So, I had this idea (me, K’Anne). Discussing it with fellow authors, I thought, why not ‘pay it forward’ and introduce other authors to my followers. Sometimes this is the only way to let others know about new books, new authors, etc.
Some authors are better than others at marketing themselves and their books. I gave Julie my list that I used to use in my Q&A in Lesfic Reading Group on Facebook. I told her to pick and choose the questions she wanted to answer and pass on to readers. I suggest you check her out and see if her book(s) may be something that might interest you. We are all in this together and paying it forward to another author is something I can get behind.
· Do you have any siblings?
I am the ‘baby’ of a brood of 6 (3 girls / 3 boys). Growing up, was like living in the Walton Family. We were all musical and artistically creative in some way. As a small child, I was always read bedtime stories. It was safe, fun and a time to connect as a family.
· When you are writing each novel, are the experiences based on someone you know or events in your own life?
It’s almost inevitable that characters in novels are based, in some way, on real people. However, having included the: ‘Any similarity to living or dead people is purely coincidental’ disclaimer, I’m bound to assert that my characters are 100% fictitious!😉 However, there is one event in MARMALADE MARTINI that was based on a true-life experience. The MC, Jamie Barker, recalls the time (at a quiet crossroad during a road trip through South Africa) when she was forced hit the accelerator of her car to jump red traffic lights. Her reason? To avoid being car-jacked by a group of youths waiting at the lights.
· What are you working on now?
As I wrote MARMALADE MARTINI, and the twists and turns of the narrative peeled away, I realised that a sequel was brewing! The loose ends and unanswered questions were utterly deliberate. I wanted to dangle the carrot on the stick, step back and see what the audience wanted. Thankfully, following the success of the first book (and prompted by fantastic reviews and reader-demand) the sequel – ROCK & RHUBARB as born.
· How do you keep your different characters separate in your mind?
Apart from the obvious (appearance) and different personalities, I find it helps to apportion specific traits or mannerisms to each character – sometimes subtle, sometimes more explicit. Where appropriate, I try to connect an emotional state of mind with an action or phrase. Sometimes, my own relationship with the individual can easily help me to differentiate – particularly if they are the type of person I would struggle (in real life) to even be in the same room with for any length of time!😂
· Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I’ve had many interesting conversations about this. I’ve also learned that these two approaches actually have a name! (Pantser / Plotter). I tend to combine the two. However, my approach with MARMALADE MARTINI even surprised me! Even before the title was decided, I knew exactly how the story would begin and end. An unconventional approach? Perhaps. But the fact was, I had penned my very first and final paragraphs before I had any notion of how the story would unravel.
· As an author and essentially the “creator” of your character, do you find yourself attached to her in a personal way?
Yes! Crucially (and fatally) I was already emotionally involved with my main character, Jamie Barker, in MARMALADE MARTINI. She lived and worked in London UK, so my frequent social visits to the capital enabled me to become familiar with her world. I discovered where she drank, where she lived, where she worked and she even started to introduce me to her circle of friends. As soon as I discovered that Jamie has a story to tell, I knew that I needed to tell it for her!
· If you could actually meet the character of one of your books, the exact woman you’ve conjured up in both looks and personality, which one would it be and why?
Linda, in MARMALADE MARTINI. She’s a strong, smart, kickass woman, who has a fierce heart of gold. However, I’m still figuring out exactly what makes her tick and feel she has hidden depths. She hasn’t fully revealed her inner-self to me, yet. I guess I still have some digging to do in the sequel!
· Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members that ‘surprised’ you?
My wife’s best friend, Angela, who proved to be an unexpectedly awesome proofreader and provided super-enlightening critical feedback. I also discovered she is a prolific reader and able to unpick plot details with a fine-tooth-comb! She certainly warranted a special mention on my dedication page.
· Who designed your book covers?
I guess I’m bound to tackle this question with a sneaky plug. I’m fortunate to have an artistic background, coupled with experience and qualifications. In short, I created my own covers. In fact, I also design and produce artwork for ebook and printable book covers for other authors. If cover design something that I could help you with, check out the portfolio on my website:
Feel free to get in touch for a chat. 😊