I’m an award-winning entrepreneur who day-dreams up new plots while walking through the Andalusian countryside with my springer spaniel, Dexter. The Grotto’s Secret, is my début novel after two best-selling business books, Create A Successful Website and Pimp My Site.
My life-long dream to be a novelist has come true thirty-five years after I first decided I would be one. Harbouring a near-obsessive love of learning the craft of writing, I have been scribbling down the stories in my head ever since I can remember.
At the age of eighteen I used my first South African pay-check from the Natal Mercury to buy a long distance writing course. Many years later I received an ‘Honourable Mention’ in the 75th Annual Writers Digest Writing Competition for two novels (written and not yet published), which inspired me to continue writing.
I’ve written 6 books: How to Create a Successful Website, Pimp My Site, Pimp My Fiction, 101 Writers’ Scene Settings, A-Z Writers’ Character Quirks and The Grotto’s Secret.
What inspires you to write?
Moving to Spain fulfilled my lifelong dream to write novels. During the hunt for our new home in rural Andalusia, my husband and I found a tranquil home with stunning views down the Valle del Guadalhorce towards Malaga and Marbella.
Apart from a white-washed village in the far distance, the valley is lush with green wheat fields and rolling hills, shadowed by layer upon layer of distant mountains. The magnificent Sierra del Torcal towers over the back of the house. My first sight of the Guadalhorce Valley gave birth to the fictional location of The Grotto’s Secret.
As I gazed at the stunning view, a medieval character just popped into my head and I could see her in that landscape. She was so real and had a story to tell.
Tell us about your writing process.
I usually give Dexter a long walk on the country tracks around my house in Andalusia which lets my mind go freely into any areas of my book that are bothering me. I get home, eat breakfast with my hubby on our patio overlooking the most stunning view and then I settle down to a day of inspired writing.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Oh, YES! My husband, Ken, calls them the ‘squatters in my head’. I get him involved too by suggesting he gives me quirks or bits of dialogue a character can say and do. He enjoys being involved with my ‘squatters’.
Who are your favorite authors?
So many it is hard to even know where to begin! I love the old classical authors and started out reading Enid’s Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. They probably gave me a taste for adventure and thrilling mystery. Over the years I have read different genres but as I love reading thrillers and action adventure, I started writing in that genre.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I wanted to write the stories in my heart and head not want someone else wanted me to write. And talking to so many Indie Authors I started to realise I could publish my own books.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The sky is the limit. Indie publishing has given so many authors a chance to get noticed where traditional publishers wouldn’t. In saying that I do think Indie Authors must still go through the rigorous processes like numerous editing passes to produce the best book they can possibly give to a reader.
What genres do you write?
My first novel, The Grotto’s Secret is a conspiracy thriller with a historical mystery twist but readers have reviewed it as ‘Historical, thriller, mystery, suspense, romance, conspiracy’. Some readers have said it contains bits of all these genres.
What formats are your books in?