Current Release: Evidence of Love
Describe your current release by starting out with "In a world".
In a world of criminal gangs where men are violent and controlling and a woman's role is to serve and obey, Maja lived in constant fear. When her abusive husband is murdered she grabs the opportunity to change her name and her life. With her toddler she lives a quiet, unobtrusive, suburban life as Lara until she is forced to come out of self-imposed hiding and help the victim of an attack. This brings her into wary contact with the police and the detective hero, Nick. Lara has to overcome a lifetime of prejudice in order to accept that police can be hardworking and honest and that not all men are like the men she grew up with. By emerging from hiding she is also exposing herself and her son to danger in the form of her family and her husband's vicious, greedy colleagues. Now the only person she can trust is Nick--a policeman.
What are you working on?
I have several projects on the go at the moment. I have two manuscripts aimed at Escape which need revisions. One is another romantic suspense called Empty Heart which if I get things right, I hope will be my next release. The other is a contemporary romance titled Men From A To Z. It's a companion book to E For England, telling the story of the other couple, Leonie and James. I'm also in the middle of writing a cosy murder mystery which has no romance and therefore will need a different home to Escape. I like a good murder!
Getting a book to market often takes a village. Who has helped you on the way?
My husband has always been a good person to brainstorm plot points with. On our regular walks I'll say 'Here's the scenario so far, now I need xxxx to happen. What do you think?' My daughter is a great source of inspiration and information. It was her knickers which blew off the balcony and landed in the oleanders seven floors down, and thus gave me the scene in E For England where Annie meets Hugh. She works in finance and also has a law degree so is invaluable for romantic suspense scenarios and possible criminal activity. My retired policeman friend Mike is very helpful for crime stories and so are the other romance writers from the RWA writing community. Whenever I need to know some odd little detail about being stabbed, the words a two year old can say or the decor of a particular Sydney hospital I post a question online and someone always sends an answer. Then of course when the manuscript is submitted, there's the wonderful and very knowledgeable Kate who says either 'Let's do this' or makes suggestions for a better, tighter plot or more satisfying romance. When she gives the green light along comes the assigned editor who works closely with the author to fix any grammar or punctuation and sometimes to strengthen the writing. I haven't met any of my cover artists but they play a very important role. My Escape covers have all been truly fantastic. The little boy on the cover of Evidence Of Love is perfect.
Do you have a favorite or interesting reader meet moment?
They weren't readers of my books but my favourite talk as a writer was to 60 Year 1 students (age 6) at a local school. I spoke about making up stories and how a writer went about getting a book published. They were extremely well behaved and asked all sorts of questions as I went along. At the time I was writing E For England. Annie, the heroine has a 6 year old son and when one boy asked what his name was I said, 'Mattie. Matthew.' His mouth dropped open and his eyes went big and round. He was so excited he could hardly speak but he managed to say, 'My name's, Matthew and I'm 6.'
What is your favorite way to procrastinate?
I wander into the kitchen and make a cup of tea or eat nuts or some fruit. My husband retired last year so he is usually around somewhere ready for a chat which is a great way to waste time.
I write my stories because the ideas nag at me until they're written. It's always a delightful surprise when first an editor likes the book and then people start buying it. I think every author secretly worries that each new title will be a flop, that this will be the dud. I'm a reader too and I know full well how many talented writers are out there and how many thousands of fantastic books are begging to be read. I'm honoured when readers choose to buy and read one of my books and even more so when they take the time to say they enjoyed it. Thank you, readers everywhere!