Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
When I was about ten! However, I didn't write for publication till about 1995 when I won an annual competition in a magazine, for my short story The Spinner.
What makes writing your passion?
I don't notice the passage of time when I'm writing. I immerse myself so completely in my fictional world and adore the feeling of creativity. I love forming and reforming the sentences till they sound just right, finding that perfect word and the feeling of total satisfaction when I solve a plot knot!
How long have you been writing?
I went to boarding school at ten years old and we were forced to write letters home every week. This became engrained in my psyche and I continued to write letters to my mother till she passed away. She kept every single letter and I now have them in files in my office. I also write a journal - so really, I've been writing since I was ten. I'm not telling you how many years that is!
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Total euphoria! I felt so proud yet so humbled. Seeing my work in print gives me a feeling of such immense gratitude for my life.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
Having to promote myself. I find this really hard and wish someone else would take it over for me.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
I've never had writer's block. If I can't think what to write, I lie down in a quiet place and let my mind wander. Something always comes.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
It's incredibly difficult but if you love writing, do it for that reason, not because you want to make fame or fortune.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Don't let anyone put you off writing. There was a long period of my life when I didn't write because other things got in the way. I should never have let this happen.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
I always read the reviews and, because I haven't had a bad one yet, cherish every one. I hope that, if I do get a bad one, I'll let it go over my head and concentrate on the good ones.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Such pride and gratitude! I love hearing that people like my work. Making them happy, makes me happy.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
All the time! Tally and the Angel have adventures in a different country in each book. I have visited all the places they go to and many things that happen, happened to me too.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
I haven't based any one character on myself. But I think there's little of me in each of them (only the good bits, of course!).
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
Sadly, if you want to make sales, it is. People do judge a book by its cover and don't buy anything that doesn't visually attract.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I love to chat with my readers and am really happy to do school visits or any other type of interacting visit.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
Who is your favorite author? Why?
It must be J R R Tolkein. or would it be C S Lewis? I just love their writing. I have read The Lord of the Rings 19 times. Once in Greek!
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
I would like to be as big as J K Rowling so that all the people who didn't deign to answer my offers of free school visits, would wish they'd been more polite! I would also like to be able to give vast sums of money to charities and people who really need it.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
I would consider re-writing my first children's book Tom and the Red Gold Sword as I can see all its weaknesses now. I'm not sure I'd ever get round to it though - there are too many new books in my head waiting to get out.