I have a Kindle but quite honestly, it is a matter of convenience. I never wanted to read anything but paper formats. I love the feel of books, the smell of printed paper, the rustle of a turning page. But now, I love the muted sound of my magical page turning button and the slide of one page into another magical page.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Word of mouth! Get yourself out there, no matter how awkward you feel.
Describe your desk
Rose tinted pine braces a tartan striped pillow! I write on my bed. It is my sanctuary and inspirational happy place.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Cape Town, South Africa where the white sands of Milnerton beach and craggy shores of the Atlantic are reigned over by the majestic Table Mountain. Swaying palm trees and balmy nights set the scene to many teen romances (including my own) and solid family support provided me with the confidence to go forth and conquer the world.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Prejudice, love, a brilliantly strong woman and men with the capacity to love enduringly. This is no ordinary love story, but inspired by the strength of a remarkable woman-
Although the characters in this book are wholly of my imagination, deaf people are not and face the daily challenge of living with hearing people. I am particularly inspired by deaf people who are able to write about their experiences and strive to make our lives a little more colourful through their experiences.
One author in particular has left me feeling … a little envious. She describes a world of deafness that has shaped her life into something quite unique. Her world is clearly hers and hers alone to cherish and enjoy. I encourage you to find Christina Hartmann on Twitter as @cmmhartmann, the author of ‘What it is like to be deaf from birth’. “Make no mistake: my deafness was no curse. It shaped my perspective of the world, and I'm glad for it. For me, deafness opened up new worlds, rather than the other way around”. (Christina Hartmann)
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I work full time as a social work manager. I believe that working with vulnerable children is my true calling. I love writing and it is a source of great joy for me, but I have to keep my eye on what matters - people, children in particular, and my family. As an indie author, I can write when I choose to & pace my editing, marketing activities. I get to write for fun and for this gift I am truly grateful.
What are you working on next?
Living with an emotional behavioural disorder like Autism or Asperges in the 21st Century is no joke. Every day in my ‘day job’ I read about individuals diagnosed with a disorder and their families who struggle to find understanding and support. They carry the burden of being stigmatised, misunderstood, isolated and living in a constant near state of exhaustion.
Donning my author cap, I started to wonder what life would be like for a disabled member of the aristocracy in the Victorian era! Born into wealth and expectation, the extreme emotional roller coaster behaviours would surely not be tolerated. And so the Imperious Duke came into my life and soon to be yours!
He thinks of himself as a monster and dislikes humanity almost as much as he despises his own person. It is only with the help from an untamed, nature loving schoolgirl that he sees a side of life previously denied him. But, her life is not what it appears on the surface… will the insular Duke have the wherewithal to recognise a kindred suffering soul? Will he be in time to save her?
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Walking, come rain or shine over the leafy hills of Leicestershire! Reading (Obviously) Watching Teen DVD series with my daughters (Really? Oh Yes!) Period dramas (Outlander and Poldark are so spot on) Cleaning, so sad. What is that about? Thanks mum! Cuddling with the hubby!!
How do you approach cover design?
I trawl in the internet for inspirational photos that connect with the story and my soul. Then I look for similar photos that I can buy on-line. I try not to become too attached to anyone but put them 'out there' for fans and friends to comment on & like. I thought I could rely on the use e-service e.g. with the likes of Kindle to design the cover but soon realised the value of a professional designer. The difference in quality is just, well, obvious.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Books are like a portal into another world, another time and each book is a passport into someone else's imagination. I love all books for this reason, but the ones that are closest to my heart are the treasures that have made my heart tighten, tummy turn and thighs burn ... Romance. My top books include: Mill on the Floss by George Eliot Forest Lovers by Maurice Hewlett Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen dark desires after dusk by Kresley Cole Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I have learned so much from disadvantaged children and their families over the years. Whether they have suffered abuse, neglect, live with a disability or another trauma - they are all inspirational in their fight to find joy in life. I am able to draw on their experiences to write and share with the world a little of the suffering, strength and inner beauty that these people have shared with me.
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