Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
To date I have written and had published twelve full-length novels as well as several novellas.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is ‘Daisy’s War and is the first in a trilogy called ‘A Family at War’. I have long wanted to write about the Isle of Sheppey in Kent where I grew up and setting a story there during World War Two just came naturally as several of my books feature the two world wars. I moved to the island as a child in 1950 but there were still signs of wartime damage, defence installations etc. and rationing was still in place, so it wasn’t hard to picture what life was like for my fictional family, the Bishops. I still had ro do a lot of research though.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Not unusual as such but I don’t have a set writing place and I am not very organised. At present I am using a laptop on my dining table but I do have a little office upstairs as well. I scribble in various notebooks when travelling into town on the bus but sometimes find it hard to transcribe my dreadful handwriting onto the computer.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
My favourite author when I was young was Catherine Cookson and I was hooked on her northern sagas. I always wanted to write like her. I am an avid reader and enjoy different genres especially crime and thrillers.
What are you working on now?
I have now started on the second book in my trilogy which will continue the story of Daisy and her family with a focus on her older sister Sylvia who is in the WAAFs
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I post on my Facebook pages – a general one and my writer page. I am now discovering more ways to promote my work such is this site which was recommended by my publisher.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Just write – and keep on writing even when you are discouraged.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
The same as the answer to the last question.
What are you reading now?
The Room by the Lake by Emma Dibdin. It is an intriguing psychological drama, very different to the sort of story I write.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I want to complete my trilogy and then I have several ideas fighting for first place in my head.
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?
This is very difficult. I think I would choose at least one Dickens novel, possibly ‘Our Mutual Friend’ which I have been meaning to re-read. I am not overly religious but I would take the Bible, the King James version which I grew up with. Another classic would go on the list, either ‘Little Women’ or ‘What Katy Did.’