Q: What do you enjoy the most about the stories you write?
What I like most about the stories I write is exploring other lives and professions. It’s a way of having all the jobs I can’t have now. I can also give myself skills I don’t have, like being able to turn a tatty cardigan into a stylish shrug with just a few bugle beads. (That’s in my next book, A Perfect Proposal, that has a lovely preppy American lawyer hero.)
Q: You have so many works published, how do you keep coming up with new and fresh ideas?
I keep thinking I’ll run out of ideas and then I’ll hear a snatch of conversation, or someone will tell me something about themselves that make my antenna twitch. People who know me recognize ‘the look’ which means the wheels are turning and another idea for a book is being formed.
Q: You have a new novel that just got released in the US, Wedding Season. What do you think readers will really enjoy about this story?
I think readers will enjoy Wedding Season because it’s about weddings, which most of us enjoy. It also has lovely dresses, women trying new things and discovering things about each other, and especially women having a lot of fun. Also, there are some cute men, too!
Q: Do you have any particular habits or ways you need to follow when in the writing process?
I can’t start a book until I’ve decided exactly where the story starts. I can have the characters, the theme, the setting, but until I know exactly that pivotal moment in their lives that sets the story going.
Q: If someone (like me!) were to ask how you get over a case of writers block, how would you respond?
How do I get over writers’ block? I take the day off, go shopping, or go for a walk, or read someone else’s book. Basically, if I give my conscious mind a rest the subconscious will sort out the problem. Time off between books is good, but not always possible.
Q: I read that you spent much of your early married life ‘on the water’- why is that?
My early married life was spent on the water for two reasons. My new husband was an officer in the Merchant Navy and I went to sea with him just after we were married. (I was very seasick!). And later, we set up a business on the canals on Britain. We had a pair of boats and ran them as a hotel. I did all the cooking. Very hard work!
Q: We all have them- bad habits! What would you say your bad habit is?
My bad habit (well one of them) is playing Spider Patience on my computer. I always start the day with a game and quite often play for a while before I start work. Sometimes I am thinking about what to write (which is good) but sometimes I’m just listening to the radio, which is bad! Although I might easily get an idea from a radio program.
Q: How do you enjoy spending your free time?
My free time is spent doing flamenco dancing, singing in a choir, playing with my grandchild, shopping – the usual stuff really.
Q: What would be your best advice for aspiring writers?
My best advice for aspiring writers is to read a lot and write. Don’t worry if you don’t get your first, fifth or tenth novel published, if you keep going you’ll make it. Also read ‘how to write’ books as they may make the process a bit quicker.
Q: Where is or do you think would be your favorite place to travel to?
I love traveling and so far haven’t been to Australia. However before I can do that, I’m hoping to visit the Hudson Valley in Upstate New York as two of my books have been turned into German TV films, and they have set them there. If they do a third, I want to go and appear as an extra, for my Alfred Hitchock moment.