Tuesday 20 August 2013


 This week’s interviewee is a real gem. She makes me smile every time I see her witty and urbane tweets. Carol Hedges is an accomplished author; her tweets are fun and her blog sublime. High praise indeed you might say- but then you haven’t read her YA series Spy Girl or the other eight books she has found the time to pen while working and blogging. And it’s not only me who thinks so. Her novel about a teenage suicide, Jigsaw was short listed for the Angus book Award and long listed for the Carnegie Medal in 2001.

I should say at this point that Spy Girl is available through Amazon, and can ordered from all good book shops.

 I cannot recommend her blog highly enough, if you have not read the pink sofa yet then you are in for a treat. It is both interesting and funny. Carol is a generous blogger and very supportive of other writers.


Her latest book is available as an ebook. Jigsaw Pieces carries off the rare triumph of being both a cracking and a thoughtful read. Carol writes believable characters in real situations. She is, as they say, the real deal. Enough from me let’s hear from Carol.
Why books? What made you decide to be an author?

I can trace this back to a teacher called Mrs Myers who taught me when I was in Year 7. She used to set us small compositions every week, sometimes a story, sometimes a descriptive piece of writing. I got used to writing from my imagination, to not seeing the blank page as an 'enemy'. It is sad that the current English curriculum discourages creative writing, because it was from this ''little acorn'' that my career (as such) grew.

What were the early influences?

Before ever Mrs Myers came on the scene, there were books. Luscious books. I discovered them at my local children's library, where I used to get dumped (age 4). I can still remember picking up a dull covered book - in those days they all had library bindings, opening it and there was Orlando the Marmalade Cat, his Dear Wife Grace and their three adorable kittens Pansy, Blanche and Tinkle. I was hooked. Books have been and still are so important to me.

At this moment in time, which authors have it?

Hahah. Define ''it''? If you're talking big bucks, then it's E.L. James and her anatomically impossible 50 Shades. For me, it's Robert Harris - just finished reading The Fear Index and now I understand hedge funds! I also like Jo Nesbo and Henning Mankell.

What would you have done differently?

I would NOT have got an agent. I now do not have an agent. Nuff said.

Tell us about 'Spygirl'.

The books are aimed at young teens. They are set slightly in the future. The heroine is a rather truculent 15 year old called Jazmin Dawson. Her mum works for the International Security Agency (kind of CIA/MI5). Each book deals with a different international situation: in the first, a body revealed by global warming in the Arctic is stolen. Other books deal with selling illegal body parts, and a holy relic that goes missing. Very fast paced and funny. I could say they're like 'Dan Brown' for teenage girls. But I won't.

I have written 11 published books (more sit in a drawer). Writing the Spy Girl series was fun because I had a set of characters already 'living' so I could focus on the exciting adventures. Sadly, Usborne doesn't want to publish a 5th one. I have written it - any takers?

You are passionate about urban green space - could you tell us a little about your campaign?

Brief summary: my local council, Harpenden Town Council (100% Tory) has been trying to sell off an old allotment site to a developer. On the site and in the immediate area are Red Listed Roman Snails, bats, Tawny Owls, slow worms..etc. That's why I'm passionate and have been fighting tooth and nail for their lives. Urban green space is becoming so threatened by greedy developers. We are losing our precious wildlife. Someone has to make a stand. In this case, it's me. (Check my blog for the ongoing story).

If you were me, what question would you be asking you?

What wakes you up at 3am? The fear that I might never have another book published
And what sends you to sleep with sweet dreams? Thinking about my lovely daughter and her new husband. And my far too tolerant husband of 38 years.

What's in the pipeline?

Maybe another YA book, like Jigsaw Pieces, my ebook....but I'm not going to jinx things by saying any more.

If you were a book what book would you be and why?

Yowzers, you ask the stretchy questions! I would be a crime fiction book, with a feisty but loveable elderly heroine. Who drives a 2CV.

Thanks Carol.

You can also follow carol on shewrites.com, twitter and the wondrous blog.


  1. Paul, thank you so much fro letting me invade your blog. I am aware that your usual guests are a distinguished mix of poets, artists etc. And now from the sublime...you descend to the whatever!!! Many thanks!

  2. That's Carol! Yesss! She really is a one-off. Anyone who can take on a local council as a lay barrister, write the splinteringly witty blogs she does and yet still write cracking good stories for kids has to be someone special. I'll bet her daughter is super proud of this mum.

  3. yes sir, Carol is a very special lady.
    I may have left it all a bit late, but I strive to be just like her one day...

  4. She's here,there and everywhere.You've left your pink sofa all alone and unloved. My daughter would have loved your books when she was a teen.

  5. You had your Mrs Myers as an inspiation, I had my Mr "Spud" Tweedy who encouraged me to write.... though he didn't know it at the time!
    Well done, Carol and Paul Great interview!

    1. thanks richard, and others..lovely to be on a ''poety'' blog!

  6. Thank you Carol.
    Val: she is a one off - I agree!
    Anita- we all strive to be like her.
    Anne-Carol has a very big on line presence, I agree.
    Thanks Richard.