- What prompted you to start writing?
Well, I have always enjoyed reading but it’s becoming harder and harder to accept the mediocrity of so many books in recent times and the proliferation of stereotypical women’s literature. Some women like to read about handbags, boyfriends, billionaires and shoes, but that’s just not for me. Don’t get me wrong, I see the attraction in so-called “chick lit.” They’re extremely popular because they often reflect the shopaholic oriented and gender limiting agendas of Hollywood and sometimes there’s a good story in there too. As for me…I need more. I write for people like me.
- So what would be your criteria for a good book then?
I prefer a book with excitement that extends beyond the realms of New York’s most popular shopping mall. A good novel should educate, entertain, excite and above all elicit an emotional response. I like to be surprised
- I see you are branching out into erotica lately. Has that always been an interest of yours?
Come on now…Who isn’t interested in sex? It’s a basic biological drive. But as for the literary aspect of its expression, that is only something I started to explore within the last six years. It takes confidence to be able to write about sex and publish it. To narrate it even. It takes strength of character even in our supposedly liberated times to accept the fact that sex is not shameful and can be a subject for art and creativity, amongst other things.
- You mentioned that your first love has always been sci-fi, what are some of your favourite books sci-fi or otherwise?
Most of Arthur C Clarke’s books (especially the Rama Trilogy), Isaac Asimov (especially Caves of Steel), Phillip K Dick, Michael Crichton, Thomas Hardy (The Mayor of Casterbridge), Anne Bronte (The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Tracy Chevalier, Charles Dickens and John Steinbeck.
- Is there anything that you feel that particularly qualifies you as a writer?
Yes. I want people to see things through my eyes. When a writer has degrees and letters after their name many people think that this automatically imbues that individual with Shakespearian abilities, but that’s not always the case. When you read a book you are stepping into that person’s thought process and imagination but not necessarily their intellect. These are shaped by their life experiences, likes and dislikes, personality, and many other things. So really each writer has the potential to write something from a refreshingly different perspective but what they actually come up with is the real touchstone. Hopefully my readers will think I’ve passed the test.
- Where do you find your inspiration?
Everywhere really and it’s an on-going thing. The characters in my first novel are a mishmash of people I’ve known over the years and my imagination just fills in the gaps. I think it also comes through in the first book that I have a great respect for the natural world. Animals and scenery are good for setting the mood. For instance, my first book begins with a solitary seagull circling in the distance, which instantly conjures up the idea of loneliness. And of course history is another thing that can fire the imagination.
- Have you always had such an interest in history?
No, in fact I hated history at school but it has grown on me over the years. I think moving to Ireland was partly responsible for my change of heart. As you know, it’s a country steeped in history. You only have to go for a drive to see that. There are ruined castles, battle sites and cairns dotted about all over the place, so it’s easy to slip into the habit of wondering about the people connected with them. Also I have been caught up in genealogy for the past twenty years, researching my Scottish heritage, so that has played an integral part too.
- So your family aren’t originally from Northern Ireland then?
No. I moved here when I was seventeen from Staffordshire – my first husband was Northern Irish. My family are mostly Scots, English, Irish and Welsh.
- What are your plans for the future?
My erotica seems to be very popular currently. And I thoroughly enjoy writing it and receiving feedback from my followers. It’s great to feel totally uninhibited and just to be able to express what you want; to create an entire person’s life and give them amazing experiences that most of us will probably never have. It’s powerful. So for now that’s the direction I’m heading in. I’m also finding that my narrations are very popular, so I have plans to augment those experiences for my followers using enhanced recording processes and by collaborating with fellow artists.
- Have you any advice for aspiring authors?
Yes. Write for yourself above all, for your own enjoyment. That way it’s less likely that you will give up. Expect refusals and rejections; it’s all part of the experience. Learn from it and use it to spur yourself on to do better. A publisher once told me that I was aiming too high, just jumping straight in and writing a novel when I had no experience. Maybe some would have listened and might have thrown in the towel but as far as I’m concerned, I always aim high and if I fail I just pick myself up and keep on trying. It’s not a bad motto.