At university, I fell in love with medieval French writing, discovered The Gormenghast Trilogy, and became hooked on fantasy.
I have sailed down the Yangste, survived an earthquake in Cairo, and picnicked in the Serengeti. My travels for work and pleasure have inspired my fantasy world. I now live in France with a naughty Australian Labradoodle, a jealous cat and a squash mad husband. Our two huskies, Ice and Sapphire, are sadly now gone but are transformed into wolves and immortalized in my book. Lumina is my debut novel and the first in a trilogy.
What inspires you to write?
I was living in the marshlands of France when I wrote Lumina and the landscape, crisscrossed with waterways, inspired the Maugraine Swamps surrounding Kuhla. The tranquility of the marshlands where I walked with our huskies allowed me to dream about the characters and the plot. Part of my inspiration came from reading fantasy novels when I was younger and from the joy I had in escaping to a fantasy world.
Tell us about your writing process.
I have in mind a rough outline of the plot before I start. I did experiment once with a more detailed outline but found I got bored when I went to write the book. So I like to leave the space to be creative and flexible as the story and the characters progress. While I want a clear endpoint to the plot before starting, I let the characters grow organically as they face new challenges and new relationships.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
It is important for me to get into the mind of each character, especially when writing dialogue. For some strange reason, I find that easier with the villains! I don't talk to my characters but I do want to feel their emotions. For example, if something bad has happened to a character I imagine how that would feel to me and then how it would be likely to feel to that particular character, which can often be very different.
Who are your favorite authors?
There are two types of book I enjoy reading the most. One obviously is fantasy novels but the other is crime thrillers. I don't sleep well and so will often stay up reading during the night but that doesn't necessarily mean the book is good! Two books I especially enjoyed this year were "Where the Crawdads Sing" by Delia Owens and "Educated" by Tara Westover. A fantasy series I also discovered and enjoyed was the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Originally the Brit Writers Association chose a few authors to publish and I was amongst them. But the Association collapsed before completing the process and, rather disillusioned, I left the book for a fair while. When I finally decided again to try publishing it seemed more appropriate to go a self-publishing route rather than relying on others.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Although the role and importance of publishing houses has changed, I think they will continue to be useful to a select few authors, for example, celebrities writing biographies or already well-known writers. The majority of authors are more likely to go with self-publishing but it does get harder and harder to stand out from the crowd.
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
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