Tell me about yourself?
Thanks, Martin for the invite. One thing you need to know about me is that I’m passionate about stories. To be honest, I’m obsessed with writing. I love the process of creating characters putting them into difficult situations and figuring out how to extract them from those terrible situations. I think about my characters, how they look, how they sound, how they act.
And sometimes, ideas pop into my head at the oddest of times. I was walking down the street when I noticed a sign for an agency of some kind (I never found out what kind) with the name Adept Solutions. From seeing that sign, the idea for a private detective agency run by a team of quirky supernatural characters popped into my head. The result: an urban fantasy trilogy, Adept Solutions Series of Special Investigations for the Magickally Challenged.
Another time, I was sitting on a bus and the idea for a main character popped into my head. As it happened, the opening scene in the book takes place on a bus, but the character who came into my mind, Vanse, the vamp, did not become the protagonist, but still played an important part in the urban fantasy Kala Trilogy.
I write most days, at least a little something, to keep the wheels turning. When I wake in the morning, I do a little yoga, a little meditation, drink my coffee, and sit down to write. The last thing I think about as I go to bed at night is what’s coming next in the story. The amount I write per day varies, but somewhere between a thousand and, 1300 makes me feel I’m making progress and gives me time to have a life outside writing.
I have a queue of stories lined up in my head, some of which have made it onto the page and are now stashed away either in a file or a box, and they may never see the light of day again. There are others which I think about, and may even have started, before the current work-in-progress pushed them out of the way. Most of my novels fall under the sci-fi/fantasy umbrella, but I detour into different genres from time to time. So far, I have ventured into romcom and women’s fiction territory, and also published a collection of short stories, Untender Lives. There you have it, that’s me. If you want to know more about me you can read my autobiography on my website, and find out about my ebooks, audiobooks and my three free first-in-series books. >
Tell me about your current Book:
When Angelus, kidnaps Tatya, her allies, Vanse and Forked Lightning must find and free her, so she can lead the battle to destroy the demon.
Tatya has sent the demon who pursued her back to Hell. Now she’s about to open a healing center and use her gifts to help those in need. The only one she can’t help is the man she is in love with, the vampire master, Vanse, who lies in a coma.
When an ambitious vampire arrives in town with designs on Vanse’s family, Tatya’s plans are turned upside down. Her best friend, the local shaman, Forked Lightning, puts his life on the line to help, but chaos and tragedy follow when Tatya is kidnapped.
Far from home, imprisoned, and alone, Tatya must escape and find her way back to those she loves.>
What are you working on now?
Currently, I am working on a psychological thriller (I call it a tragedy), most of which I wrote while completing the ‘Finish Your Novel’ online course run by the publishing house of Faber and Faber at their Faber Academy. This is a new genre for me and the course has been brilliant as I wasn’t sure I had the courage to put this story down on the page. The course has been an investment in my writing, and the story I have now isn’t the one I started with. It has changed and grown over the course and definitely benefitted.
Tell us something that people don't generally know about you:
As an intensely private, somewhat introverted person this isn’t an easy question, but here’s one fact (well, three) that most people don’t know about me. The curriculum we studied at school was a little different from today, with some subjects divided into divisions according to ability. The result: I was in the first division for Latin, the second division for French, and the third division for math. I think that says it all, don’t you?
What is a favorite lesson you have learned about the business of writing?
Don’t ever give up. Persevere. You may one of those rare souls who produces a brilliant book with their first effort, but don’t bank on it. Writing, like most things, improves with practice. It’s a muscle, so strengthen it, develop a daily habit of putting something down each day, and before you know it, you will have your story.>
What is the best piece of writing advice you give to new authors?
Once you’ve written, edited, taken some time out, and rewritten your story, get feedback. Constructive criticism from trusted, thoughtful readers/reviewers is invaluable as you can learn what your strengths are as well as where the book could be improved. >
Thanks, again, Martin. This has been great fun!