I happen to believe that London is the best city in the world. OK fine, I haven't been to every city in the world, but I really do think that it's way up there, and that's a big part of why I wanted to set my new novel The Nearness of You here. I wanted to write a story that reflected my experiences, both as a woman of colour, and a Londoner!
The first ever stories I had published were erotic fiction! Granted, I was commissioned to write the stories, rather than deciding to write them off my own bat, but still it was a lot of fun - and amazing to get my first writing in print.
I work full time as a children's fiction editor. So I have to squeeze writing my own books into my mornings, evenings and weekends - but it's worth it, and once you get into a routine, it's easier than you might think . . .
Despite my new book featuring a dog, I'm way more of a cat person. This might explain why the dog and my main character, Taylor, don't necessarily get along that well at first - particularly as the dog discovers a body at the very start of the story (it gets more romantic from there though, promise!). I have a cat who likes to try and distract me while I write by miaowing at pigeons through the window.
I love jazz music. It's my music of choice when I'm writing, particularly instrumental stuff, as it's easier to work to when you have words already swirling around in your head. Although, as you may be able to tell from the title of my book, I love vocal jazz standards too, which is why they play a part in my story for The Nearness of You.
I am very into literary fiction, but I also LOVE a good romance! Which is why I blog about contemporary romance fiction on my blog, The Palate Cleanser: https://thepalatecleanserblog.wordpress.com/
I'm a complete Yankophile (yes, I'm going with that) - I love all things USA. Despite my book being set here in the UK, I have to confess that I'm obsessed with US culture, so much so that my degree is in Comparative American Studies: the literature and history of North and Latin America.
I spent my formative years in the Middle East. I lived in Bahrain from age 9 to 16 as an expatriate due to my father's job. At first it seemed like it wouldn't be so great - nine-year-old me feared change. But it turned out to be a wonderful experience.
I love romantic films, especially ones that take place over a short space of time, like one night. So as you can imagine, I'm a big fan of Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, as well as other such movies - I'm something of an aficionado.
Having a book published is one of my life's ambitions - so next on the list is writing a screenplay . . . Obviously I very much hope to continue writing books and having them published, but it's definitely on my bucket list to write a screenplay. And hopefully go onto Best Screenplay glory at the Academy Awards, obviously.