An interview with author Sally Cronin

Sally CroninThank you very much Joy for inviting me over for an interview… it is a great pleasure.

Where you born and what was your first memory?

I was born in Wickham, a village in Hampshire, not far from Portsmouth. My parents lived in a house that my mother grew up in from about the age of 8 years old. Her step-father was the village butcher, with a shop in the main square. We went to Ceylon, as it was called in those days, when I was 18 months old for two years, and my first memories were of noisy monkeys. Small macaques lived all around us in the forest, and they would come into the house at any opportunity to thieve food, my father’s cigarettes and my mother’s jewellry. I also have vivid memories of the scents and sunshine, and I remember swimming at a very early age in my rubber ring, following my sisters everywhere including into the water.

Most poignant memory?

Probably my most poignant memory is visiting my grandfather’s grave for the first time in 1998. He died on November 2nd, 1918 and was buried in a small military cemetery in the village of Poid-du-Nord , close to the Belgium border. My sister had done the research to locate his grave and taken my mother there for her first visit in 1996. David and I were living in Brussels and we took my mother back to lay a wreath on the 80th Anniversary of his death. She was only 12 months old when he died, and therefore never knew him. But it was still very emotional for us all. He was 31 years old and left a legacy behind that he could never have imagined. I am sure he would have been proud of his daughter, who lived to 95 years old; travelled the world, and his four grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

What place you’ve lived or visited has remained special to you?

We have moved around so much as a family, and David and I have lived in six countries since we married in 1980. If I had to pick one place it would be our home in the mountains to the north of Madrid where we lived for 17 years. We had panoramic views from where we lived at 900 metres, across a valley to another mountain range and also over a plain for 50 miles. The weather was alpine with long hot summers, very dry so a lovely heat, and very old, crisp winters with snow. The sun was usually shining for about 250 days a year which was wonderful and I swam every day for two hours from May to October. The friends we made were amazing and we loved the lifestyle, spending most of our time outside. Great people, wonderful food, fabulous weather and memories.

end of the day 1 sml
The view from our front terrace – perfect for a sundowner.

Did anyone inspire you to write or was it something you naturally turned to?

My sisters read me bedtime stories and as soon as I could read I was off like a rocket. I was like a sponge reading books way above my pay grade. Every author I have read inspired me to write; as a child I would make up stories at the drop of a hat… especially when I decided at seven that I would take the odd day off school to enjoy other activities! I began writing short stories and song lyrics as a teenager, really getting serious when I had time on my hands during our two years in Texas in 1985. I used to write a lot of business reports and budgets during my career, and there was probably a hint of fiction in those too.

If you were invisible, what three things would you like to do?

I would love to have the additional superpower of being scent free so that I could get up close and personal with wildlife. I am a huge fan of Jane Goodall and would love to have worked with primates. What an amazing thing to be invisible and be able to observe these wonderful creatures unnoticed.

There are certain people who might benefit from having a poltergeist in their lives for a day or so. For example, world leaders who need to be knocked down a peg or two, and given a scare that makes them stop and remember their own mortality. They seem to feel that they are omnipotent, and some flying crockery, levitating tables and chairs, and home truths uttered in a deep and profound tone, might just do the trick.

I wouldn’t want to waste this invisibility; there are plenty of small but helpful things you could do, to bring some happiness, fun, surprises and gifts into the lives of friends and family and strangers you come across who need help, without them feeling obligated to you.

If you could pass two new laws, what would they be?

Although it is law that dogs should be micro-chipped in Wales and the UK since 2016, it is not being enforced, and thousands of dogs are still making their way into the rescue centres unchipped. Clearly that is not working. I think it is time to bring back dog licences which was abolished in 1987. This time however, I suggest that they make the dog licence free. It might encourage more to register their dogs and the benefit would be a card that gives you 15% off your annual pet check and vaccinations at the vet. Which are horrendously expensive. I would also like the government to set up free mobile vet clinics which will do the rounds in high risk areas offering free treatment as long as pets are registered. The cost of taking care of strays and rehoming is far more expensive in the long run.

I would also like much longer jail sentences for drunk or texting drivers who kill or maim others. A car is a lethal weapon, and if you get behind the wheel when you have had too much to drink, or you are in the act of texting, it is in my view, as bad as premeditated murder.

What two people would you like to invite for lunch (famous, dead or alive).

I would love to have Wilbur Smith to lunch. I have read his books since the age of 11 and bought every one he has written. I am just about to start his new autobiography with great excitement. He is one of the authors that inspired me to write and would love to ply him with wine and pick his brains.

