1. What or who inspired you to write?
1) As a child, I was always scribbling funny stories about the people who lived on my road in the small, mystical town of Glastonbury, along with very amateur (my artistic skills have not improved at all beyond stick people) illustrations to go with them. I used to get so excited at school whenever we had a spontaneous creative writing lesson, and I relished the opportunity to come up with the most quirky (read bonkers) stories I could. So I guess you could say the stimulation around me at that age encouraged me to put pen to paper. I was a big fan of the Garden Gang and the Richard Scarry ‘Busy World’ books. I have always been drawn to stories that have lots of activity and layers in them, and I guess that has stayed with me!
2. Who is your favourite author and why?
2) I honestly don’t have a single favourite author but among the writers whose books I regularly turn to, I do admire Joanne Harris’s fabulous magical realism style, and recently I have turned into a bit of a Sue Moorcroft fangirl, devouring her vast backlist. I am driven by season and mood when it comes to my reading habits. Heidi Swain, Julie Caplin, Daisy James and Lizzie Chantree’s uplifting novels are perfect to curl up with and relax, but sometimes I fancy a psych thriller, in which case AM Castle, HC Michaels, Rose McClelland and Susie Lynes would be my go-tos. I also love to lose myself in cookbooks. Especially Nigella’s, which read like poetry and definitely inspire my own writing ideas… as well as some rustic baking!
3. You are having a double launch party, how does that feel?
3) It feels AMAZING! It’s going to be a busy day but I am so revved up for it and ready to party online with everybody. The BIGGEST thank you again to Sue, Fiona, and Heidi for making this happen. You are all such stars. I am a relatively small author in a very big pond so I feel incredibly blessed to have so much support for Bubblegum and Blazers. And it’s one of those books which covers so many different topics – from sweets to school, 90s music to 90s eye candy, romance to rebellion… I could go on! All of which makes for two terrific parties full of variety and fun
4. What’s your favourite part of the 80s, 90s and Y2K?
4) I loved the simplicity of the eighties, the opportunity of the nineties, and the manifestation of so many of my eighties and nineties daydreams in the noughties! There’s something quite tarot card about the flow of those three decades…
5. What does being an author mean to you?
5) I have always surrounded myself with books. As a toddler, I’d sit on the potty with a really tall book stack (apparently!) and I would end up with a very red ring around my bottom when my mum could finally peel me away. After a degree in French and German, I ended up working in children’s publishing, selling pop up, novelty, lift the flap, and non-fiction books into 45 languages all over the world. Millions and millions of copies! So I saw the whole publishing process of pen to paper, to production, to arrival at the port (from Hong Kong or India to Europe/South America/Scandinavia/South Africa/Tokyo/South Korea etc). All of which REALLY made me yearn to get my own words out there. As far as career changes go, the move from Foreign Rights to author felt like a really organic and happy one. I’m not sure I’d have believed in myself enough without my publishing background, actually. So I guess it was the perfect stepping stone to following my childhood dreams. Seeing things come full circle and having my books translated into another language is definitely where my next level thoughts are taking me. But for now I am just enjoying the ride of creativity and finding my niche. It’s a fascinating journey. It can be full of lows as well as highs, but I am finally learning to view it as a marathon, not a sprint!