Rosie Archer was born in Gosport, Hampshire, where she still lives. She has had a variety of jobs including waitress, fruit picker, barmaid, shop assistant and market trader selling second-hand books.
1. Who were your literary influences as you were growing up?
Firstly, Nell Dunn, because her writings mirrored my own life. Poor Cow is my very favourite. Ernest Hemingway for his superb dialogue. Catherine Cookson for her storytelling abilities.
2. Suffolk readers will know you as June Hampson, who writes about gangsters, but you have also carved out a successful niche as Rosie Archer. What made you decide to change genres?
I was given my first contract by Orion and under my own name wrote about gangsters. Writing sagas for Quercus required a more gentle approach. I didn’t want my readers to feel cheated about the storylines and levels of violence so Rosie Archer came into being. Happily, readers seem to love both June Hampson and Rosie Archer.
3. What is your writing routine? Do you have to do a lot of research?
My writing routine is telling myself, ‘it won’t write itself.’ Writing two books a year for Quercus is a great pleasure but I also love to live life. Otherwise there wouldn’t be anything to write about! I do a great deal of research and I always re-check. Research often brings up fresh storylines.
4. What is your advice to aspiring writers?
My advice to aspiring writers is to write! Don’t correct as you go along but get that novel, short story etc, out of your system then go back and cut out all the dead wood. Never, ever give up!
5. Can you share anything with us about your latest project?
The POW’s Girl is my next novel. Set in Gosport, of course. I discovered German prisoners helped build a local estate while our men were overseas fighting and wondered what would happen if a girl fell in love…
6. Do you have a message for your many readers in Suffolk Libraries?
If I have a message for readers in Suffolk Libraries, it is that I would like to thank you for reading my books, I couldn’t do it without you, you are all brilliant.
7. Can you tell us one thing that your readers might not know about you?
One thing readers might not know about me? That’s a hard one. I’m very ordinary, whatever that means. A mother, grandmother, I love cats, I read a lot. I think reading a book is like having a film playing in my head.
I also belong, and have done for over thirty years, to a Gosport singing charity group. We entertain in homes for the elderly, hospitals etc. and we’re like a big family really.