Q2: When did you decide to be a writer?
I started writing at about 12 or so, I won a local writing competition and that spurred me on. Back then it was plays and poems more than stories and purely for myself. I carried on for most of my adult life but I was always too "chicken" to publish. I moved to Germany 9 months ago and that gave me the courage to go for it and publish. Something about moving from Britain to mainland Europe made me braver!
Q3: What did you most recently publish (title and genre)?
The Mages' Stones:Amethyst (The Mages' Stones Set #3) It's an Earth Magic book that sits next to the Fantasy genre.
Q4: What is your next project?
The Mages' Stones is a 7 part set and I'm currently writing story #4, so there are plenty more Mages and their stones to write about. I'm about to publish my 2nd free flash fiction piece on Booksie, it's a romance story with a twist. But once TMS is finished I'll be starting work on a collection of short stories about Water Magic.
Q5: Which path(s) have you taken: traditional publishing, self-publishing, or both?
I self publish. I love the freedom that it gives me and I retain ownership of my work which is important to me. I also enjoy wearing lots of different hats, I relish marketing and publicity as I get to use words in a slightly different way. Cover design is super fun too!
Q6: Why should people consider reading your work?
Because for less than the price of a cup of coffee, I can help you see another world. You'll discover "Potentials" and Mages, encounter an unearthly static and corrosive rain, and you'll understand the power of the one they call "Obsidian".
Q7: How do you describe your writing style?
Oooh, very descriptive is the best way to put it I think. Blue Goldstone was about dialogue, for me, so it's heavier on it than most of my writing. I was asked about a scene from Amethyst the other day and if I enjoyed writing it, and the answer was "no". In Blue Goldstone I described Stephen as "detached", the scene in Amethyst was all about showing that. I could have written dialogue to demonstrate the point but I prefer an emotionally charged description over talking any day.
Q8: Where and when do you like to write?
I have an office at home for when I need to concentrate, but I prefer my own PC in the lounge if it's quiet enough. I have the stone that I'm writing about with my on the desk to help with my creative flow.
Q9: At what time, day or night, do you feel the most creative?
Both really. I go for a walk most days and I usually come back with sections written in my head from that. I write mainly at night as I find the quiet helps my creativity. I also write in my dreams, the upcoming flash fiction piece for Booksie is based on a dream I had. The next morning I rushed to my PC to get the plot down, so I wouldn't forget it!
Q10: Which authors inspire you the most, and how?
Margaret Atwood, she writes Dystopian women like no-one else. She's not a direct influence, I never try to write like anyone else. I like my own unique writing style. Also Indie authors in general because they work so darn hard, face huge competition, and are so supportive of each other despite that.
Q11: How do you overcome the writer’s demons: Procrastination and Self-Doubt?
I write short stories so procrastination isn't really an issue for me. Deadlines help as well, I'm quite strict on those and I haven't missed one yet. As to self doubt, I just remind myself that I'm writing the best I can. If I'm not happy I work at it until I am. So far I haven't got to the point that I can't get past it within my schedule.
Q12: What aspect of your writing do you feel is strongest, and what needs the most improvement?
I think I'm pretty good at capturing emotions through my words, I have a degree in Performing Arts so I'm no stranger to the emotional power of them. As to most improvement, I never stop trying to improve across the board. I want every story I write to be stronger than the last.
Q13: What was the best part of the worst thing you’ve ever written?
The scene in Amethyst I was talking about earlier was an unpleasant scene to write, but the best part is the ambiguity of that scene. The reader makes up their mind what the details of the scene are and just how gruesome it gets depends entirely on your own imagination.
Q14: What advice do you have for others who want to be writers?
There's a great guy on a forum I frequent whose standard response is "Just finish things. Write stuff." On the one hand you could see it as a "one size fits all" answer but the flip side is that many a writer spends more time thinking and talking about writing than actually doing it. Whether you publish for a fee or release it as a freebie can be worried about later.
Q15: What form of marketing works best for promoting your work(s)?
The kind that doesn't say "buy my book" lol. I use social media to get in touch with people and share cool stuff. I let people know when something new is out, or free and I give general updates (the usual work related posts). I used to manage a Fish and Chip Shop, but I didn't post "Buy my chips" on Facebook :)
Q16: If life is a bowl of cherries, what does your life as a bowl of cherries look like?
Q17: Who is your rock, the one who encourages you the most to keep writing, and why?
Me, because if I don't believe in myself how can I expect anyone else to? My husband is hugely supportive both in practical terms and in terms of morale. But he wants me to be happy and if I was happy painting instead of writing, he'd move heaven and earth to keep me painting.
Q18: What do you do apart from writing?
I'm a big gamer, if you see an India Emerald in an MMO it could well be me. I'm also a crafting fanatic, knitting, sewing, baking, window art. One of my current thumbnail images is a wreath I made from Paper Muffin Cases, I love it!
Q19: Where can people find more about you and your work(s)?
Q20: What one question should this interviewer have asked, and how would you answer it?
Q: Chocolate or Cheese?
A: Milk chocolate every time
If you are an author who would like to participate, you can find the 20 Question interview here.