1. Tell us about your latest release.
“The Sweetest Thing” is the first book in a big women’s fiction trilogy – there’s also a prequel novella, and at least one kind of sidebar novella, to fill in some of the other stories. People really seem to be responding to this one, with its themes of family and forgiveness. The character of Sugar was a huge risk, as she’s done so many bad things in her life, I really wasn’t sure if readers would be able to forgive her and love her, the way the book’s heroine Tully learns to do. So far, though, readers are embracing her, and the whole story, and I’m thrilled about that.
2. What inspired you to start writing as a career?
Reading inspired me. I read voraciously as a child, and still get totally lost in books. Most writers start as hungry readers, I think, and there comes a point where it’s not enough to simply experience that feeling of getting lost in a new world, writers need to create that world for themselves and others.
3. When you’re not writing, what do you do for fun and relaxation?
Not sure if I’d call it fun and relaxation, but helping my daughter with her equestrian competitions takes up a lot of time. There are a lot of weekends spent sleeping in the horse trailer, cooking on a camp stove, and walking miles between and around the dressage arenas, the cross-country course, the show-jumping arena, the horse yards, the event office, etc.
My husband and I have also become keen cyclists, with a big charity ride planned for next year from Copenhagen to Paris . The ride covers over 700 miles in a week, so we are on a program to improve our fitness and stamina and keep our creaky bodies in good enough shape for the ride.
4. What is a typical writing day like?
There’s a lot of fretting and self-doubt. And mess and chaos. And distraction and procrastination. And then there are the times when –
No, I can’t talk about it. Don’t make me. Please. Do readers really need to hear the dark side? I think not. They would be too shocked. I’m shocked myself. Is my writing process really that appalling?
5. Do you have an interesting writing quirk or habit?
I think all my writing quirks and habits are interesting, but probably mainly to mental health professionals.
6. What’s coming up next for you?
Finishing the River Bend books. Each of them is daunting and challenging in its own way, and now that people are loving “The Sweetest Thing” so much, there’s an added pressure not to disappoint them with the other books.