1. When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?
About 6 years ago, I realized I wanted to become a published writer. However, my passion for words started long before this.
2. When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I wrote my first full length fiction book when I was about 14. Before this I wrote little stories about me and my friends and our favourite pop stars. Then I turned to writing fiction but still using our real names. By the time I was 16 I'd written four or five novels, all fantasy/paranormal romance, which I still write today.
3. How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite?
I've written dozens of books, even more if you count the ones I haven't finished. Three of my books are published, In the Shadows of Angels, Illusions of Destiny and Jewels of the Sun. My favourite would have to be Jewels of the Sun. The interaction between the heroine and hero still gets me chuckling.
4. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
Well, with a young family and a job, I've had to create quite a strict writing schedule. I try to keep to it, simply because if I don't, I'd never get any writing done. I write Sunday-Thursday 6.30pm-10.30pm. This includes research.
5. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don't know whether it's interesting, but I hand write all my manuscripts before transferring them onto the computer. Hand writing helps me think. Then when I type the story into the computer I add world building, more character traits etc. I'm not much of a plotter so I rewrite my stories four or five times.
6. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Sometimes, I might see an ad, hear a song, or someone might say something that gets my imagination in gear. I once wrote a book based on the word nebulous.
7. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Day trips! Jump in the car with the hubby and kids and drive two hours north, west, or south. Here in Queensland, 2 hours in those directions takes us to the middle of nowhere! If we drive east we hit the coast. We have a picnic lunch, a bushwalk, then get back into the car and come home. I love outdoor activities like fishing, hiking and gardening.
8. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
No matter how hard I try, no matter how many times I threaten to do them harm, my characters never behave themselves! This surprises me considering they came from my imagination!
9. What do you think makes a good story?
A romance partnered with a little mystery, fantasy and action. Strong characters who have the ability to make me smile, laugh or cry. Bringing out emotions in the reader is a must. If I feel no emotion while reading a book I stop reading.
10. Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer?
Find an honest critique partner who will help you each step of the way. Read books of the genre you want to write, or read books that portray the atmosphere you would like your story to have. Keep trying. Don't get hung up on the one story for years and years. Write as much as you can, as often as you can and eventually, you will find your calling. Remember writing a book doesn't happen in a few days or weeks. Be prepared to sacrifice your life for months, even years to get that book written.