As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Even as a small child I loved books and wanted to write stories. I also liked the idea of acting and dancing professionally but had neither the
talent nor the opportunity.
How long have you been writing or when did you start?
I can’t remember not enjoying writing. My first ‘book’ was written when I was 10. It was 100 pages long with every tenth page being as illustration. Both writing and illustrations were pretty poor but the story had chapters, dialogue etc. It was about a girl called Carole who lost her parents in a fire. There was a horse in there somewhere.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’ve now had eight books published or awaiting publication. I love the characters in all of my books but writing The Wartime Bookshop series has enabled me to stay with my lead characters (Alice, Kate and Naomi) through several books so I’ve got to know them really well. They’re like best friends and I feel both their pain and their joy.
Do you prefer ebooks, printed books, or audiobooks most of the time?
I prefer printed books as I already spend too long looking at a screen. I also like to read in the bath which could be risky for my Kindle.
Do you play music while you write — and, if so, what’s your favorite?
Usually, I try to work without distractions but sometimes I like to give myself a break and jump up to dance around the kitchen where I work.
One of my favourites is Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing the Dark.It’s a great song to dance to and includes the line: I’m sick of sitting here trying
to write this book. Not that I get sick of writing for long!
At what point do you think someone should call themselves a writer?
I think anyone who writes is entitled to call themselves a writer, though perhaps the term professional writer is more appropriate for those who are paid for their work.
Have you ever considered writing under a pseudonym, and why or why not?
I’m currently writing historical fiction but have ideas for crime and contemporary stories. If I were to write these stories and have them published, I’d probably use pseudonyms to distinguish between the different genres.
Are there any books or authors that inspired you to become a writer?
As a child I loved books by Noel Streatfeild, Ballet Shoes and White Boots especially. I loved the idea of writing similar stories that would take
readers into a new world of different experiences. As I entered my teenage years I read a wide range of books, all of which inspired me in
their individual ways. They included Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, John Whyndham’s The Day of the Triffids, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre,
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Georgette Heyer’s Regency romances … So many wonderful books!
How do you celebrate when you finish your book?
This may sound boring but a cup of tea and some chocolate work for me.
How do you use social media as an author?
I use social media to get my books known to potential readers. I also use it to connect with other writers to share experiences and insights, and also to have fun.