Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I live on the outskirts of London and have done all my life. I am a 19 year old student of philosophy and maths. Along with this being my debut novel, I am also a singer-songwriter. I have 2 singles out and am currently working on an EPQ. I used to be a affiliated horse rider – but I gave it up to pursue music. But writing? That has been something I have always done. I have written several "novels" as a child, I always loved creating new stories. Insane, however, is my first published novel.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My debut novel is called Insane. It is a psychological thriller about a serial killer. She kills because she enjoys it. You might call her insane, but who are you to judge?
I wanted to write this book because I have a fascination with philosophy. Being a philosophy student, I have studied many of the moral theories that have been proposed and from this, I realised that since there is no agreed morality, then there is no universal morality. Morality is individual and personal. So what I think is right and wrong, won't be the same as what you think is right and wrong – but that doesn't make either of us right or wrong! I have also found that most stories – portrayed through books or TV – that have the "villain" as the "protagonist" create a sympathetic backstory. I don't like this. Why can't we take something at face value? Why can't we accept someone, even if we don't understand them? This is why I wrote Insane.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
The thing I have found that works best for me is giving myself an unrealistic deadline. That might sound strange, but I like having a really tight deadline that I am rushing to get the writing done for – because I have found that then the story kind of writes itself! That way, it seems more organic to me rather than me planning it out, dotting the Is and crossing the Ts – that's what the second draft is for!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
My favourite author as a teen was Rachel Vincent, so she has definitely been a huge influence on me and my want of being a writer. But now? My main inspiration is Clare MacKintosh – after reading her debut I just fell in love! My favourite genre is psychological thriller because I like to think and have my beliefs questioned and be surprised – and her books definitely make me surprised! As for a really great psychological thriller that really makes you question your morals – check out Good Me Bad Me – Ali Land. This one was incredible!
What are you working on now?
As I have only just launched my debut novel. I am currently focusing on promoting that. However, I have a solid idea in my mind for my next venture – and it's something that I haven't seen done before. If I can do it well it will be great, but it could also be a disaster, so fingers crossed this time next year I will have another psychological thriller launching!
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Social Media platforms are definitely a must – I have had the most luck on Instagram, but it's different for everyone.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
As a new author myself, I don't feel qualified to give a lot of advice since I'm still learning! But what I've learnt so far is that research is so important. Being self-published and coming into the industry from the outside is terrifying! But if you spend hours reading blogs, advice posts, community forums – the whole thing becomes a lot easier to handle.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
That's a tricky one! I'll have to say it's what my Dad has always told me. It isn't a specific piece of advice – more the philosophy he lives by and now that I do – you can do absolutely anything you want, if you put in the effort.
What are you reading now?
I'm currently reading Children of Blood and Bone – a YA fantasy book. I used to love this genre! And haven't read a book from it in a while so I was feeling nostalgic. I have only just started it though, so I can't really comment on it just yet!
What’s next for you as a writer?
Well, I suppose starting to write my next novel! I am currently at my favourite part of writing a story – creating it! I have a concept and I am so excited to turn that into a well developed plot! Let the creative juices flow!
What is your favorite book of all time?
Stuff of Nightmares – Malorie Blackman. It's just a book that has always stuck with me through the years.