Can you describe your writing process? Where and when do you write?
I ALWAYS write first thing in the morning. If it doesn’t happen in the morning, then it doesn’t happen at all. Which is why I spend half my life in my pj’s (but don’t tell anyone that!)
As for where I write, usually sitting on top of a radiator.
You have written seven books (and more to come), How long does it take you to write a book? And do you have a daily word count?
I try and write 3,000 words a day. Some days they come easier than others.
Because I always start with a very “fluid” plan, the first third of the book always takes me twice as long as the rest. At the beginning, the characters take on a life of their own and often end up doing things I’d never considered at my “planning” phase. Once I’m on a roll though, and have sorted out who’s doing what and when, the words flow much quicker.
It usually takes me 8-10 weeks to pull together the first draft.
How do you edit your books?
I’m constantly editing. Whatever I’ve written the previous day, I review the next, before adding to the manuscript. Also, if I can’t think of the word I want to use when I’m on a roll, I don’t stop the flow to think about it. I just insert xx in the space where the word should go, then search for all the xx’s the following day. It’s surprising how easy the word that evaded you one day, immediately pops into your head a few hours later.
Once the first draft is finished, I then set it aside for a week or so before beginning more serious edits.
What is your favorite thing about being an author?
Lovely reviews and positive feedback from readers. I received an email recently from a lady who took the time to tell me how awful her week had been and how much my book had cheered her up.
What would be your top 5 writing tips?
- Have a rough idea of where your story is going before you start.
- Know your characters inside out.
- Disconnect the internet.
- Try and balance your writing life with something completely different.
- Finally, but most importantly – Don’t put off. JUST WRITE!
What is the best book/books you have ever read?
When I was younger, I used to adore anything by Enid Blyton. Being a couple of years (?!) older now, I tend to read mostly history books – anything about a dead monarch, or a second cousin thrice removed of a dead monarch, is right up my street.
My ultimate favourite book, though, has to be The Wind In The Willows.