1) What kind of music do you like?
Everything. I was always a bit alternative, even when I was a student (think The Smiths and The Cure) but I also love classical music. The only thing I really can’t abide is syrupy Christmas music so this is a bad season for me, musically speaking…but I get round that by putting on my current favourite (Robbie Williams’ take on swing). The good thing is that I’ll always find some music that’s a soundtrack for any story I happen to be writing!
2) Describe your dream home…
That’s a difficult one. It would have to be something old, with a feel of history through every stone. It would be quirky, with lots of window seats and lots of views to look out at and pretend I was thinking instead of procrastinating. I’d like to be able to see hills and water and fields. And some interesting buildings. And I don’t want to be too far away from a vibrant village or small town with lots of different coffee shops. If you find somewhere that fits the bill, could you let me know?
3) Favorite literary hero & heroine?
I really a feisty heroine and I know they’re ten a penny in fiction. But my very, very favourite couple are actually Shakespearean — Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing. They fight all the time, it’s genuinely funny… and yet we know they’re made for each other even though they don’t.
4) What are you reading now?
At the moment I’m reading and rereading the draft of my current novel trying to work out what’s wrong with it. I know should put it aside and read something else, and I have a long list of books I want to read. They include books by my fellow Tirgearr authors Romy Gemmel and Troy Lambert and a couple of novels about Italy which I never got round to reading when I was on holiday there in August. (Just the thing for Christmas, I hear you say…)
5) What did you do on your last birthday?
Last birthday came at a horrendously busy time in my life when all sorts of things were happening. So I took the day off. I went out for breakfast. I went out for lunch. I went out for dinner. And in between meals I did absolutely nothing, or nothing of note. That may in fact have been the last time I sat down to have a good long read.
6) What comes first, plot or characters?
Location comes first most of the times. Then the characters. Plot comes last. In my recently-published book, No Time Like Now, the characters first came into my head on a holiday to Majorca. I never forgot them but I didn’t know what to do with them. It was on another holiday to the same place more than twenty years later that they finally met. The plot made itself up after that.
7) Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
No, but I’m a terrible procrastinator. If I can find an excuse I will, but if you sit me down and make me write I’m never short of words, even if they aren’t very good. I used to think I suffer from the dreaded block but I realised that it was just in my mind the first time I did NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, when the challenge is to write 50,000 words in November). When I have to write a certain number of words I always do… and behold, last year’s rubbish draft is this year’s published novel!
8) Do you ever want to be someone else? Who?
I’m pretty happy being myself, to be honest. I live in a lovely place and get to do the job I love. Of course there are little things I’d tweak — it would be nice to be able to find and afford that dream home, for example! - but generally speaking, it’s okay being me.
9) Tell us about your latest book?
It’s called No Time Like Now and I mentioned it above. Geologist Tim Stone turns up at a field centre in Majorca where he’s horrified to find his old flame, Megan McLeod, who fled there after the very messy breakup of their relationship. They’re not speaking, he’s brought his new girlfriend with him and then Tim stumbles on something he really shouldn’t have and he has no-one to turn to for help but Megan. When they realise that his knowledge could be the death of them both, they have to try and overcome the bitterness between them…
10) What’s next for you?
I’m working on another romantic suspense novel, this time set in Italy. Strictly speaking it’s two books because when I’d finished the draft I realised that two of my secondary characters were demanding to have their story told and so I had to draft that out, as well. I knew that if I didn’t get them both right at the draft stage I could be in real trouble later on. Rich, spoiled heiress Leona and her sensible best friend Skye head off to Italy for a month but Leona’s wealth attracts the wrong sort of attention. The first book is Skye’s story and the second is Leona’s.
Excerpt: No Time Like Now
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