I recently took part in the 2018 Foster An Author event where the lovely Elaine and Tami’s JB3 Blackbirds fostered me for a whole week and promoted my books across their social media sites. It was a fab experience and gave me the opportunity to meet lots of new authors. During the week I also took part in a quick Q & A…
Q: What is the first book that made you cry?
A: I’m an emotional wreck at the best of times so I pretty much wept my way through the entire Disney collection before I was eight. As an adult there are two books that stand out to me – The Color Purple and Fortune’s Rock. Two books that couldn’t be more different, bought together by their unequivocal ability to make me cry big, ugly tears!
Q: What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
A: I don’t know about America but here in the UK there’s a depressing trend to throw every Z-list celebrity a publishing contract and then hire a ghostwriter to do all the hard work. There are so many amazing, talented romance writers out there but publishers are still reluctant to take a chance. I’m hoping the trend will shift to a more inclusive modus operandi in 2019.
Q: Does writing energize or exhaust you?
A: Both! When the words are flowing it’s like ten cups of strong coffee are pumping through my veins, my fingers are literally tripping over themselves to hit the right letters on the keyboard. On the flipside, when I’ve hit a plot roadblock or I can’t move past a paragraph without rewriting it a billion times it’s worse than exhausting!
Q: What are common traps for aspiring writers?
A: Someone once told me to ‘write for the right reasons’ and it took me a long time to figure out exactly what she meant! There is no American Idol fast track route to selling a million copies of your debut (unless you’re EL James…) It takes hard work and sacrifice – cancelled social events and precious time away from your friends and family. But when strangers take the time to message you to say how much they enjoyed your writing, those moments are everything.
Q: Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
A: A sizeable chunk of being a writer is self-promotion, which, if you’re anything like me, makes you want to curl up in a corner and hide. In that respect a big ego will definitely help! On the other hand I take issue with some romance authors (who shall remain nameless!) who lose the humble vibe on the way up. The drop is mighty steep on the other side so never forget who made it happen for you! Half the battle is finding out how to strike a happy medium.
Q: Have you ever gotten reader’s block?
A: I’ve become bored with books and not finished them, and when I’m writing it’s hard to find the time to read as much I’d like to. I’m a proper book junkie at heart. I like to devour whole series in one sitting. There’s nothing better than staying up until 2am because you Can’t. Not. Finish. The. Book. I think that’s the secret aim of every author – to have a moment like that with their readers. It’s certainly mine! The first time someone told me my book had made them late for work I was back crying those big ugly tears again.
Q: Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
A: When I first started out, yes. My kids were really young and I cringed everytime I thought of one of their friend’s mums reading my books! I got over that pretty quickly. These days I’m proud of my writing and proud to put my name to it. Hopefully my kids won’t disown me completely when they’re older…
Q: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
A: I write what I like reading myself (dark romance/erotic suspense) and what I know. Admittedly I don’t know a whole lot about South American cartel bosses and their dark and crazy sex exploits but I know heart and I know passion, two qualities that drive every single one of my characters. In life I like to jump in ‘head first’ with everything and I hope that translates to my characters too.
Q: Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
A: I guess you could hone and hone your craft and be technically brilliant at writing but, like I said, to write a really passionate love story you have to embody a little of that characteristic yourself. Some things can’t be learnt they’re instinctive but others may have a different view.
Q: What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
A: I’m a newbie so I’m still shuffling at the back of the auditorium waiting for somebody to talk to me ☺ It’s one of the reasons I’m so happy to be a part of Foster An Author 2018. It’s a perfect chance to make some new writing buddies!
Hearts Of Darkness is available right now from Amazon. Click HERE for more details.