What did you want to be when you grew up?
An actress. I was most definitely going to Hollywood. I even studied for a year at drama school but the other students, in my particular intake, were all so weird, I changed my mind. Now I’m a writer, and we’re all sane, aren’t we?
Coffee, tea or hot chocolate?
Coffee – first thing, mid-morning, and mid-afternoon, without fail. I heat a third of a mug of milk, topped up with cold water, for two minutes on full power in the microwave, then add instant coffee. It’s jolly good, unless you hate instant! Out, I order Americano with hot milk on the side, or a latte (but never in a glass – I hate the glass).
What genre do you typically read? Why?
I love biographies – other people are so interesting – otherwise an extended, protracted, romantic saga in an unfamiliar setting, to transport me to another world. Pure escapism, for ages. Why don’t people write long books anymore?
Share a favourite childhood memory.
Going on holiday, and being woken before dawn so we could leave really early. The chirp of the night insects giving way to birdsong, and whispered preparations on the driveway, so as not to set off the neighbours’ dogs. Once we got going, the smell of vinyl inside my father’s Zodiac (complete with fins) and milky coffee, leaking from a flask. The sunrise on the open road, way beyond the city limits.
Do you have any shameless addictions? ie. Tea, Books, Shoes, Clothes?
I seem to have rather a number of pairs of ankle boots, black and various browns, all leather, with cowboy nuance. I regard them as a collection, more than a shameless addiction. And then there’s Netflix, and all those beautiful BBC gardening shows on iPlayer…
What do you think is the biggest challenge of writing a new book?
Not plagiarising oneself. You have to be careful not to write the same characters over and over, and the same story, all the while being faithful to your own ‘voice’
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages a day?
Yes, always, but it never happens.
What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
I’ve never seriously thought about it, but, in my current work in progress, the hero has a friend, and – separate person – a rival. Both, I think, are strong enough to carry their own stories, so yes, my thoughts are that I’ll most likely end up writing a series, although each book will be stand-alone. I’m looking forward to it.
Gina’s latest book is ‘The Sea Horse Door’, published in April 2015, and set in Maine:
Although Lara Fairmont directs passion and focus into her London business, it goes bust with spectacular finality. Despondent, almost bankrupt, she nabs an astonishingly well-paid job as a carer for an elderly grande dame of Lobster Cove. What could be easier? Almost anything, for a start. A heady mix of misunderstanding, folklore, suspicion, and the hand of fate unbalances Lara from the moment she steps into Lucas Dalton’s desolate mansion on the shore. How many unanswered questions can there be? For a start, is her boss, Lucas – deep-sea diver, oil-rig maintenance man, and closet architect – unhinged? Is he way out of control, or merely lost in a dark place? Where’s his wife? Why so little light, and so much shade? Bewitched, Lara falls in love with the beauty of Maine, and the inexplicably irresistible Lucas. But, is he the devoted son, widower, and father he claims to be, or someone entirely different?
Family and friends are the most important elements of my life, followed closely by writing. I write historical and contemporary romantic fiction full-time and am an ardent fan of the happy ever after ending. Apart from developing full-blooded characters, I enjoy creating a specific setting for each book I write, definitely because I love to read books that are well grounded in their own landscapes. I've been lucky enough to live in the most beautiful parts of the world from Cape Town to the green depths of the English countryside, the sunny French Riviera close to the Italian border, Paris, and now the gorgeously bosky Channel Islands.