What is your genre? Why did you choose it?
I write romantic suspense novels. I chose that genre rather than ‘straight’ romance, which focuses purely on the relationship between the male and female protagonists because it allows me to develop my characters. It also them a goal to work towards and a problem to solve, which I think readers find more satisfying.
Do you work on more than one manuscript at a time?
I usually work on one manuscript at a time, but having said that, I currently have two stories outlined and have written the first three chapters of both in an attempt to decide which one to concentrate on! One is set in Scotland, where I lived for nearly 20 years, and the other is set here the Yorkshire Dales.
Do you work with a writing/critique group?
I have two very good friends who are also writers. We often bounce ideas off each other when at the planning stage of a novel. Once writing is underway I often share chapters with them to get their feed back. And of course, they always read the finished novel before I submit it to an agent.
Can you remember your first reading book?
I recall my parents reading to me as a small child, but am unable to remember the stories. When I first attended school, I became enthralled with poetry and begged my mother to buy me a copy of The Golden Treasury of Poetry by Louis Untermeyer. Sadly, the book is out of print and I no longer have my copy. It is a beautiful, illustrated by Joan Walsh Anglund, and includes limericks, and funny stories as well as poems and verses
Do you nibble on snacks while writing? If so, what is your chosen treat?
I try not to eat at my desk – the crumbs play havoc with the keyboard. I prefer to sip a cup of tea to keep the muse active!
Tidy desk or a bombsite? Describe your writing area with us.
My office is at the top of the stairs. On my desk you will find hand written notes and details of any research I’ve done for my current novel, including photographs of the setting if appropriate. I’m lucky to own an iMac with a 27 inch screen which takes up most of the remaining space, along with the printer and a few reference books, such as my dictionary and The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors which I find invaluable.
I am traditionally published, although my rights were returned to me last year. Since which time, I’ve published my backlist of titles on Amazon Kindle and Createspace. My first book was published in 2009 and since then I’ve written two more and a number of short stories, which have appeared in various anthologies.
Who would you say have been the three most influential authors in your reading/writing life?
My goodness, I can name only three out of the hundreds of books I’ve read? In that case, I would have to say Mary Stewart, Daphne Du Maurier and Rona Randall. All three hold your attention from the very first page to the last, something every novelist tries to achieve.
What advice would you like to share with other writers/authors with regard to preparing a manuscript?
The first draft is just that. Do not send it out as soon as you type ‘The End.’ Put it to one side for a week or two, then read it aloud. You will be surprised how many things you notice, such as missing words and clunky sentences.
I would choose Hugh Jackman to play Jack West in Ring of Lies and Henry Cavill to play Luke Tallantrye in The House on the Shore.
I was on my way to the supermarket, when … Do you have a tale to tell relating to an everyday, boring event?
Back in the early 1980s, I worked for a legal firm in my home town of Liverpool. I was sat in reception talking to a colleague when this man walked in and announced he had an appointment with one of the lawyers. I couldn’t believe it when my friend looked at him and asked what his name was… even I, who hate football, recognised him as the goal keeper from Liverpool Football Club!