What was the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Editing for sure! I love writing, especially free flow writing but with editing it takes a lot out of you. Also the time line was very difficult to create as it needed to flow right.
What was the hardest scene or character to write in your most recent book?
In the sequel to my debut Broken Branches, one of the main character’s story was very difficult to write due to the mental health storyline presented.
Do you remember the moment (or person who inspired it) in your life that you knew you were going to be a writer?
I have been writing since a very young age and writing has been an emotional outlet. In terms of my novel it began as an experimental project whilst I was bored in one of my lessons.
What was the first thing you learnt as an indie author that has never failed you?
It isn’t one of the first things I’ve learnt but it is something that I’ve learnt, the audience needs to hear and see you. You are you brand.
Do you do a lot of research and why, or if not, why not?
I don’t do much research as I find writing should come from the heart. It has more depth and more emotion and this is what readers relate too.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
An editor! And I was lucky enough to find an editor that understood what I was trying to reflect through my stories and through my writing. Also she was very patient with me during the editing process for the sequel.
What does literary success look like to you?
People benefitting and taking lessons from my novels. I’ve had some wonderful feedback so far where people have taken some beautiful lessons from my novels and it makes me so happy to know that people are relating and finding comfort from my novels. It makes me happy that my words can help people.
Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Yes! But I’m not going to say what they are because then it will no longer remain a secret!
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Yes, I will always read my book reviews because I find the feedback can help me grow as a writer to help people with my words more. But we also have to remember that reviews are literally just opinions and what we do with them is our choice.
Do you try more to be original or pander to readers’ wants?
I always remain me. I never write for what is in the market because at the end of the day we are all unique and people out there need to hear your voice. If you’re not writing from yourself, then what are you writing for? We are all unique and someone out there could relate to your stories, your thoughts, dreams, imagination etc. Readers need your story not what is already selling and besides, your story could create something new.
Does your family support your career as a writer?
Yes. My family has always supported my writing. Luckily I come from a very creative family so everyone understands how important it is to do what you love.
How do you select the names of your characters?
This is probably the only thing that I’ve had to research. I’ve always wanted diverse, creative names for my characters. I wanted names that rang with their story and their personality that I was creating. I did this especially more for the second book. I would know the personality of the characters and go online through different websites and culture to create a name for the character that suited them and their description in my mind.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Writing the book was a year but editing, developing and the creative process took twelve years.
If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?
I have no regret whatsoever as a writer but if there was one thing I would say to myself its to not hold back on anything.
If you have a day job or family commitment, how do you work writing into it?
Everyone has commitments and most writers that I know have more than one job. I went through multiple jobs during the creative process of my novels and though I’m thankful for all the jobs I’ve had, I was never passionate about them. I would always arrive early to my workplaces and write. Most of my second novel was fleshed out during a year that I was in a job that really took a toll on my mental health. I remember the only thing that got me through was getting there early to sit in one of the rooms to write. And at the end of the day, if you’re passionate about writing you will prioritise it and fit it in.
What did you edit out of your most recent book?
One of the characters Lauren, had more of story, I had to cut it down quite a but otherwise there would have been too much going on the novel and it didn’t benefit Kris’s plot.
Do you ever think it’s ethical to reply to your book reviews?
If someone emails me passionate feedback regarding my novel then I do try to take the time to respond. I don’t always because I don’t have so much time but I do try to but I take into consideration that someone has kindly put in the time and effort to read and write me an email. I just like to show appreciation.
Do you think writer’s block exists?
I have a very particular view about creative block as a whole. I feel that if someone is feeling creatively blocked about what they are creating then they need to change direction because what the project they are focusing on isn’t giving them the capacity to express themselves. During the process of all three of my novels, I’ve written countless short stories. It’s not that we have writers' block it’s just that what we are working on isn’t allowing us to express out our emotions that actually need to be channelled.
What is your favourite character of another author?
Beth from Little Women is one of my favourite characters. She is someone that is needed in this world as a whole. Kindness, compassion, gentleness – she is just such a beautiful character. During a time of my depression I remember I wrote a whole short story about her.
Do you have a hidden talent?
I wouldn’t say it is a hidden talent but I love to draw.
Do you have any secret marketing advice?
I wouldn’t say it is a secret but I would say to be yourself.
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