What name do you write under?
Is this your given name?
Which country do you live in?
I’m a citizen of the world, I am always on the move.
What made you want to write and were you inspired by anyone?
I’ve wanted to write since I was a child but never had time due to my lifestyle – managing recording artists, songwriters, musicians, and record producers around the world. I cannot think of anyone who ‘inspired’ me to write. I just knew I wanted to. I’ve had a great love of the arts since a child: books, music, the theatre, movies, paintings – anything creative – so wanting to write seems to have been ‘in’ me for as long as I can recall. I think Kathy Reichs – if I have to single out one author – has inspired me in that she writes with a background in Forensics and she inspired me to undertake courses to study Forensic Science and Criminal Justice – a general knowledge – with Archaeology – and this has helped my writing a great deal.
What encouragement did you have, and have you taken any courses in writing?
My husband and my co-author of Only One Woman and life-long friend, Christina Jones, encouraged me greatly and still do. I’ve never really taken courses in writing, though I did once enrol in The London School of Journalism when I was a teenager and started the courses but never got to complete them. I cannot count that. I should add that I don’t co-write normally, Only One Woman is the first time either of us have done so. Christina is a best-selling, award-winning author in her own right.
What genre do you write?
I am a crime/thriller writer but opportunities have provided the challenge to write in different genres – charity anthologies mainly, but not solely – and I have written ghost stories, adventure stories and with Christina, our novel set in 1968/1969 about two girls and their shared love of a lead guitarist, Scott, and it is filled with music, fashion, and events from the era, enabling us to share our experiences and knowledge of the music scene back then, although I stress, the book is fiction. Only One Woman is my first ‘romance.’
What was your first publication?
I’ve had music articles published in industry magazines, the first was in the 1980s and was called ‘So, You Think You Want a Recording Contract.’
My fiction stories were first published in an anthology in 2012, Telling Tales. I had two stories in it: The Debt Collector and The Ghost in the Privy. It is no longer in print. Since then I’ve been published in 12 more anthologies.
Did you self-publish or use a publishing house?
I am published by Accent Press – since 2014. I have never self-published. The books I have contributed towards, the anthologies, have small publishers behind them.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Oh cripes! I can write a short story to a deadline within a couple of weeks or faster if asked. I have several novels on the go – over a period of time – so it is hard to say. Ms Birdsong Investigates – in with my publisher now – is book one of a series (books two and three are almost there), and it took me a year to write and tweak. The two other books in the series so far, have taken about three years as I’ve had to concentrate on Only One Woman.
Only One Woman – I started it in 2012 and it took me about 3 months to write. I sent it to Christina who added her parts over the next two years. She had other publication commitments so had to fit it in with those. The book was accepted by Accent Press in 2014 and scheduled for publication 2014. However, changes within the company put the book back several times with publication dates coming and going, and then earlier this year a date was set for 23rd Nov 2017 and we began hard editing, some additional chapters were asked for and we had to write these whilst we were working with our editor. It has been very demanding.
How many words does your book usually contain?
A novel for my publisher is usually about 120,000 words – Only One Woman is 160,000 words (it was about 772 pages before the printer got to work on formatting). It is as long as it needed to be. A mini War and Peace.
Ms Birdsong Investigates is just over 120,000 so far – not been edited yet.
How do you get over writer’s block?
So far no. I might sit and gaze at the screen for a few moments, make a cup of tea, eat some liquorice and then *bang* it all comes pouring out and the story writes itself.
Did you give up the day job to be able to write?
No, we – my husband and I – semi-retired from the music business; babysitting testosterone-fuelled young musicians and female singers with PMS, wore a little thin and our lives were flying past looking after their careers and not having a life of our own. My time is my own when not in a panic to get a book written or edits done for my publisher.
Will you ever retire from writing?
If I get bored I might, but I also like writing about my ‘jollies,’ and so I most likely won’t. My trips out to visit lovely forests, gardens, villages, and cathedrals etc., are what I write about on my blog when not writing about writing or interviewing authors.
How can we buy your books?
Only One Woman UK: http://amzn.to/2x1UIdr
How did you find out about The Writers Newsletter and has it been of interest to you?
I am not sure, I found it somewhere online, possibly on Facebook, and began following it and then writing shorts stories and articles which were – very kindly – included in various issues. I love it. It is such a great read and so enjoyable too.