I'm asked a LOT of different questions so I thought it would be fun to answer a few of them in a self-interview! More questions? Feel free to post in the comments and I'll answer any and all asap...
· First of all, could you introduce yourself to readers? Tell us a little bit about you and the books that you write.
I live with my fabulous husband, two teenage daughters and chocolate Labrador near the famous city of Bath in South West England. My first book with published in 2007 by The Wild Rose Press, since then I have had 19 books published. I currently write mainstream romance and romantic suspense for Harlequin Superromance and Victorian romance for eKensington/Lyrical Press.
· Tell us about your most recent book, and where can we find it?
My most recent book is A STRANGER IN THE COVE which is a chance meeting romance set in the fictional UK seaside town of Templeton Cove. It is book 8 and the final story in my Templeton Cove Stories series but all the books can be read stand-alone.
· Are there any particular themes which you try to incorporate within your books?
I tend to deal with the issue of trust…or more specific, broken trust. I think trust is the most important aspect of our lives and the struggle to gain it, believe in it and keep it, is something we all have to face. I have dealt with all manner of serious and not so serious issues in my books, but everything seems to come back to the issue of trust. Whether consciously or unconsciously!
· How do you hope to make readers feel while reading your books?
That anything and everything is possible! From true love, to moving past
a devastating event or bereavement. My favourite aspect of writing romance is the inevitable happy ever after. Hopeful – that’s what I hope I make readers feel :D
· If you had to choose three words to describe your most recent book, what would they be
A STRANGER IN THE COVE – inspiring, hopeful and exciting
· When it comes to creating your characters, are they completely fictional or do you gather ideas from the people you know in real life?
I like to think they are all completely fictional as I’ve never had a specific person in mind when creating them, BUT I think every writer uses aspects of themselves or others in all their characters. There’s something of me in my characters, whether male or female, young or old.
· How do you choose the settings of your books?
I’m very lucky to currently be writing two series – my historicals are set in Bath, which is right on my doorstep and my Templeton Cove stories are a combination of the seaside towns I’ve visited throughout my life.
· Who are some of your favourite authors?
Nora Roberts, Tess Gerritsen, Jean Fullerton, Jodi Picoult and Philippa Gregory
· Do you like to plan strategically, or do you let the characters lead the way?
A combination of the two! I am quite a plotter in that I write out a synopsis, character sketches and chapter plan before I start writing, BUT I willingly follow the characters if they go off course. A novelist has to trust her characters to tell the story the way it should be told!
· If you could sit down and have lunch with any author, who would you choose and why?
Nora Roberts – I love her stories, especially the romantic suspense. I’d love to ask her how/if she plots and how she manages to bring just the right blend of romance and suspense. I try and hope I do well…but she is outstanding!
· Is there a particular part of the writing process which you enjoy more than others?
I love when I’ve written ‘The End’ and then get to go back over and make the words and story better. The hard part is getting the words down (the middle is my nemesis!), but once they’re there, I love tweaking and rearranging.
· How do you keep track of your writing progress? Do you use daily word goals? Do you aim to get a set number of chapters written?
I am lucky enough to write full time so I work from 8.30am to 5.30pm with a lunch break and a couple of dog walks in between. Ideally, I like to write at least 2,000 words a day, but with my normal being one book to promote, one to edit and one to write, that isn’t always possible