I am a YA author who loves to write action, adventure with a twist of romance and the paranormal on the side.
As a child, I filled notebook after notebook with stories (I was intensely proud of one called My Uncle the Ostrich – I have no idea what it was about but the title was brilliant) and I had my first taste of writing success when I was eight and had a poem published in my local newspaper. I was hooked.
As well as novels, I have written and directed plays and pantomimes for my local Amdram society and my ‘proper’ jobs have included musician (that was good), telesales (not so good), shop assistant (really bad), wedding registrar (OK), and school lab technician (didn’t like that either). None of these jobs have made use of my BSc in Psychology whatsoever.
What inspires you to write?
I live in the wild Welsh borderlands amongst dramatic scenery, ruined castles and centuries of history which provides me with lots of inspiration.
I love stories the reader could believe might happen to them; adventures which change the normal into the unusual; which give imaginary explanations for real events.
My favourite pastime is browsing photographs of far off fantastical places and sending my imaginary characters on their travels.
Tell us about your writing process
No question here, I’m an outliner, a process I have learned and perfected from many years of starting stories with no clear plan and writing myself into a corner from which there is no escape.
So now I have a pin-board where I organise all the pivotal points of the story. I have notebooks filled with the same story told from my main characters points of view, which ensures I understand the reasons why they behave as they do and I write terribly slowly (it even annoys me) because I edit as I go.
I like to listen to music while I write. Movie soundtracks are best because they’re so expressive and have no lyrics to distract me.
I also find photos of my characters so I can talk to them personally if I get stuck 🙂
How do you think writing for children and young adults is different from writing for an adult audience?
The main difference between adult, YA and children’s fiction is the age of the protagonist, which is usually in line with the target audience. The length and pace of the book is also shorter and faster than adult literature and, in the case of work aimed at younger children, the vocabulary needs to be monitored to ensure it is suitable.
But writing for any age needs a clear story arc and great character development. The themes covered by children and YA books are as wide and varied as they are for adults.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I like to be inside their heads, eavesdropping on their thoughts, feeling their pain, their disappointments and their loves. I can sit in a room and not be me at all (which is hard on the people around me). I am my characters. Umm, I’m creeping myself out.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
After several near misses with agents and publishers (the last one I worked with for over a year before they decided not to represent me) I decided to self-publish.
This journey taught me several things.
1 – my writing needed far more editing than I’d ever thought possible – I mean, I was happy with my first draft (laughs sadly)
2 – my writing could be OK.
3 – I am a control freak and loved the self-publishing process. I wanted the last word on covers and layout to work to my own schedule not be left waiting years (I joke not) for others to make decisions about the fate of my work.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I’m excited about book publishing. I suspect traditional publishers and agents are not.
JK Rowling did authors a service by inspiring a whole generation of readers.
Ereaders have made reading cool and accessible and cheap.
It’s an exciting time to be an author but indies need to emulate the traditional publishers, have their work edited and proof-read and behave professionally.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write:: YA
What formats are your books in: Both eBook and Print
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