About the Author
I have spent most of my career as a magazine journalist, but I think that this job simply evolved from my love of writing. Although I have to say that the last thing someone who writes for a living wants to do is to come home after a day in the office and then spend several hours focused on their latest work of fiction! I have been very lucky in that I have had the time to pursue my own original fiction. And I know what I like; I like to write books that I would like to read. I know that sounds like a simple statement, but it is true. I was looking for a hard hitting bio thriller and I couldn’t find one so I wrote one. I am also very interested in political thrillers and thought that it was time we had a British antihero so I wrote a book with one.
So far I have written three books; ‘Virus’ and ‘Bullets & Bull’ and my latest ‘The Love Spell.’ My inspiration for these novels comes from many different places and I am not sure that I want to be one of those authors that is known for just one kind of genre. I do like writing thrillers and I like merging the fantastic with the contemporary, adding realism whilst not fooling the reader.
Anyway, I live in London, the best city in the world, and I like to use it as the backdrop to my novels whenever possible. The city has such a diverse cosmopolitan feel to it that it is really believable to base anything within its environs. All I hope really is that when the reader has finished my book that they have enjoyed themselves and been transported to another place and another environment where, just for a while at least, reality has been suspended.
The name of my latest book is ‘The Love Spell’ Part One. It is called Part One because I have already started Part Two! Inspiration is a very abstract connection between witnessing, hearing, reading or feeling something that then leads to an idea that then links to another and another until suddenly you have a story. For this book the female characters came first. I know a lot of strong confident women and I wanted to use them in a story.
Where the idea of witchcraft came from I am not sure but I knew that although I had already created a comfortable suburban environment for them there was more to their characters. I think that the idea of a coven had been in my mind for a while and I knew that I would have to approach the subject matter in a whimsical and idealised fashion and this is the first book that I have written where the need for humour and comic interplay between the characters was important. Also important was the research. I might not know anything about witchcraft but there are plenty of people out there that do so I knew that I had to get the basics right and it was great fun learning about something that I had no knowledge of before.
What inspires you to write romance books?
As I have already mentioned I write on all kinds of subjects and in all genres. I just write the kind of books that I would like to read. It just so happens that ‘The Love Spell’ falls into the wider romance category. It is also a comedy drama with a twist due to the inclusion of witches as the main characters.
I think that like most writers the inspiration for any story comes from a myriad of sources. It is what you do with the idea that comes out of that inspiring moment that is critical. As I have also said, for me it was the characters that came first, not the romance or the comedy and drama and certainly not the coven. However, once that idea appeared it had so many opportunities that I had to run with it.
Tell us about how you write:
I am not the fastest writer in the world. The Love Spell probably took almost a year to write and Virus was a stop-start project over a very long period of time. When I am writing a book, however, then I can pretty much do it anywhere. Sky Drive allows you to upload text and add/alter it from any computer which is great but most of the time I use my laptop. I always have the story line written from beginning to end so that I can keep a hold on where the story is going. I find otherwise that it is easy to write yourself into a creative corner that could take a lot of rewriting to back out of. As I am writing the story I also put in chunks of dialogue that come to me on the way. When I have finished the storyline then I print it out and have it with me for reference. Of course it might change, but not fundamentally. It is the foundation for the novel. Oh, and one last thing, always have your book proof read by somebody else. The worst proof reader is you. Let someone that you trust cast a detached and critical eye over the manuscript. It will pay dividends when you publish.
Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
There is a mental stream of dialogue when I write and I can hear my characters when they talk but no, I don’t have conversations with them.
More often than not I will over hear something and think that would be exactly what one of my characters would say and I use it. Also, since most characters are based on a montage of people that the author knows – a bit from that person, a bit from another – I know what they sound like and I know what they would or would not say.
I will let you into a secret though, you are more likely to find me talking to myself!
What advice would you give other writers?
Be original, be brave and write with passion. Remember that everyone has at least one story in them. Also, the old adage that you should write what you know about is a misnomer in my opinion. I have never written what I know about; the research is one of the best bits about writing. Be aware also that writing a novel takes time, so be sure that you can set aside the solitude that you will need – to many interruptions are not conducive to productive prose. As I have written above, plan your story properly before beginning, make sure that you have your conflict element in place and that the story flows from beginning to end. This probably sounds like common sense but it will all help your book to be more readable. Also, don’t forget to get it proof read.
The best advice really is to just get on and do it. When I published my first book – Virus – I had an article written about me in the company magazine. It was surprising how many colleagues came to me and told me that they were aspiring writers. Would I read their work? They asked. Of course I would when it was finished. I have not read a word of any of their manuscripts because they have never finished them. I guess what I am saying is that it takes focus and dedication to produce 70,000 words or more. So be ready for the journey.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Word of mouth is a good way to promote your book. The first people who know that I have a new book out are my Facebook followers, most of whom are my friends anyway. I always post the cover first to generate interest and then a bit of blurb about the book. It through Facebook that a friend of mine put Virus forward to be her book club choice one month, so that generated sales. I think it is difficult to promote a work that is only available as an eBook and I do hope to be able to produce paper copies of my books at some time. I am about to try and do some proper promotion for The Love Story using the local press and radio. I don’t think that there is any magical route to take with promotion that will guarantee sales, at least not for free. Advertising on Facebook does not cost much so that might be worth considering and if your book is about a certain trade or industry then target websites and organisations that cater to that sector. I am going to contact all the websites that I looked at for The Love Spell and drop them a line. You never know…
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think that this is most liberating age ever for writers. It used to be that you had to get an agent and then get a mainstream publishing house to print your book. These days there are so many other avenues to explore. I have to declare that I am great fan of Amazon Kindle, basically because the process is so easy and I would really recommend it.
Of course there are other sites as well doing the same thing and this in turn has given rise to promotional sites like this one. I don’t think that the online and paper publishers should be fighting against each other; they should be working in parallel with each other.
It has never been easier to get your book published so remember that the next time you think “what if.”
What genres do you write?
drama, romance, comedy, thriller, contemporary fiction, suspense
What formats are your books in?
Link To Author Page On Amazon
Your Social Media Links