I like to get comfortable before I start writing. I have a good strong cup of coffee to hand and settle down in front of the computer to write. Listening to music helps me to get into the right mood. My starting point is usually an idea about a relationship. Who will my characters be and how will they end up together? Then I start to think about the setting and how the story will play out.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't remember the first story I read, but I do remember stories that I was told as a child. They often involved Highland folklore and were tales of magical beings, often with a romantic theme. My favourite was about a man who fell in love with a Selkie (a seal-like creature). I suppose that was the start of my interest in love stories.
How do you approach cover design?
For cover design, I have a friend who's a digital artist. She creates covers for me but tends to work to my specifications. I like to keep design simple and uncomplicated.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
My favourite books are Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje, the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, Dancing to Lady Arabella's Tune by Mariah Hearn and This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas. A bit of an eclectic mix but they all have romantic themes within them. I love good literary writing but also love popular fiction.
What do you read for pleasure?
For pleasure I read contemporary romance and I love horror stories as well - James Herbert is a favourite.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I love my iPad. I have apps for Kindle, iBooks and Bluefire Reader. That way I've got lots of different options.
Describe your desk
My desk is a bit of a cluttered space. It's an old wooden desk with piles of books on it and drawers stuffed full of bits of paper. There are also family photos on it and a picture of my dog.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the Scottish Highlands and living in a landscape which screams romantic adventure has definitely influenced my writing.
When did you first start writing?
My first published piece of writing came when I was 11 and won a competition for a short news report I created. I think I've always been a writer. Even before I was old enough to put pen to paper, I loved to make up stories. It's just something that's in the blood, I think.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I like to have control over what I do. Indie publishing means that I can publish the books in the way I want them to be. Plus, I don't have anyone breathing down my neck about deadlines and that allows me to concentrate on creating stories I want and not trying to hammer out work to keep other people happy.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Out and about enjoying the countryside. Working (still have a day job to do) and relaxing with my family.
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