I love everything to do with stories: reading them, collecting them, talking about them and writing them. One of the questions I’m asked most frequently is where do authors get their ideas from? The answer is everywhere. TV programmes, conversations, news stories…anything that triggers of the what if..? part of my brain. Sometimes a character drops full-formed into my head. Sometimes it’s a setting or a phrase that could become a poem or a short story or grow into a novel. I have a million notebooks on the go at any time, each filled with the seeds of stories-yet-to-come.
When I’m not writing novels, I’m busy working as an FE Lecturer, doing creative writing workshops in schools, travelling the world with my family or out and about with my beautiful dog, Smudge. Live music is my other big passion- I’m a devoted gig and festival goer. Part of being an author means I get to read lots of other people’s books, and that’s how I spend a lot of my free time, reading…and reading…and more reading!
My favourite books have influenced my writing in different ways. ‘An Inspector Calls’ is a big one and is the key influence on ‘This Careless Life.’ I’ve loved the play since I read it for GCSE at school. ‘Wuthering Heights’ and ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ were in the back of my mind as I was writing ‘The Number One Rule for Girls’ because of the classic bad boyfriend-ness of Heathcliff and Stanley. And in ‘Me and Mr J’, Lara has elements of Jane Eyre in the way she feels isolated and alone and also Romeo and Juliet as the ultimate forbidden romance story.
My study is packed to the roof with books and I’m surrounded by them while I work.