“I didn’t plan to become an author,” admits local writer


Stephen Clegg’s path to becoming a published writer was an unconventional one, filled with intrigue, family secrets and a 250-year old mystery.

The former businessman says that while it was never his plan to become an author, he has always loved storytelling. When he discovered some papers belonging to his great, great aunt Maria, he unearthed her twenty-year legal battle to reclaim an estate that belonged to the family. This long and winding road inspired him to write his debut novel Maria’s Papers, which was published in 2012.

From that moment, he’d caught the writing bug. Fast forward six years and he’s now working on book number seven – with no sign of slowing down!

Originally from Stockport, Stephen settled in Bournemouth in 1971, where he met his wife Jay.  The pair have two children and four grandchildren.

‘We absolutely love it here,’ he says. ‘It’s a lovely part of the world.’

When asked about his writing methods, Stephen told me:

‘I absolutely do not plan the books from start to finish. The one that’s at the publisher at the moment…I didn’t know until about 6 pages from the end how I was going to end the story!’

His books span across many decades, which Stephen says threw up a few challenges in terms of research, from mundane everyday life – for example, whether lamps were gas-powered or electrical – to the more in-depth details, such as the inner workings of the rail networks and local police departments.

Talking to Stephen and seeing his enthusiasm, not to mention the astonishing rate at which he’s publishing his novels, it’s clear to see that he’s a natural-born storyteller.

‘I keep saying to my family that I’m going to stop writing, but I don’t think I can turn the process off!’ he laughs.

You can get in touch with Stephen via his website.

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