Friday, October 4, 2013

Interview with Helen Phifer

Helen Phifer works full time for Cumbria Constabulary and has a rather large family. She has loved reading and writing since she was a child and was very fortunate to become a member of the RNA’s New Writers Scheme. Through the NWS she met her wonderful editor at Carina UK.

Welcome to the RNA Blog Helen, so tell us which piece of music is most likely to make you feel happy?

There are so many but the song which always makes me smile and brings back some amazing memories is September by Earth, Wind & Fire.

What is the craziest ambition you ever fulfilled?

I always wanted to get a portrait tattoo on my arm of Herman and Lily Munster. In March this year I was asked if I would attend The Tattoo Tea Party Convention in Manchester to have my Lily portrait done. It took over six hours but she is beautiful.

What would you look for in a romantic hero?

He would need a great sense of humour, be able to cook and he wouldn’t be afraid to show his romantic side. A bunch of flowers every now and again goes an awful long way.

Do you have any little phobias or superstitions to help with your writing?

I don’t really have any because my life is so hectic I have to snatch my writing time whenever I can; in the car, on my lunch break, waiting to pick the kids up. I have even been guarding a crime scene and been writing notes for my next novel in the tiny notebook I always keep in my pocket. The only thing I do every time I sit down to write at my desk is make a mug of coffee.

How does chocolate help you in life?

I think I should be sponsored by Galaxy. It is the answer to everything, stressed with my storyline, stuck on my edits, kids driving me mad I always reach for the chocolate; unfortunately it does nothing to help with my diet.

Apart from writing, of which accomplishment are you most proud?

I think that would have to be my five children who are almost all grown up now, and my granddaughter. They drive me mad but I’m also very proud of them all.

There's not much that scares Annie Graham. Not even the horrors she has witnessed during her years on the police force. When she agrees to look after her brother's farmhouse, she finds herself drawn to the crumbling old mansion in the woods nearby. But an innocent exploration of the empty ruin and the discovery of the diary of former resident Alice leaves her more than a little spooked. She knows it holds the secrets to a dark past, and she has to find out more.

What was the terrible truth that Alice uncovered? And how could what happened to her over 100 years ago help solve the murders of young women in the town? Annie needs to stop the serial killer before she becomes his next victim – but the past comes back to haunt her in ways she could never have expected.


Thank you Helen for sparing the time to talk to us today. We wish you every success with your books. Best wishes, Freda

Interviews on the RNA Blog are carried out by Freda, Henri and Livvie. They are for RNA full members only. If you are interested in an interview, please contact:


Julie Heslington said...

Hi Helen, fabulous interview. I had it into my head that you had 3 children, not 5. Wow! How on earth do you do it! I'm more than halfway through reading The Ghost House and it's brilliant. Can't wait for some me time to read the rest. You're an inspiration to all those of us going through NWS. Keep up the great writing.


Jo Bartlett said...


I don't know how you've managed to write such a fabulous debut novel, with such a lovely big family and a full time job, plus all of your other commitments. You have, though, and you are an inspiration to the rest of us aspiring writers. We certainly can't make the excuse that we don't have time!

Jo xx

Rachael Thomas said...

The Ghost House is a fabulous book Helen, I'm really enjoying it. Congratulations and good luck with your writing!