Name Elly Griffiths

Age 52

Where are you from: Brighton, England

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc  

I was born in London but my family moved to Brighton when I was five. I was educated at local state schools and read English at King’s College London. After university I worked in a library and for a magazine before going on to have a career in publishing.  I wrote my first novel while on maternity leave in 1998. I still live near Brighton with my husband and our two children.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

The Woman in Blue, the next Ruth Galloway book, comes out on 4th February 2016.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I wrote my first book when I was 11. It was a murder mystery set in Rottingdean, near the village where I still live.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I suppose when I gave up my day job as an editor. But, even though I’ve now written 14 books, it still feels a bit pretentious to call myself a writer.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

My first book (written under my real name Domenica de Rosa) was called The Italian Quarter and was loosely based on my dad’s life. My father was an Italian immigrant who lived in Clerkenwell, London’s Italian quarter, and was interned as an enemy alien during the war.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

It has probably changed a lot since the first book but I think I have a chatty, informal style. I like to think that my writing can be humorous in places, dark and atmospheric in others.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

With some books the title comes first, with others it’s very hard to think of what to call it. The Crossing Places was easy but The Janus Stone was originally The Two-Faced God and Dying Fall was first called The Tomb of the Raven King. It’s usually the publishers who make the final call.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Not really unless it’s what Ruth says at the end of The Crossing Places, ‘the questions are more important than the answers’.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?

I hope all the books are realistic but none are based on real life.

Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?



Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?

My favourite writer is Wilkie Collins and I have definitely been influenced by the way he writes about landscape, for example in The Moonstone.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Behind Closed Doors by Elizabeth Haynes

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Sarah Perry. Her first book, ‘After me comes the flood’, was just amazing.

Fiona: What are your current projects?

I’ve just finished writing the third book in my Stephens and Mephisto series. It’s called The Blood Card.

Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

The crime writing community

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?


Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Yes because writing is organic and changes all the time.

Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

My dad used to make me little books when I was about four or five. I remember writing one that was called The Shig of Mystery (because I used to get my ps and gs mixed up).

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

The first line of The Woman in Blue: ‘Cathbad and the cat look at each other.’

Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

The research. I just want to get on and write. I feel frustrated when I have to stop and check the facts!

Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Wilkie Collins – I love his characterisation and descriptions.

Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

The Ruth books are set in Norfolk so I go there a lot. Last year I went to America and Sweden on publicity tours.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Different people. Martha Kennedy does my American covers.

Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Finding the time.

Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

If you write 1000 words a day, eventually you will have a book.

Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

  1. Write every day 2. Finish it 3. Don’t show your work to family and friends until it’s finished.

Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you for reading my books

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Alice in Wonderland

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I do both every day

Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?

Shakespeare. He’s the greatest writer of all time yet his life is such a mystery.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?

I don’t want a headstone

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

Horse-riding and swimming

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

I enjoy Sherlock and any Agatha Christie adaptations. I also love The Apprentice (UK version) and The Office (US version)

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Favourite food: pasta

Favourite colour: red

Favourite music: Bruce Springsteen or Italian opera

Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?

I’m a frustrated actress

Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?


Amazon Authors Page UK


Amazon Authors Page USA