1. Can you tell us about your latest publication, It's Magic?
It’s Magic is a collection of three novels which were originally published in Germany: Flights of Angels, Unmasking Elena Montella and Three Graces. They’re all romantic comedies with a touch of magic and Flights of Angels was even made into a film in Germany which was incredibly exciting.
All three titles are published as separate ebooks but I wanted to bring them all together in one collection too.
2. What led you to go in a different direction with your writing?
The three magical rom coms aren’t that different from my non-magical rom coms. It’s just that they happen to feature naughty guardian angels, a magical Venetian mask and an opinionated eighteenth-century ghost! I really love writing books with a fantastical slant. I think writers should try different things and push boundaries and not be tied to writing the same thing over and over again. It’s more exciting for both them and their readers.
3. Can you talk us through an average day for a best selling author?
I like to start writing as soon as I get up and aim to do a few hundred words before taking our dog for her walk and looking after our hens. I’ll then return to the desk and work until lunchtime. I like a long lunch break and then I get some more work done on the novel. I try to finish the day’s work before the afternoon dog walk but that doesn’t always happen so I often work into the evening.
Of course, a good day’s work is also interrupted by the presence of Facebook, Twitter and emails. It’s easy to get distracted but writing can be very lonely and it’s always fun to chat away to other writers online and meet readers too.
4. Your life in rural Suffolk looks truly idyllic but is there anything in particular that you miss about London?
I have to say that I miss very little about London. I’m a country girl at heart – I grew up in several lovely villages in Norfolk and it was a bit of a surprise that I ended up living in the London suburbs for so long – it wasn’t me at all! But I was at an interesting stage in my writing career and it was very handy to be able to hop on the tube and go into town to meet agents and publishers and other writers. So I do miss the occasional launch party now but that’s about it. I love our new life in Suffolk. We have a two hundred year old cottage in a quiet village and a gorgeous garden filled with fruit trees, roses and ex-battery hens! You’ll never get me back to London!
5. Do you have any writing superstitions? A lucky pen? A special chair?
I don’t have any superstitions but I do have a routine when starting a new book. I like a nice bright ring binder folder and I always make a spider diagram featuring the characters in my new novel. I like to have that in front of me and think about the relationships between the characters. I then fill the folder with notes and photos of the settings or maybe pictures of actors who could play my characters (my current obsession is Tom Hiddleston and I hope to cast him as a future hero soon!) I also get very unsettled until I have all my characters named and I have a title I’m happy with. It took me an absolute age to name Molly Bailey in Molly’s Millions – I drove my husband crazy trying to come up with a surname that fitted her character. And A Weekend with Mr Darcy was originally called Bennets and Bonnets but nobody but me seemed to like that title!
6. It's Magic must be keeping you very busy but can you tell us anything about your new book?
My next rom com out in the UK is Wish You Were Here. It comes out in April and I’ve just seen the cover and it looks amazing! I can’t wait to share it with you all. It’s about a Plain Jane who suddenly becomes irresistible to men after making a wish on a statue of Aphrodite whilst on holiday in Greece. There’s definitely a touch of magic in there somewhere!
I’m also working on a novella sequel to my Austen Addicts’ Trilogy - Christmas with Mr Darcy – which comes out in October. It unites all the main characters from the trilogy as they meet at Purley Hall for a very special Jane Austen conference.
I’m also going to be publishing Escape to Mulberry Cottage – about our move from the London suburbs to rural Suffolk. So, plenty to keep me busy for the rest of this year!