Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am a multi-genre author and poet based in the UK. I wanted to be Lois Lane when I grew up but work experience at my local paper was eye-opening. Instead, I went on to work in a variety of admin roles for over a decade but never felt quite at home. I’m an avid reader, baker and Pinterest addict. My writing career began when I won second place in the Barking and Dagenham Pen to Print writing competition in 2015 with my debut novel, The Gaia Effect, setting my writing career in motion. I’ve written eleven books covering hopeful dystopia, humorous fantasy and slice of life short stories as well as poetry. I continue to write passionately whilst being hopelessly addicted to cake.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is The Interspecies Poker Tournament, The Roshaven Case Files No. 27. It’s a humorous fantasy novella set in the world of my novel The Rose Thief and is inspired by a throwaway comment from Ned Spinks, one of main characters in The Rose Thief. It was lots of fun to go back to the characters and develop them a little bit more but I had to be careful because this book is set before The Rose Thief!
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
When I can’t look at words on the screen anymore, I end up printing out the book so far so I can go through it with my green pen and start making notes on the plot holes and the places I need to expand things. I also use NAME as a placeholder for secondary characters when I don’t want to give them a name yet. I don’t have a set writing time or even place because I’m also a stay-at-home mum so things are never guaranteed lol.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
My humorous fantasy books have been very influenced by the works of Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams and Piers Anthony and I’ve been told by my readers that they can appreciate the influences.
What are you working on now?
My next book will be The Gaia Solution, book three in my The Gaia Collection hopeful dystopia series. I wrote the first draft last year during NaNoWriMo so I’m expecting there will be lots of plot holes to deal with first. Cue the print out and the green pen!
But I have just finished editing The Interspecies Poker Tournament so I am feeling editor burnout, it’s a tough process. I’d like to get stuck into a new writing project and I have the bare bones of a new multi-book series which I’m very excited about. I’ve also decided to plan these out a lot more as I’m usually a pantser so that will be a new experience.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I do most of my promotion through my website (www.cbvisions.weebly.com) and my Facebook and Twitter pages. I have just started dabbling in Amazon Ads but have not yet had the time to get stuck into those properly. I’ve found that having author interviews on other writer blogs is great for sharing your work and I run an interview segment on my own blog every Wednesday called A Slice of Cake With…
I also try to be as personable as possible on my social media marketing so that people feel like they are getting value and not feeling like they are always being given a hard sell.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Stay positive. It’s unlikely, unfortunately, that you will become an overnight success. It will take a lot of determination, motivation and gumption (I love that word) to keep writing and marketing your books. Don’t give up when you get a no thanks. Don’t give up when you get fifty no thanks. If you know that writing is what you want to do then follow your dreams, learn as much as you can about your craft and keep writing.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Once your book has been released into the world, let it go with love. Obviously, you’re going to promote the book, continue to market it and talk about it to everyone but you can’t get hung up on negative or no reviews or that it’s not an instant number one bestseller.
What are you reading now?
At the time of filling in this interview, it’s May which is Short Story Month so I have been catching up on all the indie author short stories I have on my Kindle. At the moment I’m reading Star Mage Exile by JJ Green. I’ve got lots more on my never-ending to be read pile but I don’t mind, it’s fun to have lots of choice when deciding what to read next.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’ve decided to go wide with my books so I will be using IngramSpark for that wider distribution in the near future. I’m hoping to get the rest of my books released on audiobook and I have more instalments to both my ‘Tales from’ short story collection and ‘Little Book of Verse’ poetry collection. Then there is the multi-book series I mentioned earlier, I’m not sure what genre that will be yet – possibly magical realism?
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Can I cheat slightly? I’d take the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, the Rivers of London books by Ben Aaronovitch and everything by Robin Hobb. So that’s only four authors.