What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Every day’s a good day. Although on a cold winter’s day when I hear the rain on the roof, I would rather stay snuggled up in bed.
What is your favourite book from childhood? Tell me about it.
So many! My first favourite was ‘Matilda and Her Kittens,’ which I knew by heart, and as the title tell you, all about a mother cat and her kittens. Animals I have always loved so their stories, ‘Call of The Wild,’ ‘White Fang,’ etc, I devoured them. At about ten I read ‘These Old Shades,’ which was my mother’s book, and fell in love with historical novels. Rafael Sabatini, Baroness Orczy, Thackeray, Dickens, Scott, I read them all. Today I tend to read mostly non-fiction, but I have catholic tastes, and enjoyed recently Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels. I must admit fantasy doesn’t do it for me, and science fiction I have read, but am not a complete fan.
What are you currently reading?
I am currently re-reading an old book, ‘Black William,’ set in the 18th century in Northumberland by Robert Neill, an author I particularly enjoy, and have just finished reading ‘The Royal Mob,’ by Theresa Sherman. This was basically a good idea by the author, but it irritated me hugely as it was riddled with mistakes, including spelling, and badly needed a good historical proof reader.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? Why does it stick in your memory?
It was a ‘whodunnit,’ I wrote at about ten, and until you asked the question I had forgotten all about it. At eleven I wrote a play, that I put on at Campbells Bay School, with some of my fellow classmates taking part. I can’t even remember the title of it today, but still have the photos of us in costume.
What’s the best thing about being a writer?
Just the pleasure, (when the muse is with you), of getting everything down in written form and reading it. Of course, when you see it in book form, for a writer I don’t think you can have anything more satisfying.
What is your writing process?
I don’t really have one, I am slightly ashamed to say. I do lead a very busy life, like most people today, and it has to fit in with lots of other activities and interests. I write mostly in the late autumn through winter and early spring.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I guess I am always on the go. With family, (including seven grandchildren), I sometimes feel I am running a taxi service, and am a child and people minder! The garden, friends, films & theatre, travel, beach house, etc. There are never enough hours in the day to do all I want to do, (and sometimes need to do!)
What are you currently working on? Explain.
New stories. Ah!!! I have started an up to date thriller, to try a different genre, but am also playing with the idea of a family in an early New Zealand novel set in the far North during the land wars. I am also toying with another mystery set in the 1880’s at an Indian hill station, and maybe an Irish novel set in the 18th century of the troubles between two families, one of English extraction, the other Irish. Oh, lots of ideas… so little time!
The Spanish Woman
Shadows in the Night
Shadows of Doubt
Beware of the Dragon