I didn’t always want to be a writer. I’ve always loved reading, but didn’t want to write a book of my own until my mid-twenties. I studied English Literature at the University of East Anglia, and one of the compulsory units in the first-term was in creative writing. I was properly grumpy about having to write stories instead of essays.
Now that I am, it’s the best thing ever. The moment I started writing – a few years after university - I was hooked. I loved it, and I was desperate for my stories to have an audience. It took several years, gazillions of rejections and a lot of perseverance, but now that it’s my job I’m like a pig in clover.
I am fascinated by ghosts and the supernatural. I don’t know where it started, but I love the idea that ghosts exist. I creep myself out watching supernatural horror films, and have even done a bit of amateur investigating, though the less said about that the better (just because I’m fascinated, it doesn’t mean I’m not also terrified). Writing a ghost story is definitely on my ‘to do’ list.
I’m a bit fickle when it comes to fictional heroes. I am usually in love with the lead man in whichever book I am reading at the time, and they’re not always typical romantic heroes. DI Harry Nelson in Elly Griffith’s Ruth Galloway books, and more recently DI Luc Callanach in Helen Fields’ Perfect Remains are two notable crush-worthy detectives.
I love Aidan Turner. He is my ideal leading man, and anyone who’s read The Canal Boat Café might spot some similarities to him in my physical descriptions of Mason. My first celebrity crush was – very embarrassingly - Ian McShane as Lovejoy, so my taste has definitely improved over the years.
The only soap I watch is Neighbours. I’ve watched it on and off since the early nineties, but recorded it religiously for about the last ten years. It has lots of drama, but never manages to be as miserable as Eastenders or Corrie, and has that beautiful Australian backdrop and laid-back lifestyle to offset anything too horrible.
I love bird watching. We have some beautiful nature reserves in Norfolk, and they’re great places to spend a couple of hours, looking out for birds and other wildlife on the fens or in the forests. I haven’t graduated to camouflage jackets and large lensed cameras, but I’m getting better at identifying the birds now. This passion might be making an appearance in my next book . . .
I’ve never read any Harry Potter books. I’m scared to admit this. I think J K Rowling is amazing, but I’m not a fantasy fan. Ghosts – yes, wizards – no. Everyone keeps telling me to try them, and I feel like I should read the first one at least, but I’ll have to squeeze it in somewhere on my already toppling TBR pile.
I’m a total book nerd. I get completely immersed in books, sometimes to the point of obsession, and then I gush about them on Twitter and start fangirling if the author replies. (“Cool” is not a description anyone could use about me). Before I got published I wrote reviews and features for the Novelicious website, and if I wasn’t writing books I would probably be running my own book blog by now.
I’m incredibly gullible. Even after twelve years of being together, my husband can fool me about almost anything. I hope it’s more to do with his brilliant bluffing skills, but sadly he’s not the only one who’s able to do it. I’m clearly just a bit too trusting, which sounds a lot better than gullible.