Novels with a twist and engaging characters. Novels which expand your knowledge. Non-fiction books of interest to me.
Describe your desk
Mostly clear. I have a piece of manuka wood with holes drilled in it as a pencil holder, My screen is positioned so I can look out onto fields. One wall of my area is a blackboard (my desk is in our accounting business office which is an old classroom) and the other side, a partition is dotted with pictures.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in London, UK. Perhaps being from a large family, writing was a way of having my say. London is full of history of people who have tried and failed, tried and succeeded, people who have stories to share.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote diaries until I was eighteen. I wrote journals when travelling, then short stories, poems and a novel. In my early thirties amongst small children, quiet moments of writing felt right.
What's the story behind your latest book?
This was the book I was looking for when I was struggling with being away from loved ones. It is hard to know what to do when you don't have your best friend or family accessible face to face. The more I heard about immigrants issues, the more convinced I was that there was a need for a book to help immigrants.I started with interviewing immigrants and kept going. It took me five years in all. After three years, I knew I had to finish what I had put many hours into so I gave myself a deadline, and worked to it and beyond until I held the book in my hand. What a great feeling.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Being in control of my product, the availability of professional editors and book designers as they were made redundant, knowing that I would have to promote my book actively whether I published traditionally of as an indie publisher, and being ready to adapt to the changing times of the publishing industry.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Giving time to my mind. When writing I enjoy the feeling of putting thoughts into words that someone else may read. I love the opportunity to allow my creativity to flow.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The opportunity to have a great day.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
If not working, walking, reading, going to a show or exhibition, and enjoying family and friends.
What is your writing process?
For non-fiction I brainstorm and mind map my ideas, write and draft and then redraft and edit many times. With fiction I start with an Idea and see where it takes me and then redraft, edit, edit and edit some more.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Helen Keller. What an amazing woman and child. To overcome all those hurdles and to share her experiences. I loved the belief her father had in her ability.
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This book reveals the emotional challenges of being an immigrant. It is a book for immigrants to understand and help overcome their challenges. It is a book for potential immigrants and people who know or love immigrants.