Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I moved from Australia to the South of Spain, where I live with my husband and two cats beside the sea. Aside from writing, I enjoy painting and photography, almost anything that happened in the 80's, and hope in the near future to be able to focus on writing and illustrating children's books, branch out into sci-fi, study architecture, genetics, physics, psychology, massage therapy (again), with a hopeful move from that into physiotherapy (maybe), and really just keep learning as much as I can.
I've written several books in the past, but it's only recently that I've started looking at being an author as a career. The Carnival Keepers is my first published novel.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is The Carnival Keepers. It was inspired by a suggestion that I enter a penny dreadful manuscript for an e-zine through a publishing company in 2015. The submission was for 20-30 thousand words, so that's why there are three parts to the story. I got ambitions and decided that if my first submission was accepted I could try for a regular spot on the e-zine. And even though the e-zine idea never came to fruition, I'm glad I kept going. I'm definitely kind of proud of it.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I used to smoke a lot while I wrote, coupled half the time with wine or coffee. However I no longer smoke, or drink coffee. Wine… When I start writing I find it hard to stop. It almost takes over my whole life, and sometimes I'm a bit of a jerk. I'll be so involved in what I'm writing that I forget what's going on around me. It becomes an obsession, and sometimes I'll wake up at ridiculous hours of the morning because I have to get down a piece of writing that I came up with in my sleep. That's actually how chapter on happened. I felt like I was lying in the middle of a filthy Victorian backstreet, in the early hours of the morning (which it was) watching the whole scene play out. It played over and over again in my head till I finally got up and wrote it down.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
The authors who I love and have influenced me are; William Hope Hodgson (The House on the Borderland changed my life), Walter Moers, P. G. Wodehouse (especially love his writing style), Alastair Reynolds, China Miéville, Anne Bishop, Cecilia Dart-Thornton, Kate Forsyth, Robert E. Howard, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, Verity Roth, Paris Singer, Edgar Wallace (his book, Angel of Terror is a cracking good read), J.D. Salinger, to name just a few.
What are you working on now?
I'm currently working on the sequel to The Carnival Keepers. It's called Murder at the Scrambling Dragon. I like to write books in a setting I am relatively unfamiliar with, because I love to research. So with this new book, I'm heading into yet more unfamiliar territory, with a hopefully oriental twist to the adventure.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I'm still learning my way around this rocky terrain. There are so many places out there promising "stuff", but at the end of the day it's all down to trial and error. It's not only the places to promote, but there seem to be certain times that are better than others to promote your work. So far, I've done well with bkinghts on fiverr, bargainbooksy, The New Kindle Book Review is a good one. I like The Book Hippo, too.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
If you love it, don't stop. Not even when you get your first bad review, or a rejection from a publisher or an agent (because believe me there will be many of those). It's nothing personal. You just have to keep going and make yourself heard. And read. Read as much as you can. It helps so much when it comes to developing your own style.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Same as the advice I gave for new authors.
What are you reading now?
I'm currently reading The High Mountains of Portugal, by Yann Martel.
What’s next for you as a writer?
After I finish The Carnival Keepers Trilogy, I'd really like to get into some sci-fi ideas I have floating around in my head. I'm also still working on writing and illustrating children's books, but that's probably going to be a lot further down the track when it comes to getting it out there.
What is your favorite book of all time?
The House on the Borderland, by William Hope Hodgson