I am really glad you’ve accepted my interview. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions.
Can you tell us a bit more about how you became a writer?
I’ve been writing stories since I was old enough to know what a story was. It was always my dream to become a published author. However, I knew I had to balance that with have a sensible career plan and so I ended up teaching English Literature and Creative Writing in UK boarding schools for 10 years. Then I met my husband who told me that if I didn’t try to write full-time, I would wake up one day and regret it. So, I took a year off, wrote non-stop and by the end of the year I had a publishing deal. I continued to teach part time after that but, since 2016, I’ve been writing full time as I now publish both adult and young adult fiction. It’s a dream come true.
Was it difficult for the first book to find a publisher?
Yes and no. My agent signed me for a young adult book I wrote but, in the end, we didn’t find a publisher for that. Many near misses but it was the era when vampires dominated YA fiction and I was writing contemporary YA. So I wrote a novel for adults and that was immediately snapped up by a big publisher. Which just got show that it’s important to keep trying new things and pushing on different doors. A few years later, my YA fiction was accepted by another major publisher so things have come full circle. My advice would be: keep writing, keep trying new things, keep learning and getting better – and never give up!
Could you describe literature in three words?
A mirror. A door. A friend.
Is there a book you would never read? Why?
A book without heart.
What’s your favorite book?
So, so many. One of my favourites is The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.
‘Writing has to do with darkness, and a desire, perhaps a compulsion, to enter it, and with luck, to illuminate it, and to bring something back out to the light.’ Margaret Atwood
EBooks or paper print? Both. Reading on Kindle has made reading so much easier for my mother, who is in her 70s. But for me, it’s paper print all the way: I love to hold a book in my hands, to turn physical pages and to write in margins.
What inspires you?
Imagine you were given the opportunity to meet a book character in real life. Who would that be? Please explain.
Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. I never had a real
father and have always dreamt of adopting him as my own!
What’s your worst nightmare?
Losing my children or my husband.
The best decision of your life was?
To take a year out to write full time – to see if I could succeed! As my husband says, ‘To learn to swim, you need to let go of the edge.’
I can’t wait to read your next book. Are you currently working on a project? Is there any release date to reveal?
My fourth novel for adults, You Found Me will be out in the UK in August 2018 and my second novel for adults, As Far As The Stars will be out int he UK and the US in 2019. Both are already written so the project I’m working on at the moment is my fifth novel for adults which will be set where I live, in New Hampshire in the USA and it will tackle the issue of gun control through the lens of small community who loses one of its children in a shooting.