Q&A

What is your favorite thing about writing?

I love going to work in my pyjamas with bedroom style hair. I love it that I can have lunch at ten o’clock if I want to. I love meeting new people on the page, crafting their lives and putting them in awkward or dangerous situations, then watching them rescue themselves. I love being able to make my heroes and heroines the way I want them. Most of all I love to create happily-ever-afters.

What do you hope people get out of reading your books?

Sometimes life can get stressful, or we may think we’re drowning. When you start to feel like this, it’s a good idea to escape into another life for a moment and find shear joy in entertainment. It’s great to drop your worries and fall in love with the characters of a book. Be swept up in their lives and cheer them on so that you may leave the read a little lighter or renewed. I write happily-ever-afters, and I know that life doesn’t always operate that way, but I write to make my readers feel good inside. And you can’t help but feel that way with a good love story. I hope they read my books with a good wine and a box of chocolates close at hand. Doing things that please you always nurtures the soul. 

Who is the first person you call with good or bad news?

My husband. He’s a great sounding board and never gets weighed down in the drama of situations. When I phoned him to announce my first contact he arrived home that night with a bottle of Moet (I’d secretly bought a bottle as well, but of course I wasn’t that extravagant).

What is your writing environment? 

Chaos. I will write anywhere I can, it doesn’t necessarily need to be quiet. Currently my favorite spot is at my kitchen table because we have floor to ceiling windows overlooking the bush. If I’m stuck for words, I allowed myself to get lost in the view for a while as I ponder my next sentence. In the evenings I write in bed, propped up against the headboard with a pillow. I’ve been caught in the back seat of my car, while waiting for my daughter to finish drama, with the keyboard nestled on my lap. I also do it in the back seat while waiting for my son to finish soccer training. I carry a notebook around with me everywhere I go, but I tend not to write in that, it’s more for catching ideas or snippets of story that filter through at odd moments.

Top 3 things on your bucket list? 

I’m probably like a lot of others with travel sitting at the top of my bucket list. I’m a great traveler, something I did a lot of before children, but my husband and I have managed to sneak in a few trips with the children over the years. Traveling with three children, however, gets expensive. Our family are cycling enthusiasts (though I’m the armchair enthusiast). One thing we dream about is heading over to France for the Tour de France, hiring a RV and following along behind in luxury. It will happen one day. My eldest son is a cyclist, so soon maybe we will be following him on the road in France.

We have a marine park in Western Australia called Ningaloo Reef. Every year whale sharks migrate into the calm, warm waters to feed, and tourist are able to book snorkeling tours with the whale sharks. I think it would be a magical moment to swim along side one of these majestic giants.

I hope to become an international bestselling author. What author doesn’t? Oh and since we’re aiming for the stars, how about a movie deal as well.

What do you like to do when you are not writing? 

This sounds cheesy, but I love spending time with my family. My kids are great. We have a great time together. We do a lot of things together, cycling, camping, eating out, going to the movies. I also love walking. We live in the hills on the outskirts of Perth, surrounded by the forest. I’m hiking with my dog everyday.

Where do you draw your inspiration from? 

From all around me. I get inspiration from reading novels, newpapers, magazines, watching TV, movies, or hearing people’s stories. The world is a great place for inspiration, you just have to take the time to look. Sometimes I’ve even looked at a sunset and stories have begun to form from that view, or I’ve been driving along listening to music, then all of a sudden I have a scene in mind.

Do you have any unusual writing rituals?

None. I do love the idea of rituals, and my husband and I have developed some for certain events in the year, but I‘ve never extended this too my writing. It’s always a fantastic relief to arrive at the end of a manuscript, but I’ve never done anything to celebrate it or ritualize the achievement. Perhaps I should. I find starting a story to be the most exciting time. Since I don’t outline or plan, the story could go any way, and I’m never really sure what the next writing session will bring. Sometimes it has me sitting at my computer staring at the screen for minutes at a time. Sometimes I may reread the previous paragraph ten tens before I realize I’ve read it ten times. Sometimes my fingers can’t go quick enough. But sharing a bottle of bubbly with the husband when a contract comes through is definitely a good ritual to start with.

How do you get yourself in the mood to write?

I re-read what I have written. It usually takes me a chapter for the muse juices to start flowing. In the mean time, I get lost in editing the previous chapter and forgetting I’m only doing this to kick-start my typing. Sometimes I flip back over notes I’ve written for the chapter (if I have any) to remind myself what it is I want to write. If I’m really stuck, I try jumping ahead to the next chapter, or even another story, if I have one on the go.

What’s the best writing tip you’ve ever been given?

Write. It sounds so ridiculously simple, but it is the best thing any writer can do. It’s important to learn the craft, research the conventions of your genre and attend workshops, but nothing will improve your writing like doing it. The first novel I wrote took me forever. I agonized over words and sentences for hours and couldn’t seem to find my voice. Finishing it was like finishing a marathon. I was exhausted, thoroughly sick of it and totally elated it was done. But a couple of novels later and I’m flying. My speed has increased and I’m now confident in all areas of novel creation. That is simply because I write every day.

 Hope you enjoyed x

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