The second person would be my grandmother who I was named after. Georgina was left devastated after losing my grandfather so near to the end of the war. He had been wounded three times and was back at the front for the final push. I can only imagine how desperate she must have felt each time he left for the front wondering if she would see him again. She struggled to bring up my mother for seven years before remarrying, and she suffered badly from asthma, long before there was medication to help. She died several years before I was born, at only 52, and my mother felt that her heart was broken. I would like to tell her that she is not forgotten, share stories about us all, and remind her that both of them live on in the younger generation and all those to come.

Name two of your favourite writers.

Well, I let the cat out of the bag with Wilbur Smith, but I do read everything that Bernard Cornwell writes, and love the way he brings history to life. I am looking forward to the next in The Last Kingdom series.

And I read and enjoy so many authors that I have come into contact with in our community and I would be hard pushed to name favourites.

What would you wish for if you could have ANYTHING?

Another 38 years with the love of my life….. Although he might look upon that as a penance!

What makes you crosser than anything else?

Oh wow, how much time have you got? More than anything I cannot abide bad manners. Courtesy at all levels of society, is one of the few cultural concepts, that prevent us from tearing at each other’s throats. It is part of the socialisation process of young children into responsible adults. It is clear, when you read the papers and see the stories of moped muggers, acid throwers and stabbings, that there is definitely a lack of socialisation in far too many homes and at school.

I get really miffed when I am watching a drama on television or a movie and people do not say please or thank you when given some form of service. It sends completely the wrong message and it will only get worse. The teachers say it is the responsibility of the parents and the parents say that it is down to the teachers. Someone needs to take control and sort it out.

Apart from reading and writing, what other ways do you like to relax?

I love music and movies. My husband and I have different taste in music, but both love fast action thrillers, epic adventures and films adapted from good books… Such as Dr. Zhivago and The Last of the Mohicans.

In the past we have enjoy travelling to various places but the glamour of flying has definitely lapsed. There is so much to see here in Ireland that we will be sticking close to home.

24 hours left on the planet!. How would you spend them?

I presume that this is for all of us…..I would probably leave a quick message of love and hope for all my friends on social media, wishing them luck in the next life. Then switch off everything and if possible sit outside with my husband and family, have a great meal, lots of good wine and make sure that we leave nothing unsaid. Then a last glass of Cava and a handful of pills and drift off to sleep holding my husband close. (I have read On the Beach by Nevil Shute, so have this all prepped should it become necessary).

Many thanks Joy for allowing me to speak my mind and share some of my experiences. It has been great fun.

 

About Sally Cronin

I have lived a fairly nomadic existence living in eight countries including the Sri Lanka, South Africa and USA before settling back here in Ireland. My work, and a desire to see some of the most beautiful parts of the world in the last forty years, has taken me to many more incredible destinations around Europe and Canada, and across the oceans to New Zealand and Hawaii. All those experiences and the people that I have met, provide a rich source of inspiration for my stories.

I have been a storyteller most of my life (my mother called them fibs!). Poetry, song lyrics and short stories were left behind when work and life intruded, but that all changed in 1996. My first book Size Matters was a health and weight loss book based on my own experiences of losing 70kilo. I have written another ten books since then on health and also fiction including three collections of short stories. I am an indie author and proud to be one. My greatest pleasure comes from those readers who enjoy my take on health, characters and twisted endings… and of course come back for more.

As a writer I know how important it is to have help in marketing books… as important as my own promotion is, I believe it is important to support others. I offer a number of FREE promotional opportunities on my blog and linked to my social media. If you are an author who would like to be promoted to a new audience of dedicated readers, please contact me via my blog. All it will cost you is a few minutes of your time. Look forward to hearing from you.

Sally’s most recent book.

51URVvIvcNL._UY250_What’s in a Name – Volumes 1 & 2.

About the book

Our legacy is not always about money or fame, but rather in the way that people remember our name after we have gone. In these sixteen short stories we discover the reasons why special men and women will stay in the hearts and minds of those who have met them. Romance, revenge and sacrifice all play their part in the lives of these characters.

 

 

Other works by Sally
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Sally’s books available on Amazon.co.uk & Amazon.com

Smashwords for Epub

Reviews on Goodreads

Sally’s Blog

Facebook & Twitter

 

 

© Joy Lennick / Sally Cronin 2018

 

 

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79 thoughts on “An interview with author Sally Cronin

  1. John W. Howell 26/06/2018 / 1:06 am

    Terrific interview, Joy. On the Beach is one of my all-time favorite books, Sally. I think I would spend the last 24 the same way.

