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Author interview – find out a little more about B A Steadman, crime writer

29th April 2018 | By | 4 Comments

Did this interview for the lovely Sarah Hardy’s blog on being a crime writer in Devon last year. Thought she wouldn’t mind me putting it on the website!

Biography I was born and raised on a huge estate in south Manchester in a noisy household with three younger brothers. To escape, I began to read, and I have had my nose buried in a book ever since. I started with Enid Blyton, moved on to myths and legends, fantasy and science fiction, and discovered crime when I hit my thirties. Now I enjoy contemporary fiction of many varieties, but find myself writing crime…

I completed my debut novel, Death and Deception in 2013, and began to send it out to agents, but got nothing back. It was almost two years later when new, independent publishers, Bloodhound Books, opened their submissions desk that I finally found a home.

These days I write, walk as much as I can, and I’m a keen student of Iyengar yoga, which has me doing things I never thought I’d be able to do… I have a husband and two cats, and live in the beautiful Devon countryside. I am a passionate supporter of wildlife, and am Chair of trustees at a local animal sanctuary – after all, animals have no voice but ours to speak for them.

With the publication of the second book in the Dan Hellier Exeter crime series, I guess I’m planning several years of adventures for the team in the apparently peaceful city of Exeter, England. As I live in a small village, where the usual crime rate is zero, it was with great delight that I set the books in and around Exeter. It’s an ancient Roman city which has seen its fair share of murder and mayhem over the centuries, so I’m merely adding to the list. Death and the Good Son takes the action out of the city, towards the Exe estuary and up on to Dartmoor. Book 3, Death and Vengeance (due out July 2018) will extend even further along the Jurassic coastline, and involve the team in a deadly fire cult.

Favourite book as a child?

Any of Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven or Famous Five. When you live a boring little suburban life, the adventures of those kids was something I longed for. I also wanted to be called Peta, because it was incredibly exotic, to have a girl called a boy’s name. Although you could argue that my name does make me sound a bit like a male American dentist…

Favourite book as a teenager?

Wuthering Heights – It taught me about hopeless, doomed, love – we were all learning about that in my girls’ convent school at the time.

Favourite character? 

Has to be Lisbeth Salander, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. She’s been so badly damaged but her innate courage, intelligence and sheer doggedness mean that she cannot be defeated. A brilliant creation.

Favourite book to movie adaption?

The original black and white film of Of Mice and Men – still makes me cry at the end and I’ve seen it dozens of times.

Favourite drink or snack whilst reading?

Tea and a dark chocolate-covered ginger biscuit. Delivered at exactly 4.00pm, just to keep my pecker up when I’m beginning to flag. It’s too late if he arrives and I’ve given up and playing Words with Friends!

Favourite highlight of your writing career?

When Death and Deception was accepted for publication, and actually appeared a few months later. I never believed it would happen, and now I’m writing my third novel – we never really know what the future has in store for us. I had a dream, a fantasy, really, that I might be able to write. It’s worth more than anything to know that other people enjoy reading my stories.

Thanks for reading. Find links to my books on the front page of the website.



  1. Brian Tapley

    I have recently discovered your DI Hellier series and thoroughly enjoyed them which says a lot having spent much of my life as a detective in Devon. Thanks they are a great read are you planning anymore in the series

    • Bernie Steadman

      So sorry to have taken so long to reply, Brian – I’ve had problems with the site. Thank you very much for your kind comments. I’m not planning on any more Dan Hellier books at the moment as I have a different project underway, a novel set on Crete about secrets and family feuds. A very different book, even though there are crimes aplenty! I will get back to Exeter crime in 2020.

  2. Norman Quirk

    Good Morning. I have just discovered your West Country Crime books and read all 3 straight through as I found them to come from a different angle to most run of the mill detective stories. The main character has flaws, make mistakes and is not afraid to admit to them, and that is refreshing. No inflated egos and bullying bosses. The storyline flows naturally with nothing contrived to test the credulity of the reader. One of the best series of books I’ve read and I am a fan of the crime genre. I’m going to miss DCI Hellier – will you be writing any more, I do hope so.

    • Bernie Steadman

      Thank you so much Norman! I’m glad you enjoyed the series. Currently I’m writing a standalone, but will return to Dan Heller next year.

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