Friday 2 September 2016

My Life In Books ~ talking to author Sam Carrington @sam_carrington1

My Life in Books is an occasional feature on Random Things Through My Letterbox
I've asked authors to share with us a list of the books that are important to them and have made a lasting impression on their life.

I'm really pleased to welcome debut author Sam Carrington to Random Things today.

Sam Carrington lives in Devon with her husband and three children. She worked for the NHS for fifteen years, during which time she qualified as a nurse. Following the completion of a psychology degree she went to work for the prison service as an Offending Behaviour Programme Facilitator. Her experiences within this field inspired her writing. She left the service to spend time with her family and to follow her dream of being a novelist.
Saving Sophie is her debut psychological thriller novel.

I read and reviewed Saving Sophie as part of the Blog Tour for Avon Books last month. I really enjoyed it very much, here's a snippet from my review:

"Absolutely razor-sharp writing with characters who are complex and a plot that grips from the outset and shocks at the end.  A fine debut from an author to watch."

My Life in Books ~ Sam Carrington

Books are such an important part of my life; always have been. My earliest memories are of me and my dad spending an hour most afternoons searching the library and coming out with as many as I was allowed. The librarian used to let me stamp my own books, too, which was always so exciting!
So, 40 years of books makes this an almost impossible task, Anne! But, here goes:

Enid Blyton’s books were a huge part of my childhood, and I read many. But I’ll pick the The Valleyof Adventure from the ‘Adventure’ series. I devoured this book, staying in my room for hours at a time because I wanted to finish it – but was then disappointed when I did. Who wouldn’t love Kiki the parrot? The plot is almost ‘Home Alone 2: Lost in New York’ – getting on a wrong plane and ending up somewhere else! The whole series was great – I guess my love of mysteries began here.

Children of the Dust– Louise Lawrence. I read this novel – a post-apocalyptic tale following the fallout of a nuclear war - in about 1985, and it really intrigued me. Well, perhaps it freaked me out, not sure – but it has always stayed with me. I found it fascinating, yet scary, and it was unlike any novel I’d read before. It interested me so much that I then read Z for Zachariah, a similar post-apocalyptic story.

The Tommyknockers– Stephen King. This was the first really ‘fat’ book I read! I loved that this had a horror element, but it was the science fiction that hooked me. Aliens. Another fascination of mine growing up. Ok, I’m STILL a lover of all things extra-terrestrial.

The Rats – JamesHerbert. I think this was the first ‘scary’ book I read. This (and King’s books) got me into the horror genre which I held onto for most of my teens. In fact, I struggled for a while to read outside of this genre!

The Sculptress -Minette Walters. I read this book when I was pregnant with my second child – I would snatch moments when my toddler was quiet to read this brilliant book. I loved the characterisation and just really got emotionally involved with the story. When I think of this book it takes me right back to the time I read it. I managed to hunt down a first edition of this book recently, too, which I was thrilled about.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom. I’m not a religious person, and this wouldn’t have been a book I would usually choose. But my book club did, and so I felt compelled to give it a go. I’m so pleased I did. It’s only a short book, I read it in one afternoon, but somehow it really got under my skin and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This book stayed with me. I read all of Mitch Albom’s books afterwards.

The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd. Another book club book and one of my favourite reads of all time. It came as a shock to me as it’s a book I would never have picked up of my own accord - I don’t usually go for historical books at all. I read every single word of this novel. That’s pretty unheard of for me – I often skip chunks of paragraphs. But I enjoyed this is its entirety, and it will stay with me.

The Silver LiningsPlaybook – Matthew Quick. I read this when I was at a particularly low ebb, so this novel felt kind of personal – a book read at just the right moment in your life. I was staying in a house by the sea and taking some much needed time to myself. Being by the sea is always my place to go to reflect. I loved how the relationships in this story were developed -  I invested my emotions into Pat Peoples’ story and it was brilliantly told.

Sam Carrington ~ September 2016

Readers can find out more at
Follow her on Twitter @sam_carrington1



  1. What fabulous choices. I read The Rats too in a short lived horror phase. Haven't read any Minette Walters for a while but really enjoyed her books.

  2. Thanks Joanne! I'm wanting to revive my 'horror phase' - it's been such a long time! Thanks for commenting :)