- What’s the best thing about being an author?
Seeing a book come from nowhere and end up on a shelf in a book shop, Being able to do something I really enjoy as a job, Being able to skive off and see a movie in the afternoon without having to ask anyone’s permission (tee hee)
- What are the worst things about being an author?
Occasional panic that I’ve run out of ideas like on a Monday morning where there’s a page that’s blank apart from the words chapter one, page one. And sometimes when I can’t think of the right title, those times give me sleepless nights.
- When did you start writing?
1987. When I first started writing I wrote a number (16) of non fiction books then I wrote for teenagers from 2000 – 2014 and am now writing for the women’s contemporary fiction market.
- Where do you get your ideas from?
Anywhere and everywhere. All over the place. Talking to people,reading magazines, newspapers, dreams and sometimes ideas just come from nowhere.
- How long does it take to write a book
Different with all of them, some are cooking in my head for months before I actually start writing and it depends on which market a book is for. About a year on average for the adult market once I have worked out the idea.
- Where do you get your characters from?
I sometimes do a page on them in the beginning in three parts, physical – what they look like, social: where they live, who their family is, education, work etc then lastly, psychological: what they want, their goals, dreams, ambitions, disappointments, hang ups – everything that makes them the individual they are. After that, I often go through magazines and see if I can see a picture of someone who looks like I imagine my character then I’ll cut it out and put it on the notice board.
- Are any of them based on you?
Bit of all of them mixed in with parts of my friends, family, people I’ve met plus a sprinkling of imagination.
- Where do you get your character’s names from?
Magazines. Newspapers. Googling ‘most popular names’. Oxford dictionary of names. Tatler and Vogue are great for posh names and cemeteries are brilliant places for unusual names.
- Are your locations real?
In the main, yes – for instance in the Mates Dates books, they are set in London and the Truth Dare books, are set in Cornwall. Cinnamon Girl is set in Notting Hill Gate, London and Million Dollar Mates is set in Knightsbridge in London. I do however make the houses, hotels or roads within the area fictional.
- Do you go to your locations?
Always and I take a camera so that I have a record when I get home in case I forget anything. You can see some of the real locations from the books on the photo gallery pages of this site.
- What is the order of the teenage books?
Mates, Dates series:
- Mates, Dates and Inflatable Bras
- Mates, Dates and Cosmic Kisses
- Mates, Dates and Portobello Princesses (Designer Divas in the USA)
- Mates, Dates and Sleepover Secrets
- Mates, Dates and Sole Survivors
- Mates, Dates and Mad Mistakes
- Mates, Dates and Pulling Power (Sequin Smiles in the USA)
- Mates, Dates and Tempting Trouble
- Mates, Dates and Great Escapes
- Mates, Dates and Chocolate Cheats
- Mates, Dates and Diamond Destiny
- Mates Dates and Summer Sizzlers
- Mates, Dates Secret Story
Non fiction extras:
- Mates, Dates Guide to Life
- Mates, Dates Guide to Flirting
- Mates Dates Guide to Going Green
- Mates Dates Journal
Truth, Dare, Kiss or Promise series:
- White Lies and Barefaced Truth
- Pop Princess (Princess of Pop in the USA)
- Teen Queens and Has Beens
- Double Dare
- Midsummer Meltdown
- Love Lottery
- All Mates Together
- Holy Moley, I’m a Dead Dude (now out of print sadly)
Cinnamon Girl series:
- This Way to Paradise
- Starting Over
- Looking for a Hero
- Expecting to Fly
Million Dollar Mates series
- Million Dollar Mates
- Paparazzi Princess
- Catwalk Queen
- Golden Girl
Zodiac Girl series (you can read these in any order)
- Star Child
- Double Trouble
- Recipe for Rebellion
- Discount Diva
- Dancing Queen
- Brat Princess
- From Geek to Goddess
- Bridesmaids’ Club
Stand alone novels:
Love at Second Sight
Playlist for a Broken Heart
A Home for Shimmer
- Where can I get the books if they aren’t in my local bookshop?
You can get still get them from your local bookshop! If they haven’t got them in stock, if you ask, they will order a copy for you. They are happy to do this as it only takes a phone call. It usually takes between 3-5 days for the books to arrive and doesn’t cost you anything. You can also get the books on the Internet from www.amazon.co.uk
- I want to be a writer. Do you have any tips?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions I get from readers, so for all you aspiring writers out there, here are my Tip Top Writing Tips!
*Use your 5 senses when writing a scene: sight Â– what a place looks like, how it sounds, how it smells, any tastes? And lastly how it feels
*Write every day Don’t blab your story out to everyone. Only show it to those who will give constructive criticism
*Create a sympathetic character that readers will like. Think about what they want more than anything in the world. Then think about lots of things that can get in their way. Then there’s your book.
* Raise questions early on in your book and delay the answers to make readers want to read on to find out what happens.
*Carry a note book as you never know when inspiration will strike
* Write like you speak DonÂ’t throw anything you write away as years later, it may spark something off
*Write the kind of stories you’d like to read
*Write the first draft freely without judging it then rewrite with the rational/logical side of your brain
*Read a lot
*Never give up. Persevere through rejection. Loads of famous novelists had their books rejected first time round but were successful because they didn’t give up.
- I want to be a writer. How do I go about getting published?
My advice would be to go to your local library and borrow either the Writers’ Handbook published by MacMillan or the Writer’s and Artist’s Yearbook published by A and C Black. They can usually be found in the reference section of most libraries. Failing that you could buy a copy from a bookstore. It tells you just about everything you need to know about getting published, lists all the agents and publishers and tells you what they like to look at in the first instance: whether it be an introductory letter or the first two chapters or just an outline. I would also recommend that if you can do a creative writing course, do so, in fact do a few as there is so much to learn from all of them