  2. robbiecheadle 26/06/2018 / 7:13 am

    I always enjoy reading about Sally’s interesting life. I have just finished reading Just and Odd Job Girl – what a great book. Strangely, I never really enjoyed either the book or the film of The last of the Mohicans. The female characters irritate me.

    • Thank you Robbie and so pleased that you enjoyed Just an Odd Job Girl… another book where females were not given the empowerment that they deserved.. I liked Cora.. the other sister was insipid I agree.. and in reality pioneer women were warriors, they needed to be. XXX

  3. Ritu 26/06/2018 / 7:51 am

    What a wonderful interview! Love Sally, and appreciate all her support on the blog!

  4. Stevie Turner 26/06/2018 / 10:07 am

    Reblogged this on Stevie Turner and commented:
    What an interesting life Sally Cronin has had! Thanks to Joy Lennick and Sally of course, for this interview.

  5. Darlene 26/06/2018 / 2:19 pm

    A great interview with an inspiring person. Sally is the friendliest and most supportive blogger I have met. It was so wonderful to learn more about her and her interesting life. I also love Jane Goodall and had the pleasure of meeting her once. Another amazing woman.

  6. balroop2013 26/06/2018 / 4:48 pm

    Nice to know more about you Sally! Thanks Joy, your questions are superbly framed.

  7. dgkaye 26/06/2018 / 5:20 pm

    Wow, Sal, what a fabulous interview. Not surprising I’m with you on all you say about licensing animals, social etiquette and a poltergeist to stick it to the evil and moronic leaders in the world.
    So lovely to see you in the spotlight here at Joy’s blog. Hugs girls!!! ❤ ❤

      • dgkaye 27/06/2018 / 2:32 am

        I’m always game for your great ideas! ❤ xx

  8. marianbeaman 26/06/2018 / 5:32 pm

    The Facebook page for bloggers led me to this interview. What a life you’ve lived, and what a supporter you are to other bloggers. Thanks, Sally! And to Joy for featuring you here.

  9. joylennick 26/06/2018 / 5:38 pm

    Thanks, Debby and Marian. My pleasure.

  10. D. Wallace Peach 26/06/2018 / 8:26 pm

    What a lovely and often touching interview, Sally and Joy. I love your ideas for what you would do if you were invisible, Sally, and if I ever have to answer that question, I’ll just refer everyone to this post. Ha ha. And I wish you many many more years of joy with David. ❤

  11. joylennick 26/06/2018 / 8:46 pm

    Thanks Diane, and to all the above. I’ve been trawling your web sites…(clever bunch!) xx

  12. Don Massenzio 26/06/2018 / 9:51 pm

    Reblogged this on DSM Publications and commented:
    Check out this great interview with author Sally Cronin as featured on Joy Lennick’s blog.

  13. Darlene 26/06/2018 / 10:19 pm

    Reblogged this on Darlene Foster's Blog and commented:
    Sally Cronin is an amazing woman who is a tremendous supporter of other writers and bloggers. So I was so happy to see her here being interviewed by another writer friend of mine, Joy Lennick. Enjoy learning about her very interesting life.

  14. olganm 26/06/2018 / 10:21 pm

    Lovely to see you here, Sally. You’re a star. ♥

  15. Jennie 26/06/2018 / 10:26 pm

    An excellent interview is one where you learn much about someone you thought you knew well. This is excellent! Thank you Joy and Sally!

  16. Lucinda E Clarke 27/06/2018 / 6:52 pm

    Reblogged this on lucinda E Clarke and commented:
    A little more about this amazing lady. and her favourite author is also Wilbur Smith 🙂

  17. kritsayvonne 28/06/2018 / 9:35 am

    Great interview, Sally via an interesting set of questions. You are such a giver, it is great to see you in the spotlight. x

  18. joylennick 28/06/2018 / 12:14 pm

    Glad you enjoyed it Jennie and Lucinda. xx

  19. Ari 30/06/2018 / 4:52 pm

    Excellent interview, Sally, was fun learning more about you.

    Great questions, Joy.

  20. joylennick 01/07/2018 / 5:03 pm

    Thank you, Ari. So pleased you enjoyed Sally”s brilliant answers in her interview. x.

