Saturday, 9 March 2013


What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Sam Hill, I was born and continue to live in Stoke-on-Trent. I live in a little terraced house that appears to be either freezing or very warm, and never something in the middle. Of course, this may be because I have little clue when working the boiler!

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
It really did! From having the initial idea to getting the book in my hand was around 6 years, although I left it alone for around 18 months after I had finished the first draft. Since then, I have changed jobs (a couple of times) and moved house. Although it seems an age ago since the first jottings, the longest wait of all seemed to be the time it took from the point I knew it was going to be published until the moment I got the first copy in my hands. That was only around three months, but seemed to be years and years and years!

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
I work at the Stoke-on-Trent Gingerbread centre, which is a charity that is supported accommodation for vulnerable single parent families. Basically, lone mums and dads that are either homeless, at risk of homelessness, or who are escaping domestic violence come to us with their children and we provide them with a flat and help them get back on their feet. My job is to help residents raise their aspirations and encourage them to make positive choices like undertaking courses (I do a lot of literacy support) and living more healthy lifestyles. I also train residents to be Peer Mentors to support others. It was through this that our residents helped me to raise my own aspirations and I went back to my book and it got published! I am really proud to work for the Gingerbread Centre and love working with our families, although I would like to write full-time.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
What would you look for if the world was ending? 
The title is Remnants.
I would like to sum it up with this question:
What would you look for if the world was ending?

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I would like to write a lot more books, that much I am certain of. My preference is to write original stories that are unconnected to Remnants. I have a lot of ideas and I tend to start many different projects, but they often die a natural death and I make a vague promise to return to them at a later point. Having said that, recently I have been thinking that there is the possibility I may return to the world of Remnants at a later date, although not as a sequel and the events would have nothing to do with the characters in that book. At the moment I am working on a story and know where it is going, but would to shape it a little more.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I have a very romantic dream of being a writer. I had this plan that I would have the idea for a great story and would go to a little cabin in the wilderness and write it. This cabin would be wooden, in the middle of a forest, and you would be able to see a million twinkling stars every night and on very special occasions, the northern lights would be visible in a shimmering emerald green. That was the plan. The reality was that I wrote it at home in Stoke, typing it up on my laptop in our front room and reading and editing whilst in bed. Although I do have a picture of a wooden cabin hanging up in my front room! Maybe someday I will be successful enough to write in a special writing cabin!

Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
No, no-one read Remnants prior to publication outside of the publishers. In fact, no-one knew I had written a book until I knew it was being published. When I wrote it, I never thought anyone else would read Remnants, I don’t really know why. I wrote it because I always wanted to write a book and I had the idea to do so. A story is a really personal expression and you reveal a lot about yourself when you write one, and I’ve always been quite shy about displaying this. But my work helped me to get over this, as it involves people in desperate situations who confide their experiences to us as staff all the time. People reading my story still takes some getting used to, however.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
The title was one of the parts of the story I found most difficult. I had already written it without struggling for ideas or thread of plot, but I had no title. Initially, the story was called ‘World’s End’. My editor, although liking the story, did not like the title, believing it too generic. Additionally, Simon Pegg’s new film is apparently going to have this title! From my editor’s advice, Remnants emerged, which I like better!

Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
This is something I feel quite strongly about, to be honest. If there are morals or hidden messages in a story, I believe it for the reader to discern them. Reading is a personal act and taking in a story involves the creation of a world. How a reader interprets this is up to them, I would prefer my writing to guide and not dictate. Although I have my own ideas and conclusions, I would want readers to enjoy Remnants and to take from it what they choose without me saying this is what it is about and this is the message.
Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
I guess am old fashioned - I much prefer books to ebooks. I love the feel of book, the sound of the spine cracking and the slightly salt and vinegary smell of the pages in some books. I certainly see the appeal of ebooks and as an author, I think they are great as people are more likely to take a risk on your story as they are cheap and easily obtainable in this format. But for me, I prefer books and I even have divisions within this. For those books and authors that I really love, I get hardback copies. For those I merely like, I get paperback. And if I find I really love a paperback, I look for hardbacks!

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
I have never really understood pen names. As I said, writing is such a personal expression and you put so much of yourself into it, why would you want to attribute that to anyone else or any other name? For better or worse, what you write is yours and you have to stand by it without hiding behind a pen name. It seems strange to me. Having said that, this is how I feel and having written one book doesn’t make me an expert in any way!
Where can readers follow you?

Your web site?

Your Twitter details? @samofstoke

And any other information you wish to supply?

Remnants can be purchased from the following places:

Amazon: (UK)

Barnes and Noble (US only):


Love Reading:

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