If you’ve been following my blog you’ll know every Tuesday I interview an author. We generally sit and have a chat over a pot of tea by the fire, or, if the weather’s warm, we head outside to my back yard with the dog and take our tea out there. I’ve really enjoyed our chats, and I’ve got to know authors from lots of different countries, backgrounds and genres.
What you may not know is that I’ve been interviewed myself many times now, on lots of different blogs around the world. I thought for a change I would be the interviewee here on my own blog. I’ve picked out a few of my favourite interview questions over the years, and I’m reproducing them again here. (After having this idea, I realised perhaps it might sound weird to be sort of interviewing myself… but in any case – here’s me!)
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Have you always gravitated towards being an author? My first romance novel was published in 2013, and in answer to your question “have you always gravitated toward being an author” – yes! I’d always wanted to be a published author. Other kids dream of being actors or ballet dancers or football players, but right from being a child, I longed to have a book with my name on it.
A lot has happened since my childhood, and it took a long while to make the dream come true, but now it has, and it’s the best feeling of achievement I ever had.
What is your latest book about? Was it inspired by a certain event/person/memory, etc? The title of my latest release, A Way from Heart to Heart, is taken from an Afghan proverb, “There is a way from heart to heart”. My story is about a young widow who loses her husband to a suicide bomber in Afghanistan. She sees all her ties with loved ones unravel around her, and becomes withdrawn and over-protective of her young son. The hero, an upper-class journalist, is the last person you would expect to break through her barriers – but the Afghan proverb holds true.
What genres have you written besides romance, if any? Is there a genre you haven’t tried yet but want to in the future? I would love to write a timeslip novel, and in fact I have written the first couple of chapters of a story about a soldier on Hadrian’s Wall in Roman Britain. I visited Hadrian’s Wall last year. It’s a magical landscape that made a big impression on me.
(Since answering this question I received the exciting news that my idea and my opening chapters for a YA timeslip novel set around Roman Britain have been shortlisted for the Exeter Novel Prize. The award ceremony takes place in the lovely city of Exeter in Devon on 28th March, and I will be travelling down with my family. Watch this space!)
What are some of your hobbies when you are not chained to the computer? I live in the north of England, near the Yorkshire moors. This is the landscape made famous by Wuthering Heights. Every morning I walk my dog on the moors for an hour. I love to see the changing landscape, from the purple heather of summer to the virgin white snow of winter, stretching to the horizon. My dog loves it, too – only she’s more interested in chasing the wildlife!
What are your favourite types of characters to write about? I love to write my heroes! Someone once said that every romance author should be in love with her hero, and that’s definitely true for me :) The final scene of my last novel, The Antique Love, was voted “Most Romantic Love Scene Ever” by Love Romances and More readers, and a reader said of the hero, “Oh, my, swoon!” That made my day.
What is your beverage of choice while writing? Tea! We British are famous for our tea drinking, although actually I think it’s more common in Ireland. My family is Irish originally, and my Irish grandmother drank lots of tea. She lived to ninety-five, and I always claim it was her plentiful pots of tea that did it!
What book are you reading now? The book I’m reading now is amazing. It’s not a romance; it’s a true story about South Korean identical twin girls. It’s called Separated @ Birth: A True Love Story of Twin Sisters Reunited, by Anaïs Bordier and Sam Futerman.
It tells the incredible story about how, in their twenties, the girls discovered each other via the internet, even though one had been brought up in France and one in the US. It’s a really touching story. I can highly recommend it.
What projects are you working on? At the moment I’m working on a contemporary romance, set in the Lake
District, in the north of England. A few weeks ago I travelled to the Lakes to do some research into freshwater diving (my hero is a diver). The divers at the local dive club performed a dive into one of the lakes especially. It was a great day…and the location is stunning. The perfect backdrop to a love story.
If you had three things on your writing desk at any given moment what are they? My e-reader, a photo of my children…and a cup of tea!
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I hope you enjoyed my questions – and my photos!
If you’re a reader, do you enjoy getting to know your favourite authors through author interviews? If you’re an author, do you have a favourite question that you’ve been asked? What questions do you get tired of answering (if any)?
If you have any questions or comments at all, please let me know. I’d love to hear from you!