Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am the author of the Agnil’s Worlds series of fantasy adventure books for children aged 7-10 years. The first two, ‘The Rise of Agnil’ and ‘Agnil and the Wizard’s Orb’ have already been published by Ant Press and the third, ‘Agnil and the Tree Spirits’ is due out in a couple of months.
At the moment, life is a balancing act between my work as a primary school teacher and my work as a writer. After the summer, however, that’s all set to change as I take the plunge into being a full-time writer. When I’m not working, there’s nothing I like better than taking my camera for a walk. Photography has been my hobby for a number of years.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book, the third in the Agnil’s Worlds series is called ‘Agnil and the Tree Spirits’. One of my roles has been an eco schools coordinator as I am very aware and interested in ‘green’ issues. In the past I have helped fundraise for rainforest charities to support their work in protecting the forests and preventing further deforestation. ‘Agnil and the Tree Spirits’ was born out of my interest in forests of all kinds. In the book, Agnil, the half-elf, finds herself trying to prevent the destruction of a particularly beautiful forest world, home to elves and, of course, tree spirits.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I’m not sure I would describe any of my writing habits as unusual! I’m sure every writer has some kind of routine that they prefer. I’m not a night owl and will start my writing early in the morning. Sometimes the ‘elves’ wake me in the night and I have to get up to listen to them and write something down or change a part of the story they’re not happy with. If I try to ignore them, they keep nudging me until I get up. They are very persistent!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Somewhere always in the back of my mind is JRR Tolkien’s ,’Lord of the Rings’ but my earliest experience of the genre was reading all the CS Lewis ‘Narnia’ books, starting with ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’ but I also loved ‘Alice in Wonderland’ by Lewis Carroll. In more recent years I have thoroughly enjoyed the Philip Pullman trilogy, ‘His Dark Materials’.
What are you working on now?
I am still working on “Agnil and the Tree Spirits”, the third book of the ‘Agnil’s Worlds’ series as it goes through the editing and proof reading process. The illustrations are being prepared by Charlotte Moore, who also illustrated the first two books.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I have made a lot of friends through Facebook who have spread the word about my books. I am very grateful for the support and encouragement they have given me.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
1. Believe in what you are writing.
2. Get yourself the services of a good editor and proof reader.
3. Keep writing!
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Write, write, write and keep writing!
What are you reading now?
I’m reading a wonderful historical fiction called, ‘The Girl from Ithaca’ by Cherry Gregory.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I plan to continue with the Agnil’s Worlds series for now but I also have ideas for a couple of historical fiction books which I’d like to start exploring next year. I also have plans to publish a picture book for younger chidlren.
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?
It would definitely have to be the Philip Pullman trilogy, ‘His Dark Materials’. I’d love to have a bit of time to re-read them.