Cats. I love their intelligence, the mystery that surrounds them and the warmth of their personalities.
How long have cats been a part of your life?
I cannot remember a time when I was not in love with cats. When my mother was expecting me, she had a ginger cat who used to lie on her belly and purr. I guess that's where it all started.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. The rich natural beauty of my country has influenced my writing tremendously in that I've always felt close to nature. The peacefulness of a walk in the bush or on the beach gets the creative juices flowing.
When did you first start writing?
As soon as I could hold a pen and form the letters of the alphabet. The first word I wrote was cat!
What's the story behind your latest book?
Angelica was a very special little cat. When she got out and was mauled by dogs, my children and I made up a fictitious story of how we imagined one of her nine lives to have been. We believe she was an angel.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The desire to express myself and be heard. I have a voice and I want to use it for the benefit of the animals I love.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords is a gateway to the world, a means of telling my stories.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The sheer delight of having my thoughts flow out of me and onto the screen in front of me in words and sentences that others can understand.
What do your fans mean to you?
They are the reason I write. Without them, there would be no one hearing what I have to say.
What are you working on next?
Ah, you will just have to wait and see! It does involve cats though.
Who are your favorite authors?
Do I really have to single out only a few? There are so many and each and every book I have read has influenced my own writing and the way I think.......and I've read thousands of books.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My beloved family, both human and feline and the belief that I'm part of something bigger. There's a higher purpose and each day is a journey of discovery of how I fit into the master plan.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I rescue and rehome abandoned and abused cats and kittens. I take them in as a foster "parent", nurturing them and caring for them until a good home can be found for them.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I trawl ebook websites and social media sites.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. I was six years old. It was about a little girl who wanted a cat for Christmas.
What is your writing process?
Sometimes I have a dream or I see a picture that inspires me. I mull it over until a story starts to form. I jot down a basic plotline and then I just sit down to write and let it flow. Some days I have no idea where it will take me and I just go with the flow.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Yes. It was an easy reader which I read at school. It was about two kids who take an outing to the park. They find a stray kitten and bring it home. I wanted to be one of those kids so I went down to our local park and searched for a kitten, just willing one to magically appear for me.
How do you approach cover design?
The picture is worth a thousand words. The cover must convey the mood of the book and make the reader want to open the book immediately.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
This I really cannot answer. There is no way I can narrow it down to only five books. Sorry.
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything about cats, historical fiction, some science fiction, adventure..... well, just about anything that is well written and draws me in immediately.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
The only real way to market books is to write a good story and when people tell you they like your story, to engage with them on a personal level. If you don't like and appreciate your readers and show an interest in them, they won't like you or your writing and they won't tell anyone else about your books..
Describe your desk
My laptop is right in front of me. To the left is Misty, trying to catch the cursor on the screen. To the right is Pearl, trying to sit on the keypad. Behind the screen Silky is snoozing and on my lap I have Maggie. My "mewses" rotate in shifts. There are currently eighteen of them in residence.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.