Please Welcome, Sam Croft
Sam, how did you get involved with the short story group?
About a year ago I saw a tweet from Vanessa Wester who was trying to put together a book of short stories to aid charity. I’m quite long winded, so I thought a short story would be an interesting challenge, and all for a good cause.
Can you give us one sentence describing each story, (If you have more than one) so we know a little bit about them?
The three stories are all quite different. Memory Lane is a nostalgic story (with a few surprises) of a lady taking her dog for a walk though the locations of the major events of her life.
A New Home is about a little nutcracker who watches the world for almost 100 years after he is misplaced.
Alex is a psychological story about a girl who goes on a date with a handsome man (Alex), and gets more than she bargained for.
Most likely. I almost didn’t contribute to Love is in the Air, as I didn’t think I had it in me to write a romantic story, but I felt I was really missing out. Thankfully I thought of something at the last minute.
I write historical fiction and I try to be as accurate as possible, so I probably spend as much time researching as I do on the actual writing itself, which makes writing my novels a slow process.
I do try to write everyday, but like most people I get distracted by life. I’ve come to realise that I sometimes use life as an excuse. There’s no real reason not to sit and write something every day, even if it’s only for ten minutes (which usually turns into more). If I’m not writing everyday, it’s usually because I’m not enthusiastic enough about my chosen subject. I find it quite easy to think of ideas, but difficult to come up with ideas that excite me. When I do find those subjects and ideas though, doing anything but writing about them is a chore.
As with many other writers, I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. I think I wrote my first ‘book’ at 10, but I loved writing anything, from poems to my very own illustrated reference book of insects (I really did). I thought I was far too cool to write as a teenager, and I was far too busy when my children were small, but I took to writing again about eight years ago.
How many books do you have out?
My first book, The Watcher, about the Jack the Ripper murders, was published in September last year.
Do you have a favorite one that you have written? Why?
I love them both for different reasons.
I love The Watcher, because I’ve been interested in Jack the Ripper for as long as I can remember and I’ve always wanted to write a book about him. I don’t have any theory (or enough authority) on the identity of the murderer to write a non fiction book, so instead I wrote a book as historically accurate as I possibly could, with a murderer who I thought was most likely,. I also tried to incorporate many of the myths, theories and suspects involved.
With Requiem, I knew nothing about Grigori Rasputin other than the dark shadowy villain most people associate with the name. I learned so much in my research phase, about both Rasputin and European history, and it’s such a fascinating subject. I enjoyed the process so much, I could talk about it for hours.
What’s next for you? Are you working on another book? Tell us a little about it.
At the moment, I’m researching and plotting my next book about the transportation of British convicts to Australia. It’s another subject I’ve always been interested in, and I’ve been absorbed in what I’ve learned so far. I’m looking forward to the writing part.
I’m also halfway through a screenwriting class. I’ve loved it so far, and it’s making me look at things in a different way.
That sounds really interesting, Sam. Are you taking an online class or a physical one? I’ve been told I should try screenwriting, since I’m terrible at descriptions and I love writing dialogue.
I love Yoga, it can be very relaxing and keeps me on an even keel. Otherwise I’m terrible at relaxing and prefer to keep busy. I like to watch a good film, and some TV shows, but I have to find something else to do at the same time.