1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
It was always evenings because that was the only time I had to write as I
had a day job. Then, when I started writing full time, it used to be from
about 10.00 a m to about 4.00 p m. But now, with so much marketing to do, my
mornings are given over to answering emails and to blog posts and
interviews, etc and I only actually get to the writing in the afternoons.
So, I suppose it's whatever time of day I can get to do it.
2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the
I always start in longhand. Then, when I've got a few chapters along, I
switch to the computer. When I've finished a first draft, I print the lot
out and go through again in pen, editing as I go. Then I put all the
alterations/additions on the computer and go through again with, perhaps, a
week or two's break before reading it through and printing it out again with
another pen go-through.
3: What do you draw inspiration from?
My own head, mostly. I think once you start pummelling your brain, trying to
think up a great idea, they start coming. I tend to like to write things
down, so I'll write all the usual reasons for murder down in a circle and
work outwards from that. It's amazing how the ideas come.
4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word
No, not really. I don't have a daily word count. I write until I'm tired and
then I stop. It works for me. I don't like the idea of some time and motion
person (even if it's me!) standing over me with a word count clock and
telling me I've come up short. Away with him, I say.
5: Are you a published or a self published author and how do you come up
with your cover art?
I'm both. I've been published by Macmillan and St Martin's Press and
Worldwide in softcover. I've been published in audio by Isis Soundings. For
print, I'm now with Severn House who have published twelve of my mystery
novels. At the end of 2010, I started publishing my backlist books as
ebooks. Of my eighteen published novels, I've now got three up on kindle and
I'm currently working on getting a fourth up (the first two are also on
nook, iPad, iPhone, sobo, android etc and the second, Down Among the Dead
Men, is also up on smashwords). I use Kimberly Hitchens, a wonderful
American lady to do my ebook formatting. She also provides a cover service
and I have a talented young man called Rick Capidamonte to do my covers.
Both are very efficient and very reasonable. So far they have done three of
my ebooks(Dead Before Morning, Down Among the Dead Men and Death Line - all
from my Rafferty and Llewellyn mystery series) and they're working on The
Hanging Tree, my fourth. I love publishing my ebooks myself. It means I get
to control the publication date, the cover and the price. It's wonderful to
have control after having none for so many years.
6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?
A loathing of the day jobs. I've worked mostly as an office drone and hated
it. I've always wanted to be my own boss and writing allowed me to achieve
that. Not that it was particularly a means to an end. The writing came first
and the possibility of eventually leaving the wage-slavery and working from
home came a long way behind. I've always been a keen reader, so becoming a
writer wasn't such a strange ambition. Like Colin Dexter, the creator of
Morse, I also read one bad crime novel too many and had the thought that I
could do better. So I gave it a go. And got taken out of Macmillan's slush
pile and published. Though that was after spending six years trying and
failing to write romances with a book a year - all rejected - bar the last
of the six.
7: Do you own an ebook reading device?
Yes, I persuaded my husband to buy me a kindle just this last Christmas.
8: Who are some of your favourite authors and What are you reading now?
My favourite mystery authors change from time to time. At the moment, I
liked Val McDermid, Janet Evanovich, Mark Billingham, Ruth Dudley Edwards,
Cynthia Harrod Eagles and Reginald Hill. Amongs the historicals, I like
Sharon Penman (loved her Sunne in Splendour about the later Plantagenets),
Jean Plaidy and Philippa Gregory. I think my favourite book of all time is
St Thomas's Eve by Jean Plaidy, about Saint Thomas More. I generally read
mysteries and historicals. I've almost finished The White Queen by Philippa
Gregory, which is about Elizabeth Woodville, the Lancastrian who married the
Yorkist king, Edward iV. I'm also reading an ebook, Daughter of Time, a Time
Travel Romance by Sarah Woodbury for review and What of Death by Mark
9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?
I love book trailers. I'm not convinced they help to sell books, but they're
great fun to make. I've made six so far, one each for Dread Before Morning,
Down Among the Dead Men, Death Line, The Hanging Tree (still in progress)
and for hbs Death Dance and Deadly Reunion. I think my favourites are the
ones I did for Death Line and Dead Before Morning even if the latter is
rather longer than is generally supposed to be best. I make mine using
Windows Movie Maker. All my trailers are up on my website as well as on
10: How did you come up with the title of your latest book?
That one was pretty easy, actually. It involved a murder at a school
reunion, so I called it Deadly Reunion. Most, of course, are not so easy. I
had a terrible time, I remember, coming up with the title Dying For You,
which is the sixth in my Rafferty and Llewellyn series. I had two pages of
possible titles before I came up with that one. The book was written before
I got it. Awful. I don't even want to go through that again. It seemed as
though that book was cursed, as I also had to put it aside for six months to
do a rewrite of Reluctant Queen, my historical. It was so difficult going
back and trying to pick up the threads. But having said that, Dying For You
still remains my favourite book. So perhaps curses aren't all bad. :-)
11: What are you working on now that you can talk about?
Imminently, I'll be doing the proofing for the ebook version of The Hanging
Tree. Then, I really must get on with Kith and Kill, my next hb. After that,
I hope to publish Reluctant Queen as an ebook. and then I have hopes of
publishing the rest of my backlist as ebooks.
amazon links: Deadly Reunion hb: http://tinyurl.com/4qjgay4
Death Line, latest ebook: