Interview with novelist Stevie Turner

I’m happy to introduce you
to Stevie Turner today.
She’s chatting with me about her new novel, a women’s fiction called, Repent at Leisure.
Stevie Turner grew up in the
East End of London and was fortunate enough to attend an excellent primary
school which encouraged creative writing. After winning a writing competition
at her school, Stevie began to keep a diary and often added little stories and
poems to it as the years went by.
By the time marriage and
motherhood came along, Stevie and her husband Sam had decided that the country
life was preferable to bringing their sons up in London. The company Sam worked
for had re-located to Norfolk, and they felt the time was right to make the
change. They moved to a quiet, picturesque village in Suffolk, East Anglia,
where their boys could roam free as they grew. Stevie found work as an office
clerk and still kept a diary, but did not take up writing seriously until 2013.
By this time her two sons had left home and she had more time to herself.
Stevie’s debut novel The Porn Detective was self-published in
October 2013 and took her 30 years to write. A London agency debated
representation, but after a long, agonising week’s wait for Stevie she found
out that unfortunately the agency had decided not to go ahead. However, she now
had the writing bug big time! Stories started filling her head based on news
items she had read and life experiences she had undergone, and she could not
wait to get them down on paper.
Her second book The Pilates Class was a light-hearted,
humorous read, giving way to the more serious suspense/ thriller A House Without Windows, which won a New
Apple Book Award in 2014 and a Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in 2015. It is now
being translated into German.
Stevie then tried her hand
at historical fiction, penning a short story ‘Lily’, which was a joint winner
of the Goodreads’ eBookMiner Book of the Month Contest in August 2015, and then
came the suspense /thriller ‘For the Sake of a Child’, which had been runner-up
in the same eBookMiner Book of the Month Contest in October 2014.
After November 2014 Stevie
took early retirement from her 13-year position as a medical secretary in a
busy NHS hospital, due to after-effects from treatment for thyroid cancer. The
following year, 2015, was the most prolific year for Stevie. She began to write
full time and penned another 6 novels and 2 short stories, by which time she
was happily in remission from cancer for a second time. She even wrote a
romance, A Most Unusual Romance,
partly based on the treatment she had undergone back in 2005 when initially
diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer.
By the time her latest novel
Repent at Leisure was finished,
Stevie had decided to approach the independent publishers Creativia, based on a
recommendation from one of their current authors. She was impressed with their
book marketing Street Team support, and at the quick response to emails and
Creativia published Repent at Leisure in March 2016 complete
with a beautiful book cover, and currently the company goes from strength to
strength, taking on new authors daily. Stevie was pleased at recently being
informed that ‘Repent at Leisure’ has been placed on the shortlist for The
Escalator Writing Contest.
Stevie still lives in the
same picturesque Suffolk village that she and Sam moved to in 1991 with their
two boys. She is now working on a collection of short stories that she hopes
will be published towards the end of the year. One of her short stories,
‘Lifting the Black Dog’, was recently published in ‘1000 Words or Less Flash
Fiction Collection’ (2016). She has also written an article ‘Look on the Bright
Side of Life’ which was included in the recently published book ‘They Say I’m
Doing Well’ which are articles about mental illness, proceeds of which go to
the charity MIND.
Stevie and Sam enjoy
attending rock festivals and concerts in their spare time, and especially love
visiting the Isle of Wight, their second home, and of course the Isle of Wight
Festival, which to them is the best festival of all! They also enjoy family
life with their grown up sons, daughters-in-law and four grandchildren, all of
whom still live close by in Suffolk.
Welcome, Stevie. Please tell us about your current
Paul McAdam wakes up with a strange girl in his bed,
but has no idea who she is or where she has come from.

Cat Taylor worms her way into Paul’s life, eventually moving into his flat. The
arrangement suits Paul quite well until he meets Anita Fairfax, the love of his
life and the girl he wishes to marry. Cat has to go, but Paul finds that she is
not interested in moving out.

When Cat is found dead in Paul’s flat, he’s the #1 suspect, even though there’s
not a shred of evidence. Anita and Paul are happily married, but she soon
begins to wonder whether her new husband could have been Cat’s killer all

What inspired you to write this book?
I love to write about
convoluted (sometimes dysfunctional) family relationships and human emotions
and jealousies. Repent at Leisure was just waiting to be written!
Excerpt from the first chapter of Repent at Leisure:
Part 1 – Paul; Chapter 1; January
1, 2000
            Darren must have spiked
my bloody drink again; I’ll kill the bastard.
            I sit up in bed, rub my
eyes and give her the once over as I inch back the covers. She’s naked and
reasonably good-looking, but the blonde hair doesn’t quite reach the roots and
the face is caked in make-up. I’ve always liked the natural look, so God knows
why I went and picked her. Perhaps I
didn’t; probably Darren gave her a good time and then lumbered me with her
after I’d passed out.
            My mouth’s as dry as a
badger’s chuff, and my head is throbbing. I need some coffee. Whoever she is
sleeps on as I climb out of bed and slide into some jeans. As I open the
bedroom door I can see Darren, fully clothed and dead to the world on the
settee. We must have had a fucking ace time of it last night; if only I could
            The noise of the kettle
brings Darren out of his stupor. As he comes into the kitchen his mullet’s awry
like he’s got a surfboard on his head. Yawning, I reach for two mugs from the
cupboard and heap a spoonful of coffee in each. I indicate with a thumb over in
the direction of the bedroom.
            “Who’s the bird?”
            Darren hacks up enough
tar to fill all the potholes along the M1.
            “You’re asking me? You’re
the one who was with her all night.”
            “Yeah, but some bastard spiked my drinks.”
            My look of venom
informs him in no uncertain terms whom I suspect of perpetrating the crime.
Darren, innocence personified, shrugs his shoulders, picks up the kettle, and
pours boiling water into the mugs.
            “Nothin’ to do with me,
            “Yeah, and my dick’s
two foot long.”
            “You should be so
lucky.” Darren adds coffee to an extra mug. “Here; give her one.”
            “I already did, didn’t
I?” I sigh.
            “Possibly; you were
going at it hammer and tongs in there last night.”
What exciting story are you working on next?
I am working on a
collection of short stories, which is nearly finished. The stories are all
based on significant life events.
When did you first consider yourself a writer? Do you
write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other
than write and how do you find time to write?
I only really began to
write seriously 3 years ago, and now write full time, having taken early
retirement last year.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A doctor, although I was
hopeless at Maths, Chemistry and Physics, so it didn’t work out!

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