Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am a native New Zealander, who relocated to Australia a few years ago. The move prompted my desire to write into the flame of being an author. In 2018 I released my first romantic comedy, ‘The Secret Life of Sarah Meads’, a hilarious portrayal of how Sarah reignited magic in her life. Last year I was proactive in writing several books, including one of my new releases for 2020, ‘The Risky Business of Romance’ which is coming out with Inkspell Publishing in October. I have a supportive group of co-writers and authors in the form of Eyre Writers, which is based in my hometown.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
This year I have ‘The Risky Business of Romance’ coming out in October. Samantha is escaping her stressful life of trying to become a successful lawyer and the trauma of surviving the Christchurch earthquakes by moving to the sweeping scenery of rural South Australia and the heart of some of the wealthiest men in the country. There she meets Max, who has lived a comfortable farming and fishing lifestyle on the coast. His family has just discovered that an employee they trusted might be stealing from them, and his parents hire Samantha to investigate. Unable to understand each other’s true intentions, Samantha and Max struggle with their attraction and their separate goals. But when Samantha gets kidnapped, it is up to Max to save the day and win her love. It is inspired by my new home, and my own personal experience with the earthquakes.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I love to write with background noise. Often this is a radio or the television, but sometimes it the simple bustle of a coffee-shop. Some of my favorite lines have been inspired by the sounds I hear around me as I write.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
There are so many it’s almost impossible to list them all. When I was younger I went through a phase of reading all the classics, and some of my favorite authors are now long-gone but not forgotten such as Dickens and Austen. As I have got older, and especially now as a writer myself, I read new authors and writers. I love to see how age-old ideas are revamped and reinvented into new plots and twists.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on both a romance and a psychological thriller. Because of the graphic nature of writing the thriller, I use romance to balance out my emotional turmoil. Sometimes it works, sometimes it is frustrating! But I prefer to keep motivated and proactive as a writer.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Self-promotion is a technique that is both difficult and rewarding. But I love to engage on social media, I find that the interactive audience is the best promotional tool. I also spend a lot of time creating a dedicated and loyal local reading base, and this can be in the form of attending conferences and book signings, to getting to know the local librarian and providing book readings when they ask.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Be determined! Being an author is hard work, but the rewards are the direct result of your input. The more you put in, the more you get out.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
You are not an author, you are a brand. Sell yourself and your brand with pride, and remember that even the best-selling authors started somewhere.
What are you reading now?
At the moment I am reading Seveneves by Neal Stephenson which is a Sci-Fi. It’s not a normal genre for me but came highly recommended by my husband, in fact he insisted I read it!
What’s next for you as a writer?
2020 is going to be a massive year for me. With several books coming, and a growing fanbase I am excited and can’t wait to see what they think of my new work.
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?
Pride and Prejudice – I love the romantic notion of this book
Bleak House – the descriptions are delicious
Tess of the Durbervilles – a love affair I began in high school
Jane Eyre – a reminder that good can come after hardship