Q. Tell us about what you write. (Genre, specifics)
A. My bio says that I write ‘dark, quirky and paranormal fiction’ which sounds like a weird mixture… and probably is! Most of what I write involves romance (especially m/m), ghosts, vampires, time-travel, history and/or archaeology, and more romance, but with a darker feel to it. I tend not to go for super cosy romance or super happy endings, although most of my characters end up at least happy for now.
Q. How long have you been writing and how did you get into it?
A. I’ve been writing for a long time now – well over 20 years. I first started after an accident which damaged my wrist and forced me to give up work. Although typing was quite painful I could manage if I did it slowly, and gradually I started getting short stories accepted for publication, and then some longer works.
Q. How you do find character names and do world building?
A. Character names suggest themselves based on the person I’m writing about – their age, background, and the era the book is set in. Most of my books and stories are set in the real, contemporary world so world-building isn’t an issue, but some have historical elements which need quite a bit of research, and my most recent book, m/m time travel romance Just Visiting, is set in a dystopian future so I had to develop a time-line that made sense for that.
Q. In what space do you normally write? (room, desk, bed, couch, Starbucks?)
A. I write in a tiny (4ft by 7ft) study which used to be the nursery of our house. There’s just enough space for me, a desk, a bookshelf, and a chair, but it has a big window with a view out over a neighbour’s beautiful garden, which gives me lots of inspiration.
Q. How do you go about pulling yourself out of a writing slump?
A. I tackle this in one of two ways. The first is to try to hear my characters speaking. If I can do that, I can get some dialogue on the page and that kick-starts the writing process again. If that fails, I try to work on something else, or even switch off the computer altogether and walk away until the pieces fall back into place. If I’m struggling, it’s often because I’m asking the characters to do something out of character
Q. If you were going to recommend just one of your books/stories, which would it be? Tell us about that piece.
A. I’d recommend Echoes of Blood, my m/m vampire romance. It’s based on an old short story of mine, Lonely Sky, which was originally published by Torquere Press many years ago. Recently I re-discovered it and rewrote it, adding much more detail about the vampires in general and the main love interest Vincent in particular. Now it includes a contemporary romance set in Liverpool and a historical mystery based around the famous Ninth Legion of Rome, which disappeared in unknown circumstances. It’s quite a dark tale, but if you like your vampires on the sexy side then why not give it a try! It’s available on Kindle, or free on Kindle Unlimited.
Q. If you were going to step out of your comfort zone, what might you try writing?
A. This is a hard one because I’ve written in so many different genres and sub-genres over the years that I’m not sure I really have a comfort zone. I’ve tried sci-fi, horror, sweet romance, paranormal, even crime, and various degrees of heat. The one thing I’d like to do more of is light-hearted or comedy romance, like my paranormal romp Got Ghosts?, but with gay male characters.
Q. Would you ever consider co-writing with another author?
A. I’ve collaborated with other authors when putting together anthologies but I’m not sure I’d be very good at co-authoring a whole book with someone else. My books are very much my ‘babies’ and I put a lot of myself into them. Plus I write in fits and starts, which might drive another writer mad!
Q. Do you have a favorite trope to read and/or write?
A. To be honest I’ll try my hand at almost anything (reading or writing) but I do enjoy fiction that blends history with a modern-day setting, like Daphne du Maurier’s The House on the Strand, Philippa Pearce’s Tom’s Midnight Garden or Mary Stewart’s Thornyhold. And gay romance, of course. Mary Renault, Patrick Gale and Alan Hollinghurst are long-term favourites, as well as more recent discoveries like K J Charles, A L Lester, and the writing duo of Liv Rancourt and Irene Preston.
Q. What’s next on the horizon?
A. Right now I’m working on a complete re-write of the first novel I had published, a m/m paranormal romance called Roses in December. It was published by Torquere Press back in 2006, but my writing style has changed quite a bit since then so I’m pruning it, taking out a sub-plot that didn’t go anywhere, and adding much more backstory for the main love interest. It’s set in a beautiful but mysterious English garden and involves a British soldier, Nat, who goes there to recuperate after a bombing and discovers there’s something strange about both the garden and the attractive man he meets there. I’m hoping it’ll be ready for release in December (which seemed oddly appropriate) under the new title December Roses, so do keep an eye out for it on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited.
Thank you, Fiona, for stopping by!
Thanks for having me! It’s been great fun answering all the questions.