Thanks to Faith Mortimer for this interview
How long have you been writing?
I started writing properly in about 2007, when I began my first book, The Crossing. Before that I played, wrote short stories, terrible poetry, etc.!
Do you have a day job or do you write for a living?
No, I am retired now, but I seem to be marketing all the time as well as writing. So writing is my my work now.
What do you feel is the ideal recipe for a good novel/story/poem?
A superb plot. Some excellent, well-defined characters who stand out. Perfect prose and a setting that takes your breath away.
What/who inspired you to write and still inspires you?
I inspired myself, I think. My children had left for University and I was impressed by their learning skills. I sat for a degree myself (Science with Biology), passed with a super mark and realised I now had the stamina, determination and confidence to write and FINISH that novel.
What books have you written? Do you stick to one genre?
I’ve completed and published two so far. The Crossing – action, adventure, drama and romance. The second is The Assassins’ Village – a murder-mystery thriller set in Cyprus and not unlike an Agatha Christie ‘who dunnit’. I have another in progress, which will be drama with a nice bit of gore!
How long did it take you to write your book/s?
It probably took me about 18-24 months from start to finish.
Do you have any works in progress?
Yes. Children of The Plantation – a drama with some gore. This is set in 1950s Malaya.
Which character from your books do you like most/are most like?
Impossible to say – maybe Billy in The Crossing as he is such a nice man and full of compassion for others.
Where and when do you write – do you have set times during which you write or is it just when the mood takes you?
I write in ‘my snug’ – a lovely room with nice surroundings or in my inner courtyard. We have a 200-year-old stone house in the mountains of Cyprus. Gorgeous! And it’s a perfect retreat for writing. I write at different times of the day.
Have you ever based a character on someone from real life? Has the person guessed?
Yes, both my published books are based loosely on people I know. The Crossing is partly true as well.
One day you’re walking in the forest and you bump into an alien librarian from Mars. He wants five book recommendations from you…
A good dictionary (English of course)
Complete Set of Shakespeare
The Far Pavilions by MMKaye
All of mine!
Some of your fave things: Animal? Food? Drink? Film? Colour? Band? Song? Place to chill out?
Love walking, good food, red wine, chocolate, kittens and puppies, my children, my husband, the film Zulu…
Which book do you wish you had written?
The Far Pavilions – a beautiful love story in India.
Which three authors (living or not) would you like to take to the pub?
William Shakespeare, Conn Iggulden and MM Kaye.
What other hobbies/interests do you have or has writing taken over?
I walk and run when I can, and I tread the boards (act).
What would you like to achieve in the next five years?
Write at least 4 more books, and be happy and healthy.
If you won the Lotto, what would you do with all it?
Ha! No chance of that as I never waste my money. Probably buy my children new houses with no mortgages and a theatre for my husband as he loves acting too!
Now for the creative bit. Please complete this story…
There was a young frog called Kipper who lived in this enormous pond. All around him was deep water. Perfect you might say for a frog… except he was terrified of the wet stuff! His brothers and sisters all made fun of him. ‘You are such a whoosiecroaker !’ They all chorused as soon as the sun set over Kipper’s pond. ‘What are we going to do with you?’
Things got really bad and one little frog that wasn’t much bigger than a tadpole decided she had to look after matters.
She commandeered the biggest lily flower leaf and made Kipper climb on board. She then jumped off the leaf and propelled Kipper towards the shore. As they neared the sandy edges, Kipper became excited and crawled ashore.
‘I knew it!’ sang the little frog in glee. ‘No wonder you’re terrified of water! You’re not a frog at all! You’re a toad! Toads crawl on land, and frogs hop and love water.
And Kipper lived happily ever after.”
Amazon links for the two books, including the paperback of The Crossing
The Assassins' Village
The Crossing (includes links for paperback version)