  21. joylennick 01/07/2018 / 5:05 pm

    Many thanks, too, to you, Yvonne for your kind comments.

  22. Teagan R. Geneviene 01/07/2018 / 9:37 pm

    It’s always nice to learn a little more about talented, sagacious Sally. Thanks for this interview. Hugs to you both.

  23. Annika Perry 02/07/2018 / 11:37 am

    Sally, a joy to read this interview and I love your answers to these wonderfully unusual questions. What brilliant ideas how to use your invisibility and I’m smiling on the havoc you could cause for these world leaders who need bringing down as well as the gentle tricks on your friends and family. I’m so touched by your most poignant memory – and you’re right – your grandfather would have been so proud of you all! hugs xx

    • Thank you Annika and I when I did my Ancestry DNA and saw the Irish element as living proof that he lives on in us.. I can think of a couple of more nefarious invisibility tricks but I will stick it out and hope for the lottery! hugsxx

  24. jjspina 03/07/2018 / 3:28 am

    So nice to see lovely Sally here. I am in awe of you Sally. You have been everywhere, done everything and are such a fabulous storyteller. You have used all your experiences to create wonderful stories in your books. It’s always a treat to learn more about you Sally. Thank you, Joy, for letting Sally shine. She is one special lady. Hugs to you both xx

    • Thank you Janice for the lovely comment. And I would hate to put all those experience into storage. This way when I am old and doddery I can pick up one of my books and remind myself of who I am …. hugs xxx♥

      • jjspina 06/07/2018 / 10:31 pm

        🤪💕

  25. Toni Pike 06/07/2018 / 7:41 am

    What a wonderful interview, Sally – and what a fascinating life you have led. No wonder you have so many stories to tell x

  26. Sharon Marchisello 06/07/2018 / 11:11 am

    Sounds like a fascinating life, especially living in so many countries.

    • It has been an adventure and hopefully not over yet.. But I think we are settled back in Ireland now, not sure I could face another country move… but never say never!! xx

  27. Jane Sturgeon 06/07/2018 / 11:47 am

    What a lovely piece to read. Great questions Joy and Sally, you are a joy. ❤

  28. Vashti Q 07/07/2018 / 5:48 am

    Wonderful interview, Joy! What a treat to learn more about Sally. I enjoyed the questions and answers. I especially loved Sally’s answer about being invisible and scent free to get closer to the animals and how she would spend her last 24 hours on Earth. Sally is always featuring other authors it’s great to read all about her here. Thank you! 😁

  29. Terri Webster Schrandt 07/07/2018 / 8:33 pm

    Such a beautiful interview,Sally, and so nice to get to know you better. Thanks to Debby (and Joy) for sharing and for publishing this post.

  30. bitaboutbritain 09/07/2018 / 4:45 pm

    That was really interesting, Sally. Like-minded in many ways – I liked your ideas for new laws! Very moving in places, too. And I know Wickham!

    • Thank you Mike. I love Wickham and we often go back when we are visiting family in Portsmouth.. my grandmother is buried there and my parents married in the church. A big part of my childhood and teen years.

  31. bloominheather50 10/07/2018 / 8:51 pm

    I am coming late to this interview but so glad I didn’t miss it altogether! Both of you have done so well to tell us so much that is inspirational, while being grounded in a life we can recognise and relate to. Thank you both xx

  32. Christy B 12/07/2018 / 6:52 pm

    Sally is so thoughtful – even with just 24 hours left on the planet she would still give a shout out to us on social media! Beautiful interview here and nice to find your blog here, Joy 🙂

  33. Norah 15/07/2018 / 1:25 pm

    What a fabulous interview. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know a little more of Sally. Thank you.

  34. Liesbet @ Roaming About 16/07/2018 / 11:11 pm

    Another interesting, revealing and fun interview with you, Sally. It’s always nice to learn more about you and see which experiences made you into who you are. I can’t believe you remember those early events. I think my first memories are from when I was five or so. As far as your other answers, I can relate to many of them. Being surrounded by wildlife is one of my major pleasures in life, and, the way you would say goodbye to this world, sounds nice enough! 🙂

  35. Tandy | Lavender and Lime 07/09/2018 / 10:09 am

    What a great interview. I agree with Sally about harsher sentences for people who cause accidents while texting. It is such bad beahviour. Nice to meet you Joy 🙂

    • joylennick 07/09/2018 / 10:50 am

      Nice to meet you too, Tandy. I look forward to more of your tasty recipes. Best wishes.

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