What inspired you to write?
I was one of these sickly kids and I spent a lot of time reading. I mean a ton. Books were like friends. I couldn't wait to get one, read it, get to the next one, for the world they opened up. It made me want to do that, to write, to be part of that world.
Did the inspiration to write come to you suddenly, or had you been thinking about it some time?
I have written for many years, in all different kinds of writing too. But primarily I wanted to write fiction. The rouble was I loved writing sprawling historical epics and kept coming up against this thing about two leads only. Eventually I tried romance because doors were open there in the publishing world. I'd never really read the genre and I found it hard to keep to the two leads. But there, I learned, although I am not sure that what I write is romance in the traditional sense of the genre!
How did you tell your story? Did you use an outline, or just write your story from start to finish?
I am a complete pantser. I get an idea, like maybe of the start, and I go from there without the least clue where things are going next, ever, even at 70/80 thou words in. It's scary, especially when characters start throwing curve balls. I think, 'Why did you do that? Say that?' I think my worst moment for that was when I was two chapters in on The Viking and The Courtesan, which was never meant to have a Viking in it at all, it was a Regency romance. The little voice said, 'You know that idea you have for a Viking book but you have never got anything re the heroine?' That happens all the time. I think it's okay being on the tightrope so long as you never look down.
Did you receive any encouragement from family and friends, or did you work on your book alone?
I think it depends on what is meant by encouragement. I mean, cups of coffee etc and being at your back is encouragement. But when it comes to the actual writing, or discussing a work in progress, I just get on with that really. I had a lovely friend who always wanted to hear about a story and how it was all going, which was great and very encouraging, but she moved away. (No, I didn't drive her. Honest.) Other writers, I've met online, are great at providing support because they understand the whole business. I feel I have made a lot of good friends that way despite not meeting them face to face.
What was the most difficult part of writing your book?
I think with my recent book, The Writer and The Rake, the problem was I never meant to writ it, so I thought it out even less than usual. But I had been asked for it. The problem for me was the time travelling scenario hinges round emotional involvement and my leads always fight that every inch of the way. So it was quite difficult to get that little patch of ground they and I could occupy comfortably.
Did you experience any personal transformation after the book was published?
I think there's a sharp learning curve in just how much work is involved afterwards, in terms of creating and maintaining an online presence. Probably more. Also, there's learning to be these two selves. The writer one, beavering away, creating, interacting, promoting yourself etc. sometimes quite high octane, sometimes quite euphoric if something really good has happened. And being the other one where to paraphrase Rhett Butler, frankly, no-one gives a damn.
Have you received any awards for your book(s)?
I've been nominated but never been so lucky.
Are you working on a new book at the moment?
I am always working on something. Right now it's O'Roarke's Destiny, another historical. But I have other thoughts too, quite a few irons in the creative fire.
What’s something that gets in the way of your creativity?
Lol, my family who I would never be without!
What strategies do you use to deal with criticism?
You have to realize that nothing and no-one appeals to everyone. Do you like every single book you read? Does the voice, the style appeal? Why should everyone automatically five star a book just because you wrote it? I do see some authors getting in meltdowns about that and begging others to get on there and click no on the was this review helpful to you button. This is a brutal business, if you can't take the heat, or the gut punching review, don't come in the kitchen. Yes there's troll reviews too, the same as there's obviously avalanches of fake five star ones, all posted on the same day and basically rehashing the blurb. There's all kinds of things go on in this business. Just steer your course, give yourself a wee treat if it is really bothering you, and aim to keep building and pleasing your readership. Reader at a time. Book at a time.
Do you have a favorite quote?
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.
Gone With The Wind.
If only I could choose but I love so many.
Is there a talent you wish you had?
I always a wanted to be able to sing nicely. I play all these musical instruments. But singing? Let's just say, ear plugs anyone?
What inspired you to write?