● What is the first book that made you cry?
Annie On My Mind by Nancy Garden. And I don’t normally cry when reading. The next book was The Art of Racing In The Rain. I was sitting on a beach blubbering like an idiot. That was a sight.
● Does writing energise or exhaust you?
Depends on what I’m writing. But usually energise.
● Have you ever got reader’s block?
Yes. Sometimes if I stay in one genre too long I don’t want to read it for a while.
● What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I belong to a writing group run by Marie Small Whitesall, author of Stony Kill. A writer’s group is a great place to read your work, and get solid, constructive feedback.
● Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
Interestingly, I love to read a good series of books. But when I write, I like to write stand alones, but fans have requested a sequel to Frankie & Petra, and it was so fun writing them, that I am giving it a whirl.
● If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Just keep writing no matter what.
● What was an early experience where you learnt that language had power?
I was raised in a household where words and language were regarded as things to be wielded with extreme caution. I was taught to carefully think about what I put on paper, as words can cut deeper than any knife. Wounds can heal, but you can remember what a person said forever.
● What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?
Gratitude for their wonderful stories, and presence in my life. But at the end of the day, if I tell the story, I make it my own.
● How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Two that I’m working on concurrently.
● What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I research before, during and after in the editing period. Research can include anything from reading to consulting with experts. I’m fortunate enough to have a doctor in the family, so that helps with a lot of the medical questions I have.
● How many hours a day do you write?
Depends on my muse, and my other projects.
● What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Endings. Sometimes I get so attached to the characters that I don’t want the story to end.
● Where did your love of books, storytelling, reading, writing, etc. come from?
My mother, who read to me as a child, began my love. My father who loved the theatre and movies, and took me to them as often as he could, helped too. Also, my need to escape in my teens led to loosing myself in a book, when I couldn’t cope with not being like everyone else, a book was a good place to hide.
● What projects are you working on at the present?
Working on a sequel to Frankie & Petra, and a new book, working title – The Cure.
● What do your plans for future projects include?
Thinking that The Cure may turn into a series. Other than that, I take one thing at a time.
● Are you a morning person or a night person?
Night owl. But I did have a 9-5 job for 30 years, and I had to get up early. Unfortunately, I really am a nocturnal creature, so it meant spending thirty years with very little sleep.
● Do you believe in love at first sight?
● If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?
You Can’t Make This Shit Up.
● Tea or coffee?
● What is your favourite quote?
“And this too shall pass.”
● What do you want your tombstone to say?
She’s not here.
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