The unqualified regret you wish you could amend…
Spending so much time and money on learning that never amounted to anything. I have an accounting degree and I’m a qualified childcare assessor, but unfortunately, at those times, the jobs were not available for me to work in those sectors. I don’t regret the actual learning, I love learning but spending the money when nothing came from it is a little annoying.
The temptation you wish you could resist…
The priority activity if you were invisible for a day…
Spending the day on the sofa, reading as much as I can (and eating chocolate!) I am able to read regularly, but being an author takes so many hours in the day, and not all of it writing. Being able to take a day out and just read as much as I want would be great.
The film you can watch time and time again…
Before Sunrise with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. I don’t know what it is about the film but seeing them meet by accident on a train in a foreign country, then spending a night together wandering around is so romantic. I used to dream of it happening to me, lol.
The poem that touches your soul…
My favourite poem is one about smiling. It shows that all it takes sometimes is a smile in someone’s direction, and it could brighten up their day.
Smile: A Poem by Spike Milligan
Smiling is infectious, you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too.
I passed around the corner and someone saw my grin.
When he smiled, I realized I’d passed it on to him.
I thought about that smile, then I realized its worth.
A single smile, just like mine could travel round the earth.
So, if you feel a smile begin, don’t leave it undetected.
Let’s start an epidemic quick and get the world infected!
The event that altered the course of your life…
The pandemic has changed my life. Before, I was working as a nursery assistant, which I didn’t really enjoy. I couldn’t see a way to get out of the job, though, because that was where my experience was. When the lockdown happened, I lost my job and as a single parent, that was super scary. I had started writing part time the previous year, and I realized the lockdown had given me the opportunity to write full time (around homeschooling two kids!). By the end of last year, I was making enough money that I didn’t have to go out and find another job. I was doing something I LOVED! It has made the world of difference to our family life as well because I have been able to spend more time with my kids instead of leaving them at after school clubs.
The happiest moment you will cherish forever…
After the birth of my kids (because I have to mention that otherwise, I’d be a bad mother!) I have to say that realizing I could actually be an author full time and support my family was the happiest moment. I’m not naïve enough to think that I will be famous and make a ton of money, but for me, it’s not about that, it’s about making sure I have enough of everything to make sure my family are taken care of.
The philosophy that underpins your life…
Positivity is a huge thing for me. My mood can fluctuate a lot due to health issues and starting the day thinking about the positives in my life is very important. I’ve made it part of my brand as an author as well. Positive quotes that mean something to me are put on my Instagram account every day. Sometimes, all it takes is for me to read a quote and my mood instantly lifts. I like giving that to other people too.
The character you enjoyed writing the most…
Casey from Life Support was definitely a favourite character to write. He’s cheeky, he’s smart, he’s confident and he is a family-orientated man. When an awful thing happens to him, he still tries to protect his family from the potential repercussions of it.
The book you enjoyed planning/writing the most…
I really enjoyed writing Covert Strength, which is the second rapid release that is coming on April 8. At that point, my writing became better because I started using a new process and it really helped hone my skills, I believe.
And the promo…
Life Support is the sixth book in the Crush series, but all the books are standalones so they do not need to read in order, although that would be the best experience.
Casey is so confident at the beginning of the story, but he thinks he knows best and keeps secrets when he shouldn’t. He had someone who would’ve been able to help him had he talked to him, but he refused, not wanting to bring his family into it. This made me want to shake him because family should have your back, especially Casey’s family. It may not have made life any simpler for him, but it would have given him a sounding board.
Luke is very insecure and doesn’t believe he is worthy of anyone’s attention. He’s unable to see how others view him, so misses out on so many interactions because he withdraws. I love how loyal and protective he is. If anyone needs anything, he’s there without question.
Life Support tackles a subject—sexual harassment in the workplace—that isn’t acknowledged very often in books, I believe, and even less so when it comes to LGBTQ+ genre. I wanted to be able to shine a small spotlight on a subject that can often be happening right before people’s eyes. All it takes is for the right questions to be asked or the right person to be there at the right time.
Life Support is the first of a rapid release schedule that is happening. The final four books of the Crush series will be released every four weeks: Life Support releases March 11, Covert Strength releases April 8, Love Scene releases May 6 and Lawful Attraction releases June 3. It’s such an exciting and bittersweet moment to see all these stories in one place.
If you had asked me several months ago about my writing process, I would have said I was very much a pantser. More recently, I have found something that has worked for me which is a bit of a mix between just writing whatever happens and planning the story. When I first have an idea about a book, I will write out all the details about the characters that I know, this could be their physical description; any tells they may have, like biting their lip; their age, job description and any previous jobs if its notable; whether they drink tea or coffee; and any other tidbits that they might tell me.
The actual writing process is similar for all books I write. I use a website called One Stop for Writers and use their informal scenes to plan two or three chapters (sometimes more if I have the ideas flowing). Once those are planned using the tools the website provides, I will start writing, using this plan as a guide. I don’t always stick to it; sometimes, I go off track, but it’s a guide, nonetheless.
As I began to write, I just let my fingers go. If the characters cooperate, I can easily get through a chapter a day, sometimes more. If any information crops up as I’m going, I’ll note it down in my notebook, but I basically just let my fingers do the work until I have finished my allotted word count for the day, or I have finished the ‘plan’ I created. Then I repeated the process, plana few chapters, write them out in full, plan a few chapters, write them out in full until the book is complete. This process has made me write faster and cleaner, and I believe it has made my writing even better too.