- What do you wish men understood about women?
That we’re all about the emotion, baby! Obviously, I can’t speak for every woman, but for the majority of us, every decision we made or action we take, is grounded in emotion. Whether that’s because it’s for the benefit of someone we love, or we have a desire to better ourselves or we really care about what we’re doing. Men tend to make logical decisions, grounded in thought and as much as we love ‘em, they can’t always cheer us up by ‘fixing’ things their way!
- How long does it take you to write a 50,000-60,000 word manuscript?
My books usually come in at around 80,000-85,000 words – from plotting to completion, they take approximately five months. I take 3-4 weeks to plot a book, then try to write an average 2,000 words a day during the week with as much as possible over the weekend. Then a month to revise and polish. Of course, I have to deal with a gazillion school holidays in between so it’s always manic!
- Do you enjoy writing books, or is it a chore?
Writing is NEVER a chore to me – sure, it can be hard going sometimes…especially the dreaded ‘sagging middle’, but writing is what I’d rather be doing then anything else, ALWAYS. I’m obsessed!
- Do you have a favourite location or setting for your books?
I hadn’t before I start writing Finding Justice and the following books in the Templeton Cove series – it’s a dream come true that I’ve written eight books for Harlequin set in this fictional UK seaside town. With each book, the community grew and I can picture the town with more and more clarity. I can see the rows of houses, the stores and their proximity to the beach. It’s a real and buzzing place to me!
- Do you only work on one book at a time?
I wish! – I am usually writing one, editing another and promoting another. Plus, I always find as I start writing one book, I have another vying for my attention but I make myself hold off and concentrate on the one in hand. That doesn’t stop me from starting a new file and adding in bits of dialogue, or ideas for settings or a few lines of a new synopsis. When I come to write the next book, I usually have a good idea of an outline.
- Next project?
I have just finished the revisions for Templeton Cove book 8 (out Jan 2018) and then have the final draft of the first book in a brand new series to work on. After that, I will start work on the second book in a new Edwardian series – book 1 is currently under consideration with several publishers. Busy, busy, busy!
- How do you motivate yourself to write quickly? What do you do if you get stuck?
I have found a process that works well for me – character sketches, synopsis and chapter plan. Then once I dive into the writing I have a good idea what I will write for each chapter which really speeds things up. I also write the first draft without looking back which ups my output A LOT!
If I get stuck, it’s a case of writing through it – any messy spots can be cleaned up in the following drafts. It also helps that I have three gorgeous critique partners who look at each chapter as I write it. I’d be lost without their valuable feedback!
- Who is your favourite fictional couple?
I have a soft spot for J D Robb’s Eve Dallas and Roarke from the In Death series – I am only on book 13 of this (so far!) 36 book series, but I’m totally in love with them individually and as a couple. Great, great characters J
- What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to become an author?
Lack of self-confidence – for me, this is the biggest obstacle for anyone to overcome who wants to pursue one of the arts. Whether it be writing, painting, music, dance or acting, it takes a lot of self-confidence to put yourself out there for criticism when something is so personal. It’s one thing doing a job for someone else where you get to go home at the end of the day and switch off, it’s another when you’ve created something and then have to wait for public reaction. It’s like putting your baby on stage and saying, “Go on then, tell me what you think?”
You’ll either want to hug someone or punch their lights out, LOL!