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Interview with Sally Green

We spoke Sally Green, author of the best-selling Half Bad trilogy about various aspects of the writing process. How does a writer develop their characters and why is world building a hard skill to get right? 

Sally on what inspires her to write...

It always starts with character for me. As soon as I wrote Half Bad and got into Nathan's head, I knew pretty much that it was working straight away. 

Developing characters

I knew that Nathan was going to be a typical bad boy anti-hero and I knew I was going to enjoy writing him.  I wrote it chronologically, so I built up the character, adding more and more difficulties for his situation as he grew older. Again, I learnt about him as he grew older and it seemed to work well.

Sally on the process of world building

I made the traditional schoolboy error that most people who write fantasy fall into. The trap of making things too complicated to start with. How it works in Half Bad is that witches develop one particular magical gift and this is given to them on their 17th birthday, but in my original plan they got three gifts and they were all quite strong. I quickly ran out of ideas for gifts! 

Sally's advice to debut authors

Write the story that you want to write. If you love writing, yes it might get rejected, but keep writing and come up with the next story. I really do think you have to keep going and have a little bit of self-belief. 

Watch the full interview with Sally below. 


Sally Green lives in north-west England. In 2010 she started writing and hasn't stopped since. Half Bad is her ground-breaking first novel. It won the prestigious title of 'Best Book for Teens' in the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and broke the world record for most foreign language rights sold ahead of publication! Half Lost is her last novel in the Half Bad trilogy. 

Sally Green spoke at our Character Development masterclass in association with Book Aid International. Take a look at the rest of our upcoming events here