I live in Devon, by my beloved sea. I have three grown-up children and my daughter and two grandchildren live nearby. I was born in Rugby, to an English mother and Welsh father. As a result I spent many summers with my Welsh grandparents in Anglesey and learnt to love the sea. My restless spirit has meant a number of moves which included Spain for a couple of years. The longest stay was in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. I contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns. My other son lives in London which is great for city breaks 🙂
By profession I’m a psychotherapist but have long had creative ‘itches’, learning to mosaic, paint furniture, interior design and sculpt. At the back of my mind the itch to write was always present but seemed too time-consuming for a single mum with a need to earn a living. Now the nest is empty there’s more time to write and my first novel, Dangerous Waters, was published in 2012. The second novel, Finding Mother, is due to be released in October 2013.
What inspires you to write?
I always had an ‘itch’ in the back of my mind to write a book and friends suggested I did. This was more to do with the fact that my life could not be described as boring! I’ve made a start on my memoirs but they’re on the back-burner for now as I’m enjoying writing fiction so much. The real inspiration to write came a few years ago when I entered a UK competition run by Prima magazine. They wanted a 500 word true-life story and, much to my surprise, I won. This really pushed me on to write my first novel Dangerous Waters, a romantic mystery set on the lovely island of Guernsey. I loved living there so much that I had to write about it and my other books – I’m on my third now -are set there also. I love books that have a sense of place, don’t you? Personally, I always look for novels based abroad, preferably with a hot, sunny climate so that I can indulge my senses.
Another inspiration for writing is the opportunity to make up stories and ‘design’ characters. It’s such fun! I love deciding what happens to everyone and get very upset if, and when, I need to kill off a person I’ve grown fond of. Still, c’est la vie:)
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m primarily an outliner. I need to know the bones of the story and the major players before I start. It helps me to stay focused when writing. I draw up sketches of the main characters – appearance, age, jobs, habits, history – so that I can really picture them in my mind. Normally I write on pads of paper but I’ve just bought scrivener and am getting to grips with that as a tool for outlining the plot and characters. At least it will be a tidier way of doing it! I usually have paper all over the place:)
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Am not sure if I do. I imagine them saying what I want them to say, but am not sure if they ever take charge and say something different! Sometimes things do go off at a tangent so perhaps there has been a takeover 🙂
What advice would you give other writers?
Just keep writing! I’ve learnt that the more you do, the better and easier it gets. If I go for long periods – months – then it’s really hard to start again. Ideas flow around in my head, but they somehow refuse to be turned into decent writing.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
For some years I sent off letters to literary agents here in the UK and became disheartened by the photocopied rejections. Only a couple of them were individual letters of encouragement. Then, the world of self-publishing began to expand and become respectable so I took the leap of faith in 2012 and became an indie writer using the services of a traditional publisher with a self-published imprint (matador). They were expensive but very professional. For my second book, I’ve set up my own publishing company and have done most of the work myself, except for editing, proofreading and cover design. Those definitely need the professional touch!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I’m optimistic that the sea-change we’re now seeing will continue and will benefit indie authors who are dedicated to writing. I think traditional publishing companies could learn a lot from indies who are producing some excellent books generating large sales. Not all indie books are good, of course, and the really poor do give all of us a bad name. But on the whole, I love that writers can now get their work out there so easily and cheaply. Long may it continue 🙂
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Romance/mystery, romance/family drama.
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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