Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in country New South Wales, Australia and would travel with my mother and brother 3hrs to the farms my grandparents and uncles worked on. I would entertain myself in the car by thinking up all of these fantastical stories generally involving talking animals. I was extremely shy and was bullied a lot in school, so going to the farms and helping out with the animals there was the best thing in the world to me.
When did you first start writing?
When I was fourteen, we had an assignment at the end of year 8 English where we had to pair up and write a novella. I ended up writing mine on my own and I had a great teacher who thought it was so good, that he kept it for others to read- not too shabby for a Xena fan fiction!
Re. the dedication at the front of book 1: Who is Holly?
Holly was one of my dearest, closest friends whom I actually only knew for two years. She was the first person who really accepted me for me (I was this painfully shy wallflower) and as an artist, she understood how my creative brain worked. She was a beautiful punk chick who's guilty pleasure Britney Spears songs. The most non-judgemental person I ever met. In 2009, she passed away at the age of 25 from cancer. She is in my thoughts every single day and I miss her like crazy. The surname I gave Kida and her family- Marks- was actually her surname. So, her essence permiates this whole project.
Describe your desk
I don't have a real desk. I have a small coffee table in front of my recliner lounge so I can play music on the TV while I write.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
To tell you the truth, I am afraid of the big publishing houses. But I also want to keep creative control of my work.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing is my escape, it's my passion. I love creating stories and learning about new characters. That's my favourite part of the process- the character creation. It's like making a bunch of new friends, even though they are in your head. I promise I'm not crazy! Lol.
What do your fans mean to you?
It would be so wonderful to have fans of my work! I would cherish every one of them. They would mean so much to me.
What are you working on next?
The second instalment of James, Kida and Miles' story and also Claire and Ryan's story (Books 2 & 3 in the Marked For Love series).
I'd say it's mainly my writing- especially at the moment. I always get up early, because I don't like to waste the day.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I like to go out to lunch with friends, I like traveling, playing music and going to the movies. I am also a huge reader and love watching dramatised television series (none of that reality rubbish) and house shows! House shows are a huge weakness of mine.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Every morning, I receive a BookBub email with bargains, but then I just spend some time exploring the online stores for new books.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. It was a bit of a knock off of Homeward Bound. I did it for an English assignment.
What is your writing process?
I'm not a huge planner. I write out some key plot points and then basically write freely, making sure to incorporate those points. I've discovered that, for me, the best things happen in he story when they're not planned.
How do you approach cover design?
I have a wonderful designer to help me out with this (shout out to bookcovermachine.com), but I like to have a representation of the main characters on the top half of the over and some sort of subject matter relating to the story on the bottom half of the cover (a place, an object, a landscape) with the title and my name in the centre
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I tend to love series, so I will list my five favourite series:
1. The Wishes Series by G.J. Walker-Smith My favourite Aussie author (possibly my favourite author, ever). Her stories touch me so deeply, her characters are beautiful, her words are divine. This is the author that made me realise that I could possibly be a successful author, too. (We shall wait and see).
2. Divergent by Veronica Roth I love science fiction and young adult fiction and my favourite thing is strong female characters. Triss is such an inspiring character.
3. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Claire YA urban fantasy. Buffy informed my teenaged years and this is pretty much the new millennium version of Buffy. Clary is the new Buffy. I have always been drawn to supernatural, demon stories. I love this series because sometimes, you love the characters and sometimes you want to throw the book at the wall. I love books that elicit such strong emotions.
4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins Yep. I also seem to like female-led dystopian stories. I read this before Divergent and love it almost as much. I admire this author- the woman has ovaries of steel!
5. Outlander series by Diana Gabbaldon To be honest, I have only just started reading the series- the television series led me to them- but so awesome! The painstaking research that has gone into these books is incredible. Again, contains another strong female lead. Are you noticing a theme here? Haha.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have books on my iPhone and I have a Kindle Fire, which contains most of my ebooks.
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