The Writing Life

Interview Questions 22: Answered by Cynthia Sally Haggard

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Not until fairly late in life (at the age of 43). Prior to that, I’d been a violinist and then a cognitive scientist.

Who are your writing inspirations?

This girl looks the way I used to look at the age of ten or so. Like me, she is reading late at night, which I also used to do…much to the annoyance of my sister!

I was the typical bookworm from the age of 10 on, when I started reading for three hours every day. I read all the classics, so of course I was inspired by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Fanny Burney.

The actual inspirations for my novels come from disparate sources.

My first novel Thwarted Queen, was inspired by a Time Team program on Richard III.

Farewell My Life is loosely based on the story of my college violin teacher, who went to Berlin to study violin circa 1925.