Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
An avid reader for as long as I can remember, I always knew I’d write a book of my own someday. Finally, after a career spanning advertising, marketing, and social media, I was inspired to write my debut novel, Catching London drawing on my own experiences. I have since gone on to write a further three books in the same series, with at least another two to follow.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Pushing Arlo is the third book in the Heartless Few series, which began in February 2018 with the launch of my debut novel, Catching London. In that book we are introduced to Arlo and London, a sexy tumultuous couple who ride an epic emotional rollercoaster of emotions on their path to their happy ever after. That story was told from London's point of view, and it whet readers' appetites not just for more of their story, but also for more of Arlo's voice.
Following on from Catching London comes novella Cold, Hard & Heartless which retells some of the story we saw in Catching London, this time from Arlo's point of view. Pushing Arlo is also written from Arlo's point of view, but it picks up from where Catching London left of, taking the story further, and as we follow the feisty couple as they chase their happy ever after.
This book was a natural follow on from Catching London, and was really beginning to be written the moment I type 'the end.'.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
If you can call it a habit, probably the most unusual aspect of my writing life is the fact that fuelled by copious amounts of coffee, the vast majority of my writing takes place late at night. I write almost exclusively between 9pm and 3am, but have been known to stay up until dawn, or forgo sleep altogether to get the job done.
As a busy working mother of two small children, this has been the most effective (albeit tiring) way to ensure that I make time for writing. That being the case, sleep is in pretty short supply, so I've embraced the mantra "You can sleep when you're dead." So far, so good!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
The first romance novel I ever read was a now somewhat controversial YA classic by Liz Berry, called Easy Connection. In many ways, that book is where my road to becoming an author began. I read and reread it countless times, marvelling in the writing, the themes and the emotions it evoked in me. It's out of print now, unfortunately, and somewhat of a collectors item, as copies are few and far between. However, somewhat serendipitously, as I submitted my final edit of Catching London to my publisher, I randomly stumbled across a copy on eBay here in Australia. It wasn't cheap, but I had to have it – it seemed like to much of a good omen, and a fitting reward for my hard work!
The first adult romance novels were those I unearthed at my aunt's house – they were by Virginia Andrews, Jilly Cooper, Jackie Collins and Danielle Steele – stalwarts of romance. I guess they were influential in introducing me to some of the main tropes and themes of the genre.
Other than that, all of the books I have read have left something with me, and influenced me in some way, especially my favourites.
What are you working on now?
I'm currently working on Finding Marnie, the fourth book in the Heartless Few series. It features Marnie and Luke, two characters who until now, have played a supporting role in the previous books. After some interesting storylines for them in the previous books, they're finally getting their moment in the sun, and their shot at a happy ever after. Maybe?
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
As a newer author, working out the best methods of promoting my work is a new process, and one that relies largely on trial and error. So far, no one platform or method shines out as more or less effective, so at this stage, I'm treating all my marketing efforts equally. It also seems that what works really well for one author may or may not work well for you, and conversely, something that has gone badly for another author might work like a charm for you. I've even found that what works well for one title might then not work so well for another. I guess it's a process of fine-tuning your toolkit until you have a blueprint that works for you.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Being a pretty new to the publishing world myself, my best advice at this stage would be to keep on keeping on. Get up every day and write, so that you get that book finished. Once it's done, send it out to publishers and agents in the hope of securing representation or a publishing contract. It's hard to deal with what feels like daily rejection, but just keep on going – the only way is up, and eventually good things will happen.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
I was once advised never to eat anything bigger than my head. While I'm not sure it's the best advice I've ever received it's certainly the most perplexing and thought provoking.
What are you reading now?
I must confess that of late, I have had my head down and focused on writing and editing my latest work and haven't had a chance to read much.
However, I will be making time and space for two forthcoming releases: Dirty Headlines by LJ Shen, and Luca by Haley Jenner. I'm super excited to get my hands on both!
What’s next for you as a writer?
With three books of the Heartless Few books out in market, and a fourth on the way, I'll be looking to wrap up the series next year, and already have my sights set on a new series (or two) for next year.
What will it be? You'll have to wait and see!
What is your favorite book of all time?
I have been a voracious reader for as long as I can remember, so there are too many to name check. When I was young I loved the typical children's choices – Roald Dahl, Judy Blume, Francine Pascal, but I have to say that my first experience of being truly wowed by a book was Dickens' A Christmas Carol. I think I would have been 8 or 9 years old. To this day I'm still a die-hard Dickens fan. I couldn't (and still can't) get enough of the his vivid characterisations and skill at bringing the sights, sounds and feelings of Victorian Britain to life on the page.