Tell us a little about yourself. How did you first get into writing?
Well, I live in England, I’m a mum of three, and I love sleep. Shame I don’t get enough of it. I started writing when I was eleven on a typewriter my dad bought me for my birthday. I wrote tons of short stories, usually, horror and paranormal ones. But as the years went by the writing went on the backburner. I continued to read voraciously though and started writing again when my middle child was born.
If you didn’t write, ideally would you do for work?
Ooo, I’d love to be a librarian!
Does your family support your career as a writer?
I think they all viewed it as a hobby for a long time. But last year I actually began to make an income. Now I get a lot more support in terms of time for writing.
Is being a writer a gift or a curse?
Definitely a gift if you can pursue it, but if for some reason you can’t, that little voice in your head spinning stories can be a curse, because being a writer isn’t something you can just switch off.
What was an early experience where you learned that words had power?
I don’t have a specific experience, but growing up I learned that the right words could shut a bully up good and proper, that arguments could be won with logic and calm crisp sentences. I’m pretty sure my husband hates getting into a debate with me.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want, write to market so to speak? What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
A balance of the two works for me. I try to give the reader what they want and add something original into the mix at the same time. But there are projects that I’ve written just for me, knowing they may not fit a market, but needing to cleanse my palate anyway.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Oh gosh, it depends on what I’m working on, but I have a great library of reference books on all kinds of stuff: witchcraft, magical creatures, ancient symbols, norse mythology, dragon lore and so much more. But when in doubt there’s always google.
Tell me about your new release or WIP.
Ooo, okay. City of Demons is an Urban Fantasy Reverse Harem set in the same world as my Chronicles of Midnight series. But it can be read independently. The MC spoke to me way before the series formed in my mind, and she was a snarky broody mix of Buffy and Angel. She loves tea, the colour pink (but only in secret) and talks to her Mini and her enchanted leather dustkicker. Although dark in places the story has some really funny moments. There are dragons and demons and arcane magic wielders and a whole host of other supernatural creatures, but for me the best part are the cast of characters and they way they gel together.
So um, yeah. You’ll just have to read it 😉
What was your hardest scene to write?
I think some of the hardest scenes in the series so far have been between my MC and one of her love interests. There are issues there that I’ve really had to think deeply about before writing. They are pretty emotionally scenes, but I think I’ve managed to do them justice.
Do your characters talk to you?
They do not shut up! I have a rule that if the characters don’t talk to me then I don’t write the series. I always start with the character and build the world around them. I know some authors do it the other way around, but it doesn’t work for me. If the character isn’t chattering away in my head then I know this project won’t work.
Do you plot out your stories or do your character’s voices drive your storyline?
I have a basic outline, but I like to keep it flexible to allow the characters to slip into the driver’s seat from time to time. I find a balance works. I give them a frame to work in and they take me on a journey.
What character in your book is least likely to get along with you?
What? All my characters would love me! Okay, honestly, probably Azren because I’d annoy the heck out of him trying to get him to break from the frosty exterior.
What would the main character in your book have to say about you?
She’d probably ask me to stop putting me in life or death situations, and urge me to get her some nookie stat. (That means sex for those who aren’t familiar with the slang word)
Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
All the time. All my series are linked in some way and readers who are familiar with my other books will probably find little clues that link the worlds. There is a lot of foreshadowing for worlds and series to come as well. I’m all about the multi-verse, and this is a huge theme in my books.
What one thing would you give up if you could become a better writer?
Sugary snacks. They are my weakness, but I would give them up in a heartbeat to improve my craft.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Energize for sure.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Lack of sleep.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Argh! I am always on pins and needles when it comes to reviews. I religiously read my arc reviews as these are my target readers, and I use their feedback to improve my craft. After that I try not to read the reviews. I do always check the bad ones though, to make sure there isn’t something horrific I’ve done, but so far I haven’t gleaned any constructive criticism from those.
Do you Google yourself?
Hee hee, show me an author who hasn’t at some point?
What’s the best way to market your books?
I use AMS adverts and FB adverts for direct marketing on retailer sites. But other than that I like to connect with readers and allow them to get to know me.
How many hours a day to you spend writing verses marketing your books?
I’m a stay at home mum and home educator, and so I grab time where I can. There isn’t a set routine for my writing. I aim for a minimum of 10k words a week but most weeks I can hit 15k without much effort. I usually spend half hour to an hour a day housekeeping on the admin side of things.
What do your fans mean to you?
EVERYTHING! I love my readers sooo much! My reader group is my go to place to chill and unwind. I adore chatting to them.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Not doing enough prep and research before beginning their journey. It’s exciting to get stuck in to writing a story that’s knocking around in your head, but sometimes the story we want to write isn’t the story that will sell. Sad but true. If you want to make a living from writing then you need to put in the hours doing your prep work and learning the ropes.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they inspire you to become a better writer?
So many awesome authors…Hmmm. Jasmine Walt was my mentor last year when we coauthored the Gatekeeper Chronicles, and she taught me so much about the publishing process. I didn’t really outline before I worked with her, but an outline was essential to our project. I had to learn fast, and now I can’t work without a basic outline and a world building document. Ines Johnson, Melle Amade and Jeffery H Haskell are my author besties. I talk to them almost every day, and they inspire me constantly with their dedication, their determination and their amazing writing. I’m actually taking a course that Ines is running right now on how to write a book serial. Jeff is my go to guy when I need to discuss weapons and fighting technique. Melle kicks my arse when I’m in a funk, and Ines allows me to procrastinate until I finally hit upon the solution to my problem. She is a great listener. So yeah, I couldn’t do without my author peeps.
Read any good books lately?
OMG! I bombed through the Veil Diaries and the Seraph Black series and am now chowing through the Kit Davenport series. I’m on a RH kick at the moment and I’m loving it.
Do you ever sleep?
What is your ideal harem? Slow burn or give it to me now baby?
I love writing slow burn but I’ll read slow, medium or take-me-right-now. It really depends on my mood.
Care to share the love and give a shout out to another Queen of RH?
Honestly there are so many authors in RH that I’d love to give a shout out to but here are a few who I adore.
Shout out to Laura Greenword, Skye Mckinnon, Pippa da Costa, Alex Liddell and Eva Chase. I admire them so much. Also B L Brunnemer and Jane Washington because I love their series’ so bloody much.
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