To say that Veronica Heley is a prolific writer would be a massive understatement. With more than fifty novels to her name, she definitely knows what she’s doing. In her novel False Report, readers join Bea Abbot as she does her best to keep Jeremy – a songwriter on the run from a gang – and herself alive.
WHAT LED YOU TO WRITE FALSE REPORT?
I’m not sure where my ideas come from; an idea can grow from a news item, or something I’ve heard someone say, or even from a glimpse of an unusual character in the street. In this case I was thinking a lot about girls being trafficked into this country for sex . . . and my peculiar brain started to make up a poem about one such girl . . . and then I remembered a lively little artist I’d once known, and finally the story began to take on its own life.
STARTING OUT, WHO WERE THE AUTHORS WHO INSPIRED YOU? WHO INSPIRES YOU NOW?
The authors who have inspired me in the past are those I still devour . . . Sir Terry Pratchett, Donna Leon, and the old-timers in the great American tradition of crime such as John D MacDonald. I also admire Dick Francis. I love a good story with a character who I can identify with.
HOW DOES YOUR FAITH INFLUENCE YOUR WRITING?
It’s basic. I write two series of gentle crime stories with a Christian background, showing how my Christian heroines struggle to solve crimes and influence their extended families/neighbourhood. No conversions, no ‘sales’ talk, but two shining lights in the wilderness.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN YOU WANTED TO BE AN AUTHOR?
Since I was a child.
WHAT DO YOU MOST HOPE THAT READERS GET FROM READING YOUR WORK?
If they identify with the heroine – and they seem to identify mostly with Ellie Quicke – then they can gain courage from her courage in her dealings with her awful daughter, and in the face of everyday and not-so-everyday difficulties. This does happen! It’s all about showing how a Christian can cope in a defiantly non Christian world.