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THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF
DATE NIGHT & UNTIL YOU'RE MINE
I grew up in the Midlands with my parents and younger brother, stumbling through school in a very average way until I walked out in a fit of teenage angst aged 16. Still, I was picked up in a Ferrari, which made it seem much more rebellious than it probably was.
My parents divorced when I was young, with my mother's side of the family filled with creatives - so Monday to Friday my life was all starving, angst-ridden bohemian artists, a tiny, tumble-down cottage with every surface covered with tubes of paint and canvases, no heating and often not much money for food. The weekends were different, however, when I'd spend time with my dad, a successful businessman. Living the high-life in his grand house complete with butler, and flying off to Europe in his private plane or taking holidays on his Caribbean yacht was quite a contrast for a kid to deal with. It probably explains a lot.
So to make sense of it all, I wrote. I can't ever remember not wanting to be an author. From a very young age, I handwrote stories and made them into little books for my friends. I pestered for my first typewriter when I was ten and, when I got one for Christmas (I still have it), I was glued to it from the moment I woke up.
I bashed out horror stories and scared myself witless, wrote Poldark-esque tales inspired by many Cornish holidays with my mum - all of us squashed into a tiny caravan (yes the paints and canvases came too, as well as the cat), and I typed endless romances plus reams of science fiction and fantasy. I then moved onto Secret Seven-type stories - my first foray into crime, perhaps.
As a kid, people ask what you want to be when you grow up. 'I want to be an author' wasn't taken very seriously in the early eighties, and I was uninspired by the leaflets in my school's career office. It certainly wasn’t the easy clear-cut path to publication I'd imagined and took me another couple of decades to see even a glimmer of my work published. But along the way I had many experiences, met a host of intriguing people, lived in several continents, and raised my three children.
Over the years I’ve worked as a private investigator, bar maid, car cleaner, fruit picker, factory night-shift worker, accounts clerk, nursery nurse, waitress… and I learnt to fly a plane before I could drive a car because for a while I wanted to be a pilot (ironically, I now hate flying!) I lived on the Isle of Man for a few years (I love it and still visit often) then I travelled the world and spent an eye-opening time living on a kibbutz, where I was inspired to write longer fiction.
After some more backpacking and a stint in London, I moved to Australia for three years, living in Brisbane and Melbourne. Between 1991 and 1998 I had my three children and lived in the UK and the USA, where my youngest daughter was born. After Seattle, I returned to England again, finally settling back in my home county of Warwickshire, where I’ve since renovated several old houses. I'm probably not going to move again anytime soon.
My first (tiny) 'break' came in 2003 when I won a short story competition. On the back of this, a novel I'd written was published by a small independent press. This led to an editor at a bigger publishing house contacting me and commissioning several novels and a number of short stories for their romance imprint. I wrote these under another name but meantime I was working away on a crime/thriller novel (even though I didn't realise that's what it was at the time - I was just writing the kind of book I loved to read).
I'd submitted work to lots of agents over the years and had many near misses, but no takers. So it felt as though I'd struck gold when the crime novel I'd been working on bagged me my first agent. She loved it and two weeks later she'd landed me a two-book deal with Headline. A year later, Blood Ties was published, followed by three more Headline titles, all written under the name Sam Hayes - Unspoken, Tell Tale and Someone Else’s Son.
Then I made the move to Penguin Random House (which was quite nice as I'd written to them, aged twelve, asking how to get a book published!) and wrote four thrillers for them. These are under the name Samantha Hayes. The first three are a series, set in and around Birmingham and featuring my married detectives DIs Lorraine Fisher and Adam Scott. Until You’re Mine is first, followed by Before You Die and then You Belong To Me, though they don't necessarily have to be read in order.
This was followed by In Too Deep, a standalone story about a husband who goes missing and just how far his wife and daughter will go to find him - a gripping thriller that asks 'How well can you really know your family?' Good Housekeeping says "We’re big fans of Samantha Hayes. Her believable psychological thrillers are completely gripping, and In Too Deep is no exception."
And now I'm writing books for the fabulous Bookouture and have written four twisty thrillers for them so far. The Reunion, Tell Me A Secret, The Liar's Wife and my latest, Date Night. They're all available as a paperback, ebook or on audio. Do check out my 'Books' page and click the covers for more details.
Meantime, I'm working away on my next novel... And if you want to join me on my Facebook author page, please do come over and say hi - or follow me on Twitter @samhayes, or I'm on Instagram @samanthahayes.author
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Oli Munson (Book agent)
AM Heath & Co Ltd
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London WC1R 5DJ
Tel: 0207 242 2811
Conrad Williams (Film & TV agent)
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Tel: 0207 387 0842