Lancashire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
1:00 AM 15th November 2023

Sally Grey's Fertile Ground


‘Life advice: never unbury a body. Granted, better advice might be don’t murder, but I guess technically I never did that. So I stand by my original statement.’

Sally Grey
Sally Grey
Sally Grey completed her Masters in Creative Writing at Newcastle University, graduating with a distinction. She still lives in Newcastle, where she works as a content writer at a marketing agency. Sally enjoys reading anything with a mysterious or sinister undertone, a love which inspires her own writing. She spends most of her time writing, baking and drinking too many cups of coffee. Fertile Ground is her debut novel.

Sally explained:
“I started this book after moving back home during the coronavirus lockdown. I was initially inspired by the unusual circumstances and was struck by the intense loneliness and difficulties I would have felt if I hadn’t had the support of my family. I started to think about how someone would feel if they were stuck without support during a time of worldwide crisis, or if they in fact had to be the support for others and how it would affect them.”

“I am also endlessly interested in the ability women have to give birth and the ongoing debate around fertility and abortion. It is a kind of insanity to me that other people, particularly men, get to have a say on what a woman chooses to do with her body and whether or not she should go through a pregnancy and birth. Of course, today’s current issues are around banning abortions and removing choice and safe procedures. I thought about what it might be like if the opposing view also came from a position of fear and negativity – leading me to create the fictional organisation in my novel who attempt to restrict a woman’s right to have a baby when she chooses.”

Sally says that the book is focused on how Clementine Finch’s life just became complicated. She is struggling with infertility in a society threatened by overpopulation, and Clem returns to her childhood home to mourn the sudden death of her parents. Freedom from the extremist movement against pregnancy – #stopoverpopulation – is a welcome bonus.

Reconnecting with figures from her past and chatting to the crows in her garden, Clem spends the winter months tending to her mother’s strangely thriving vegetable patch.

But when her troubled brother Billy arrives, paranoid about the wellness brand he works for, Clem feels her quiet life slipping away. Then she discovers her mother’s hidden laboratory and her life is forever changed…

Presenting a frighteningly believable version of our future, Fertile Ground examines one woman’s attempts to come to terms with the legacy her mother has left her. A legacy which has the potential to affect the future of every life she cares about – and those she doesn’t.

Fertile Ground will be released on 28 January 2024