I rediscovered my love of reading last year after never really having the time with two small children, and in doing so, realised I didn't just want to read the books - I wanted to write them.
So I put fingers to keyboard and wrote. Then wrote some more. And before you know it, here I am now.
I decided that at thirty it was high time to stop living a 'what if' life and give my dreams a chance. Lost deep in thought one day as I walked the kids in their buggy, I realised that I didn't want to be an old lady who sat and reflected on her life thinking 'what if I had tried?' I wanted to be an old lady who reflected on her life and thought 'At least I didn't leave a stone unturned.'
I am me. Life is not to be lived in the shadow of others, doing what you think your peers expect you to. Life is to be lived to the fullest, explored and challenged.
Next time you sit and think 'what if', sit and think 'what if I die tomorrow?' There is no time like the present.
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1. How and when did you get started as a writer?
I’ve loved to write since I was young—probably a by-product of my mother reading to me every night as a kid. I wrote a few pieces as a teenager, but put it on the back-burner in my early adulthood as there was no such thing as Kindle or indie publishing then. After having my oldest child, I picked up reading again and naturally it progressed from there.
2. How do you usually find your ideas?
Anywhere and everywhere! It can be a scene on a TV program, seeing people on the sidewalk as I’m driving by, or the lyrics or emotion a song provokes.
3. Where do you write from? (home, office etc.)
I write at home with the music loud. I might be in the office, or on the couch with the laptop. A change of scenery is good to kick-start the imagination, so I move around a lot.
4. How long does it take you to write a book?
It depends on what else is happening in my life. Family come first, so sometimes my writing gets put aside for a day, or a weekend. I also do formatting for other authors as a side business, so that can take up time too. But, both things have a flow-on effect of making me write faster afterward to meet my deadline. Devil on Your Back was my fastest full-length, being written in three weeks. Devil May Care took me a week as a novella. I don’t recommend it though—too stressful!
5. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
Flat out. I’m in the office three full days while my kids are at preschool. I steal time on the days they’re home and in the weekend when I can, and I work most nights until the small hours while the family sleeps. It’s a busy business being an indie, but it’s also kind of motivating knowing that you are the sole person responsible for how well you do—that it’s all dependent on how hard you want to work for it.
6. Do you have any suggestions to help become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Don’t get complacent. Study your craft, the trends, and read A LOT. But read critically. What is it that makes ‘x’ a best seller? What is it that makes ‘y’ the highest-ranking story in your genre? Overall, just write. You’ll never get better at anything if you don’t practice.
7. Something personal about you people may be surprised to know?
I’ve got no idea what people would be surprised about. Umm … I have no spleen? I got sick with a bad cold, and afterwards felt like I couldn’t eat much even though I was still hungry. First doctor told me it was an inflamed stomach and gave me meds for it, but a month later I was lying in bed and pointed out to hubby that the ribs on my left side were sticking up further than my right. Turned out my spleen had ruptured internally and had been bleeding, forming a cyst. It’s meant to be about the size of your fist usually, but mine was the size of an Aussie rules football when they took it out. For a while there before I had surgery I wasn’t allowed to play sports, go 4wding, lift heavy things, or do anything that would give me a blow to the abdomen in case it burst and killed me.
8. What is your greatest weakness?
I’m a perfectionist. I beat myself up something terrible when I make a mistake, or people criticize me for something I could have done better. I have a strong need to make people happy, and when they aren’t, I take it hard.
9. What is your greatest strength?
Determination. I’ve been knocked down, walked over, taken advantage of and used a scapegoat, but I’m still here, still fighting. No matter how many times I fall, I take my lesson from it and stand up again stronger.
10. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be a farmer when I was young. I suppose I was for a bit. Hubby worked as a dairy-farmer when we left high school and I farmed with him for a while. It was hard since we always had opposing days off, but I wouldn’t take it back. There’s something amazing about sitting on a terrace that overlooks the farm, watching the cows walk toward the shed, and knowing that the beautiful landscape before you is your office. Made all the pre-dawn starts and long hours well worth it.
1. Favorite movie.
Toss up between Mad Max trilogy and Terminator series.
2. Favorite website.
Social media mostly. I’m a bit of an Instagram addict.
3. Favorite color.
Shades of blue and purple.
4. Favorite book.
Too many to mention. I list all my favorites on Goodreads.
5. Favorite country.
I may be biased, but New Zealand (where I’m originally from). I’ve only visited a handful of countries, so it may change in the years to come.