Tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been writing? What genre do you write? Thanks for having me here! I’ve been writing since I was a child, but only started writing seriously about ten years ago. I started writing fantasy and historical fiction, and dabbled with a bit of science fiction, but my first four published novels were all historicals.
What inspired you to write your first book? My first book that was published was based on the real-life Renaissance character Susanna Horenbout, who most likely worked for Henry VIII as a court painter. I discovered a bit of her story in a reference book I was reading and was captivated by her and inspired to write about her, a woman working in what was a man’s profession in those times, in a very tense and unfriendly court, for a very mercurial king. It became a series of three books, starting with In a Treacherous Court.
Where do you get your inspiration from? I get it from all around me. Songs, stories, the news, my imagination. I’m constantly amazed at what my subconscious seems to conjure up!
Where/When do you do the most of your writing? I either write in my study, on my bed, outside on the veranda or in a coffee shop. Lately, I’ve been going to a lot of coffee shops 🙂
What series/book did you write that has the biggest following. The series that has the biggest following is my science fiction Class 5 series. A Dangerous Madness, one of my regency historicals, is not far off from it, but Dark Horse and Dark Deeds have been my two best received.
Do you have a favorite author? I have so many favourite authors. And each and every one of them has inspired me and helped make me a better writer. From Enid Blyton when I was a child, through C.S. Lewis and JRR Tolkien, to Iain M. Banks, Agatha Christie, Dick Francis and Terry Pratchett, and many, many others, they all took me away to their exciting worlds, and made me want to do the same.
Are the experiences of your characters based on any of your own or people that you know? Not really, but while the situations are from my imagination, I like to ground my characters’ reactions and feelings on reality, so I am a big people-watcher.
You write what would seem to be two very different genres – SFR and historical romance. What do you do differently when writing for both genres or is romance, romance and the location incidental? While good world building is good world building, and both historical and science fiction novels need a well-built, believable world, the approach is very different between the two genres. Historical fiction requires a great deal more preparation from me in terms of research, but as I like to use real historical incidents as much as possible, the plot is more defined, whereas science fiction I don’t need to do as much preparation, but I do need to work more on the direction of the plot and how it holds together. For me, they both have their own unique challenges and excitement. I love reading both genres, and I love writing both.
Describe your latest WIP. My current WIP is the third book in the Class 5 series, Dark Minds. I’m still in the grappling stages of the book, working out exactly who my characters are. It’s fun but challenging.