dead gorgeous and gay!

The way some people talk, the only way to read now or in the future is with some sort of electronic device, like my husband's Nook. What is your opinion of eBooks, and how will they affect you as a published author?

I own a Kindle, which I like. I still prefer an old fashioned book but I honestly couldn’t fit any more of them in my house. As far as the future is concerned, electronic readers should not affect the ongoing appetite for good stories. The trouble is, if it leads to losing our bookshops, choice for the consumer will become much narrower and it will be so much harder for new writers to break into the industry.

On Sale June 2012!

Thank you so much for spending this time with us, Sharon. We certainly appreciate the chance to get to know you a little better.

May your book sales do nothing but increase!


  1. Loved, loved, loved 'Now You See Me'...

  2. Caite-- Yes, that's an excellent book!

  3. I've never read this author, but she sounds interesting. Besides that's the same version of Jane Eyre that I've owned forever, and I've been wanting to read The Secret History as well. With influences like that, I'm bound to like her stories, right? :)

  4. Jane-- The Jane Eyre cover I used in this post is the cover of the copy I had for yonks until I wore the poor thing completely out!

    I've read The Secret History and loved it.

    Frankly, I think you're destined to love her books!


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