Q&A

So, what are some of the questions I’ve been asked in the past? I thought this would be the perfect place to put them all, for you to get an inside glimpse of the woman behind the writer, the personality behind the books.

If there are any other questions you’d like me to add, send me an email.
Meanwhile, enjoy!

Tell us about you as a person – information other than your author bio.
I’m an ex-Kiwi, now Aussie. A mother of three. A chocoholic. Read-a-holic. Romance-a-holic. Runner. Photographer. Crime show addict. Rom com movie buff. And last, but nowhere near least, a writer. I make people fall in love, kill a character or two on the way, but there’s always a happy ending (my husband’s words, not mine).

I’ve worked in an Austrian ski resort, on a six star cruise ship which just happened to be the biggest twin-hulled vessel ever built and in an English pub. I’ve lived in London for a year, oh, too many years ago. Cleaned Marks and Spencers and grouted bathrooms in a large Marble Arch hotel. I’ve travelled through Europe, South America and parts of the Caribbean, and yet it wasn’t until I moved to Melbourne, Australia that I met my own real life hero.

Danny and I are approaching our sixteenth wedding anniversary this March. With him and my three heroes in the making I am living my own happy ever after.

Cat or dog person?
Both! For very different reasons.

Here are my two babies, one sadly past, and one present:

Are you a plotter, a pantser or something in between?
I’m not wholly a plotter, not wholly a pantser, so I guess that makes me a plantser.

Each of my stories begin with an idea, and with that one seed, I write. As the story develops, so do my characters, and scenes form in my mind. These scenes guide me through the story, but my biggest thrill is when my characters do something completely out of left field and surprise the crap out of me.

What is your favorite word?
Fantabulous. Doesn’t it just roll off the tongue fantabulously?

What is your worst writing habit?
Too much research! Once I venture into the wondrous world of Google, I find it near impossible to get out!

What is the best bit of advice you ever got (about writing or life in general)?
Follow your passion. Now.

Don’t wait for the right time, the right setting, the right phase of the moon. That will never come. If there’s something you want, more than anything in this world, then go for it. There’s nothing worse than the sting of a life that could have been.

What do you find to be the biggest challenge, as an author?
Overcoming my fears of rejection and self-doubt.

Not rejection from editors and agents – although that does sting – but rejection in the broader sense of the word.

Being an author is so much more than sitting at the keyboard and writing. It’s being social – something this introvert finds daunting. It’s interacting with readers and the pretty much the world. It’s putting yourself out there and laying yourself bare before strangers.

Every step I’ve made in terms of my writing career, I’ve done against first instincts. It’s been such a huge learning curve, but I can honestly say, through this process of baby steps outside my comfort zone, I’ve grown, not only as a writer, but a person as well.

What do you find most rewarding, as an author?
Hearing how much readers love my stories. It’s a thrill that will never grow old.

I write because I can’t imagine doing anything else, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have those low moments – moments that I question myself, my talent, the state of mind that made me think I could actually write a book people would want to read.

Hearing about the enjoyment I give to others makes all the stress and nerves and anxious moments worth it. Because giving joy to others is all an author really hopes to achieve.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I don’t think it was a conscious decision at first. I’ve always just written. When I was younger I tended more toward poems and short stories. And never for anyone’s eyes but my own.

The desire to write something mainstream came in my twenties. But I never followed it. At that stage in my life, my confidence was sadly lacking. And there was always that niggling self-doubt – what if I fail? It took another twenty years for me to find the courage, sit down at my keyboard and just write.
And I’ve been writing ever since.

What is your writing process?
Ooh, interesting question. And I guess I’ll answer this in the way I write.

I’m not wholly a plotter, not wholly a pantser (a writer who writes by the seat of their pants). I guess that makes me a plantser.

Each of my stories begin with an idea, and with that one seed, I write. As the story develops, so do my characters, and scenes form in my mind. These scenes guide me through the story, but my biggest thrill is when my characters do something completely out of left field and surprise the crap out of me.

And of course, whenever and whatever I’m writing, my furry friend, Emmie, is always sitting at my side.

If Lethal in Love was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
Scarlett Johansson would be great for Jayda. Not only does she look like my image of her (as she was in the movie Iron Man), with red hair and her stunning green eyes, but her character is a perfect match. Jayda has sass and attitude. A hard exterior, but once you break through that shell and gain her trust, she’ll walk barefoot over hot coals for you. Her loyalty will be as solid as diamond. And just as valuable.
As for Seth, Chris Hemsworth just fits. He’s sexy, brooding, and when he smiles, women swoon. He can be ruthless the way a hard-headed reporter must be, but underneath he has a charm and caring that is irresistible. Jayda won’t be able to resist him. I know I couldn’t.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
Oh my god, that’s so hard. I have so many favorites, old and new.
If I was to pick one of my all-time favorites, I’d say Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. In fact, I love the entire series and am well overdue for a reread.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I wish I could say yes! But… no.

I’m pretty ordinary, which is probably why I love writing extraordinary stories with extraordinary characters.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
Quantum leaping. Time travel. How amazing would that be?

To go back in time? To meet the likes of Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare? To witness all those amazing moments in history – when Apollo 11 landed on the moon. When Edison invented the light bulb. When Napoleon was defeated at in Battle of Waterloo. Impossible to list all the events I’d love to see, but you get the gist.

And of course, there’s the future. I want to be there the day they find a cure for cancer. The day our motorways become airways, our cars become flying machines. When robots clean our houses and man lands on Mars. And a whole lot of stuff I can’t begin to imagine.

List 5 things on your bucket list:
1. Family trip to Africa, including an overland safari.
2. Buy or hire a caravan and spend six months driving around Australia with the four beautiful men in my life.
3. Remarry my hubby and have the honeymoon to Thailand we were never able to take.
4. Lethal in Love and Murder Most Unusual both as movies.
5. It was to be a guest on Oprah and be featured in her book club. Because her show no longer exists, I’d love to be on Ellen’s show and have her showcase my books.

Any final thoughts?
People often ask me why I write romance. ‘Why not write a real book?’ they say. My answer is pretty simple – what’s more real than love?

Writing romance, I get to fall in love every single day. I don’t know many people who can say the same about what they do for a living. And I guess that makes me one of the luckiest people on the planet.
To me, writing isn’t a job. It’s a passion that leaves me with no choice but to write about what most of us search for in life – LOVE.

Love – romance – is an all-encompassing emotion that fills us up and makes us whole. There’s nothing more enthralling than a story about two of the most unlikely people in the world, thrown together amidst turmoil. A couple who through conflict, through angst and pain, fulfil their every fantasy, their every desire, only to be delivered into their happy ever after. The conflict is as critical to the story as the satisfaction. After all, it’s only human to wholeheartedly appreciate that which is difficult to come by.
So, what do I say to people who don’t love romance?

Give it a go. A well-woven romance holds lessons for us all if we’re willing to open ourselves up and see the possibility. A lot like letting love into our life.

With a good romance, I invariably discover more than I bargained for. And I always fall in love.
So give it a go. You may find yourself falling in love too.