Most of my favourite books are from childhood and get read faithfully every year, but there are a couple of authors that get read religiously whenever new releases appear. The childhood favourites are 'Little Women', 'The Black Riders' by Violet Needham & any book in the James Herriott series. My must read authors are Terry Pratchett, J R Ward, Diana Gabaldon and Nora Roberts. They all come down to the common denominator of strong characterisation and dialogue. Although I love to write romance and adventure, I don't like to add prematurely forced intimacy, either emotional or physical. Having a strong story and characters to tell it is much more important to me than a love scene added just for the sake of it and I like to write scenes and character dialogue exchanges that make me laugh and engage with what I'm creating, something that all of the above writers have taught me.
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything and everything! I love paranormal romance, humour, adventure, boigraphies - whatever takes my fancy basically!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My Kindle Paperwhite. I came late to the e-reading revolution and only made the transistion last year. Now I couldn't be without it!
Describe your desk
Uncluttered. I work from a laptop at my dining room table, directly overlooking the view from my front window. I have a traditional desk facing a wall but I never got anything productive done at my desktop PC so now just work in a very causal manner fighting off cats from my keyboard!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in England, the eldest of three children, and now live on an island off the west coast of Scotland. I enjoyed a very calm and traditional childhood and, as such, have always written drama and excitement in a direct rebellion to this. I do enjoy writing domestic and/or kid!fic as I find family dynamics fascinating and endlessly entertaining, but my first love is definitely romantic action and adventure.
When did you first start writing?
I've never not written as far as I can remember. I've certainly never not made up stories or fantasises in my head. I can remember being as young as five or six and making up scenarios in my head which inserted me into my favourite books or TV shows and, later on, planning out entire storylines which had me adopted by the A Team and going off on adventures with them! I have a briefcase full of half finished stories from the age of about twelve onwards that I scribbled down and I've just never stopped since then.
What's the story behind your latest book?
A domestic romcom that features a single TV actor and his amazingly huge and inappropriate crush on the young single father that moves in next door with his three children. It's a gentle and hopefully funny story of our hero trying to gain the attention - and more importantly the trust - of his neighbour and the growth he goes through in the meantime. There is some physical intimacy, but it seemed more appropriate to focus on the emotional connection rather than the physical when I originally wrote the story so that's what I've stuck to during editing.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I love writing and creating stories and this is the best way to make it happen for myself rather than wait for someone else to make it happen for me. I know how much I enjoy downloading stories and finding new characters and authors to follow and I hope that I might be able to find some people to like the stories that I produce.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Creating. You're never alone with the cast of thousands in your head and I love having people pop up and yell to make their stories heard. I love pulling together a scene, having the conversations bounce off each other and finding that perfect word that just cements everything into place. The synonyms feature on Word gets used frequently!
What do your fans mean to you?
A lot. Like a lot of writers I'm quite solitary by nature and am definitely shy about meeting new people so find it hard to introduce myself on line and also to effectively market myself. If someone contacts me or takes time out of their busy lives to introduce themselves to tell me they like what I've produced then it means the world. It's a wonderful thing to do to contact an author and tell them they're appreciated, and it's something I'm trying to be better at, and I especially appreciate anyone who breaks the ice with me and will always reply.
What are you working on next?
I am in the middle of finishing editing on the first parts of two new series - one a paranormal romance and one contemporary - and the first in a historical series set in a fictional country in the middle of a political coup and a m/m regency romance. I also have a contemporary m/m action adventure ready to go and a domestic m/m that focuses on a young single father (yes,again!) that comes home with his little daughter for a summer job at his old school after finishing college and finds the boy he used to idly taunt in high school for being gay has also been hired. My problem has never been producing completed stories, it's actually releasing them into the wild!
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