I was born and grew up on a farm in Devon. I’ve always loved writing and can remember when I was about six, sitting in an apple tree in the orchard with pen and paper, scribbling away. I wrote my first book when I was fifteen, although that’s now tucked away in a cupboard and it’s fair to say will never be published! I continued writing and have recently e-published my novel, ‘Dependence’ and am planning to publish it as a “physical” book with Matador. I’m also preparing to e-publish a non-fiction book concerning the grief and recovery following the loss of a pet, and, generally, how we deal with the bereavement of a pet. I’m also working on my next novel, ‘Cartwheels Under The Moon’.
I lived in Cornwall and London before eventually settling in Kent where I now live with my husband, Steve, and our two cats. After working as an auxiliary nurse in hospice and palliative care for many years, I’m now devoting more time to my true passion, my writing.
What inspires you to write?
Experiences. Memories. A blank sheet of paper. Crowds of thoughts pleading to be transformed into words. Wanting to know more about the characters I’ve created, the plot I’ve invented, the story I’ve begun – if I don’t write I’ll never find out….
And an indefinable something that keeps on nagging and won’t be quiet until I sit down and start writing.
Tell us about your writing process.
Personally, even though I may only have a vague idea of a plot, the first thing I need to do is to get to know my characters. I choose names before anything else – this sounds a simple business, but never is. A name has so many connotations, and different names conjure up different images and associations. I think finding the right name is crucial. I usually create a character sketch before I start writing, and the more major a role a character has in the book, the more details I’ll write about him or her. I’ll decide on their physical characteristics, and their personalities. Are they passive or assertive? Happy or unhappy? Aggressive or gentle? Introverted or more outgoing? I usually invent a birthdate for them and am aware of their astrological sign – yes, I know, that’s just me. But I think it’s true that the more real they become to me, the more believable they will be to a reader.
It must be said that there are times when a character develops himself or herself as I write and, despite my initial picture of them, they evolve into someone far more intricate, complicated and interesting than I had ever imagined.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My instinctive response to this question was, “Yes, of course I do” but after thinking about it I realized that I don’t. I visualize my characters, and empathize with them, feel for them, am sometimes annoyed or irritated by them, and they are always as real as real can be to me, but I don’t actually talk or listen to them.
At least, not in the ordinary sense. Perhaps what I put down to gut-feeling about how a plot or a character should develop is simply one or other of the characters communicating to me via my intuition!
What advice would you give other writers?
Don’t ever think that if your urge to write or your inspiration dries up for any length of time, it means you’ll never write again. It doesn’t, and you will.
Always remember – Less is More.
If you’re revising something for the twentieth time – stop! Your mind will always tell you, “It could be better” but there comes a time when you have to tell you mind to Be Quiet.
Communicate with other writers
Write about what you know. If you don’t know, find out thoroughly.
Don’t think that using long and fanciful adjectives will make you appear more sophisticated/learned/skillful
If you’re going to compare, use comparisons positively
Believe you can write
How did you decide how to publish your books?
It was my husband who decided. He suggested it might be a good idea to get some of my work published in some way, rather than leave it all to languish on the shelf in the cupboard.
If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be typing this – I thank him with all my heart.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Times have changed. The earlier process of needing to find a literary agent or a publisher to get your book into the world is no longer necessary. E-books and self-publishing have opened up a whole new vista of opportunity for writers.
I celebrate the fact that we writers now have options – self-publishing is no longer regarded as an ego-twitching exercise only available to those with purses filled with gold. Now it’s a realistic alternative to conventional publishing. We have choice, and choice is liberating!
Kindles, e-books, etc have become commonplace and will continue to do so. But I do believe there will always be a place for the ‘proper’ book with a hard or a soft cover, and pages that you can turn easily while lying curled up in bed or on a sofa. And what about that wonderful smell of a fresh, new book? Irreplaceable!
What do you use?
What genres do you write?
Fiction. Romance. Contemporary. Historical. Non-fiction. Poetry.
What formats are your books in?
Link To Author Page On Amazon
Your Social Media Links