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How do you come up with the ideas for your stories?
I rarely have to go hunting for story ideas. They nearly always find me. It will often start with a thought… what if so and so happened? And then my imagination will take off. With this story I wondered what would happen if a shy wallflower girl who had a limp was forced to marry a super fit, athletic playboy. Voila!
Does writer’s block ever happen to you?
Occasionally. It is the most awful feeling, especially with a close deadline. It is usually because something is wrong with the story or sometimes it’s the emotion I’m shying away from. Some scenes, particularly towards the end of a book, can be really draining emotionally so a bit of avoidance behaviour creeps in!
How do you cope with it when it strikes?
After I’ve cleaned out all the cupboards and cooked some really complicated gourmet meals (my family always know when I’m having trouble with a book as the menu suddenly improves!) and taken the dogs for extra long walks, I get back to the computer and I’m usually ready to press on. A lot of writing is deeply subconscious, or at least it is for me. I need thinking time away from the computer in order to process the story.
Of all the stories you’ve written, what’s your favourite?
This is such a hard question to ask a writer, as usually the story they’re currently working on is their favourite. But I have to say I had an absolute ball writing A Date With Her Valentine Doc which will be out in February 2015. My heroine Bertie Clark is back at work from her “ honeymoon” but doesn’t tell her workmates –including her new handsome boss- that her wedding didn’t go ahead. It’s an imposter plot and I laughed out loud as I wrote it.
Do you live in your characters’ worlds while you write?
I do as I am a visual writer and like to write as if I am seeing a movie being acted out in front of me. I hate distractions when I’m writing, as it can be jarring to be reminded there is another world other than my characters’ one!
Shy and reclusive children’s book illustrator
I have a signed copy of The Valquez Bride for a reader who enters the giveaway below.
And please do tell me about writer’s/worker’s/anything block. What do you do when you are avoiding what you’re supposed to be doing?
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