A tidy desk is a sign of someone with too little to write. To reproduce my desk, take all the letters, bills, papers, newspapers, magazines, computer parts (the more broken the better) books, phones and random bits of paper that you've dealt with over the past few years, pour them onto your desk, push them aside just enough to make room for your MacBook and there you have my desk. Push a little further aside to make enough room for a glass of rosé and you have my desk tonight.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I'm still growing up, so that list would include Atherstone in Warwickshire, Coleford in Gloucestershire, Monmouth in Monmouthshire, London, Pompignon, St Felix de Pallieres, Avignon and Sommieres. Professionally I have grown up very quickly three times - first when my initial feature for Today newspaper was rejected (4000 words to many. I cut it down to size in an afternoon and got myself hired); next when I started preparing the starters at La Table des Agassins - 10 hungry people were depending on me to stuff something edible into their mouths, so I got going; and then standing in front of 30 students who needed to learn to speak English well enough to deal with the demanding clients of a 5-Star hotel. In between, having two new daughters also makes you realise that this, right here and right now, is not a rehearsal and suddenly some other human beings are depending on you for food, fun and guidance.
When did you first start writing?
At infant school when I was 6. I wrote a story about my imaginary brother, Cedric, who I shut in the family washing machine with a bowl of fruit. I got two gold stars and a congratulatory visit to the Headmistress Miss Morris's office with my teacher Mrs Binley. I've always loved public acclaim, it's why we all write I think ultimately.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My desires to cook, write and tell people something they don't know while feeding their faces.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My other love - computing. How hard can it be?
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I don't know yet.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Having written. The act is enjoyable enough once you get going, but getting going can take years. There's nothing better than having written something and never having to write it again. And making myself laugh. This is a real guilty pleasure, but sometimes something I've written really makes me burst out laughing. As an English person I should be more self-effacing about it. Sorry.
What do your fans mean to you?
I'll tell you when I get some. As a journalist making people laugh was always the coolest thing, I hope it's the same with this book.
What are you working on next?
Teaching English to future Club Med managers. I'd love to write some fiction, but all my attempts so far have failed so miserably even I can't read them.
Who are your favorite authors?
Iain M. Banks, Iain Banks…..find my page on Goodreads, there's lots there. This summer I've been re-reading Iain M. Banks's science fiction. And Anthony Bourdain, a cookery writer who makes it interesting.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The chance to listen to The Archers podcast on my morning walk.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Teaching, cooking, looking after my daughters, cooking, washing up, cooking, shopping, eating, cooking...
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Goodreads, friends, Amazon recommendations.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
See my earlier answer. Yes I do.
What is your writing process?
Sit in front of the laptop and hope.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.