I was not surprised to find another Enid Blyton fan when I asked Who was your favourite childhood author or book and why were they a favourite?
I always had my head stuck in a book when a child. Have to confess to reading everything Enid Blyton ever wrote. I loved The Famous Five books and really wanted to be George! When slightly older, I read Susan Cooper and Alan Garner – something with a magical twist or based on a myth or legend. I also became completely obsessed with KM Peyton’s Flambards books. I love a book which takes you into its world completely. And still do.
K M Peyton’s Flambards books were a popular TV series in the eighties and definitely a favourite programme of The Grey Traveller one that he who likes to think is obeyed and I often refer to when talking TV nostalgia with friends!
When did you start writing and when and what was your first publication?
I’ve always written. Diaries, journals when travelling – and some really bad poetry! In 2004 I joined an online forum where there was a thread devoted to writing. I had a go and posted a chapter at a time. It was well-received, so I carried on! I did a couple of creative writing evening courses and then joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme. My first book to be published was a heavily revised version of the one I posted on the forum and is called Pride and Perdita and came out in 2009. Eventually it was possible to give up my day job and now I write full-time.
Which authors do you currently enjoy?
I love anything by Barbara Erskine and Phil Rickman – two writers who I can’t wait to come out in paperback; I have to pre-order the hardback!
Do you have a ‘usual’ writing timetable and a special place that you write in? What is on your desk or what is around you as you write? Perhaps you enjoy the view from your writing window?
The writing routine has kept changing recently as I’ve moved house three times in just over a year. I try to walk the dogs and get the chores done and then settle to the desk in the afternoons. The routine varies depending on how late I am for a deadline or whatever else is going on. If I’m first drafting, or at the ideas stage, I can write anywhere, anyhow. I’ll scribble notes on anything. Most of the time I write at a desk. One spaniel is usually asleep next to me, I have the radio on very quietly and I’m surrounded by reference books. The view from this house isn’t very inspiring which is probably a good thing. It stops me staring out of the window when I should be writing.
Can you tell me something about your latest book please?
The latest book is the three Millie novellas all in one paperback. Millie runs a café in a small seaside town and has to battle a multi-national coffee chain opening up in direct competition. She rallies the locals to help but a mysterious stranger, Jed, proves a big distraction! It’s a rom-com called Millie Vanilla’s Cupcake Café and is out with Harper Impulse.
Love the cover on this book Georgia!
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on three new novellas based in the fictional seaside town of Berecombe, where Millie’s café is. They feature Millie and her friends but also some new characters.
What are your usual methods of research when planning a new book?
I talk to people, ask questions on Facebook. People are usually very helpful. Recently, I had to talk to a press officer for the RNLI which was fascinating. If I’m writing a historical romance, then I have to read around the subject before writing the first draft and visit museums and exhibitions. All of which I love. Writing is a solitary occupation, so it’s great to get out and about and talk to folk!
….and finally any tips for aspiring writers?
Develop support networks. Learn your craft. Use social media. Enter competitions. Always have a notebook with you. But, most of all, keep going!