Frequently Asked Questions

Have you always wanted to be a writer?


Yes and no. I've been writing stories for as long as I can remember, but I never considered it as anything more than a fun side project until my 20's and I realised it was what I wanted to do with my life. And I've been working toward that ever since.




Why did you choose to self publish your first novel?


Impatience! I spent ten years working on The Jewel of Kamara and the thought of waiting for it to be published just made me want to cry so I did it myself. I'm glad I did because I learned a lot but at the time I really had no clue what I was doing. There wasn't the online community that there is today with resources and advice readily available so I fumbled my way through. I do love the story and characters I created, however I have made the decision to stop selling The Jewel of Kamara. Looking back I do believe I hit publish too soon and I've learned so much about the craft of writing since then and would love to rewrite it and make the story stronger.




How did you sign with your literary agent?


I did a YouTube video last year on how I signed with my agent, Adria Goetz of Martin Literary Management. Check it out below:




What are you working on now?


I'm currently brainstorming two new book ideas. I'm hoping one, if not both, will develop into actual stories. To stay updated on my progress make sure you sign up to my Newsletter.




Where do your ideas come from?


Everywhere! A song lyric, a TV show or movie, something I see in real life or just a random thought when I'm walking my dog. Inspiration can be taken from anywhere and it's always exciting when it strikes and a new idea pops into your head!




What is your creative process?


I'm a planster (a mix of plotter and planster). Essentially my process is this: - an idea strikes, sometimes just a character or a niggle of a plotline, and I think about it. A lot. I turn it around in my head and see if a story develops. - I then sit down and write the first few thousand words, sometimes it stretches out to 10,000. I don't know too much about the story at this point, it's just to get a feel for the voice and tone of it. - now I prepare my outline. I'm old school and always hand write my outline and then depending on the story and what mood I'm in, I either create a story board OR I pull out my beatsheets from Save the Cat Writes a Novel and use those to flesh out my outline. My outlines tend to be around 8 pages long (hand written) BUT they change. Constantly. And sometimes I'm not entirely sure what scenes are going to take place, hence the pantser part of my process. I try to be as flexible as possible and allow my characters to take over and tell their story.




How long does it take you to write a first draft?


Typically two to three months. That's based on a 65,000 word draft with an outline already written and a strong sense of what I want the finished product to be. But it can sometimes take longer. I mean it took me ten years to write my first book but I aim for two to three months.




What advice do you have for aspiring writers?


Write. Read. Don't give up. Write what you love and set yourself up with a routine. Some people don't love the idea of a routine for something as creative as writing, however one thing I've learned is that if you only write when inspiration strikes or when you're feeling creative, it'll take you forever to get it done. Treat writing like a job. Turn up even when you don't want to. It'll pay off. Read as much as you can. In your genre, other genres, craft books, everything. Learn from other authors. It's so tempting some days to put our manuscripts in the "too hard" basket or get down and want to walk away when we're in the query trenches and getting rejections, or when we get stuck with a bout of writer's block but don't give up. Push through and hang in there!




How do you handle writer's block?


I scream and cry and tear up my manuscript... not! Well, maybe the first two:) Most writers suffer a bout or two or lots more during their career. I for one have had many a battle with writer's block and I usually try to take a step back and work on something else for a bit. Or I sometimes take a break from writing completely to clear my head. I used to feel guilty when I did that, but I've come to realise that it's okay to step away sometimes. In fact, it's actually good for you as it allows you time to get excited about writing again.





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