Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
My love affair with romance started when at eleven I discovered a stash of my aunt’s books. After a summer holiday spent devouring them from cover to cover, I was hooked on bad boy heroes and smart heroines. I wrote my first novel in 2017.
I just LOVED writing this book, it was so much fun! I especially enjoyed crafting the dialogue between the central couple. Arlo, the lead male is rough and raw – he’s a musician, after all. Despite her delicate appearance, his love interest and the main protagonist of the noel, London is no wallflower. She gives as good as she gets, always ready with the pithy one-liners designed to put Arlo in his place. Their interactions simmer with sexual tension each and every time. I won’t lie, I fell in (and out of) love with Arlo several times along the way, and found myself really wanting him to get his happily ever after.
Though this was my first book, amazingly, once I sat down to commit this story to paper (it lived in my head for a long time before that), it pretty much wrote itself. I’m lucky that I had plenty of personal experiences to inspire my writing – which no doubt, made the job easier.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
An avid reader for as long as I can remember, I always knew I’d write a book of my own someday. Finally, after a career spanning advertising, marketing, and social media, I was inspired to write Catching London drawing on my own experiences.
I know firsthand what it’s like to fall head over heels in love with a badass musician, having followed my heart and my HEA halfway around the world to be with one. I moved from my hometown of London to Sydney more than a decade ago, after a steamy holiday romance with a sexy bass player in sultry Brazil. Twelve years, two children and a dog later, and I’m still in Sydney, and still smitten.
I have toured with said badass and several bands, in Australia and overseas, and draw from the things I saw and heard during those crazy times in my novels. I certainly have plenty of inspiration to work with!
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
If you can call it a habit, probably the most unusual aspect of my writing life is the fact that fuelled by copious amounts of coffee, the vast majority of my writing takes place late at night. I write almost exclusively between 9pm and 3am, but have been known to stay up until dawn, or forgo sleep altogether to get the job done.
As a busy working mother of two small children, this has been the most effective (albeit tiring) way to ensure that I make time for writing. That being the case, sleep is in pretty short supply, so I've embraced the mantra "You can sleep when you're dead." So far, so good!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
The first romance novel I ever read was a now somewhat controversial YA classic by Liz Berry, called Easy Connection. In many ways, that book is where my road to becoming an author began. I read and reread it countless times, marvelling in the writing, the themes and the emotions it evoked in me. It's out of print now, unfortunately, and somewhat of a collectors item, as copies are few and far between. However, somewhat serendipitously, as I submitted my final edit of Catching London to my publisher, I randomly stumbled across a copy on eBay here in Australia. It wasn't cheap, but I had to have it – it seemed like to much of a good omen, and a fitting reward for my hard work!
The first adult romance novels were those I unearthed at my aunt's house – they were by Virginia Andrews, Jilly Cooper, Jackie Collins and Danielle Steele – stalwarts of romance. I guess they were influential in introducing me to some of the main tropes and themes of the genre.
Other than that, all of the books I have read have left something with me, and influenced me in some way, especially my favourites.
What are you working on now?
Now that Catching London is complete and ready for release, I am focusing on plotting and planning my second novel, and have done some early stage chapter outlines. It will be a stand alone novel featuring characters introduced in Catching London, but at this stage, I don't want to say more than that…
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
As a new author, working out the best methods of promoting my work is a new process, and one that relies largely on trial and error. So far, no one platform or method shines out as more or less effective, so at this stage, I'm treating all my marketing efforts equally.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Being a pretty new to the publishing world myself, my best advice at this stage would be to keep on keeping on. Get up every day and write, so that you get that book finished. Once it's done, send it out to publishers and agents in the hope of securing representation or a publishing contract. It's hard to deal with what feels like daily rejection, but just keep on going – the only way is up, and eventually good things will happen.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
I was once advised never to eat anything bigger than my head. While I'm not sure it's the best advice I've ever received it's certainly the most perplexing and thought provoking.
What are you reading now?
I have just finished two great books by fellow Australian writing team Haley Jenner – their debut and sophomore novels – Archer and Jake. Reading time is scant right now, as I work towards the release of Catching London, but I'm eagerly awaiting Bennett, the third novel in their Leaves of a Maple series.
What’s next for you as a writer?
So many good things, I hope! There will be at least three books following Catching London – stand alone but interconnecting. Beyond that, I have so many ideas for other stories that I'm not sure I'll ever get them all written in this lifetime!
What is your favorite book of all time?
I have been a voracious reader for as long as I can remember, so there are too many to name check. When I was young I loved the typical children's choices – Roald Dahl, Judy Blume, Francine Pascal, but I have to say that my first experience of being truly wowed by a book was Dickens' A Christmas Carol. I think I would have been 8 or 9 years old. To this day I'm still a die-hard Dickens fan. I couldn't (and still can't) get enough of the his vivid characterisations and skill at bringing the sights, sounds and feelings of Victorian Britain to life on the page