I was recently interviewed by Red Roses for Authors blogspot in celebration of the publication of Willoughby's Return. It's always an interesting experience being interviewed - I'm always surprised by how much I learn about myself as well as my book!
Tell us a little about yourself
I’m an English author, an artist, and a wife and mother to three children. I live on the edge of London and enjoy indulging my passions of reading Jane Austen, writing and painting.
What do you write?
I write books inspired by Jane Austen’s life and works. I’ve written and illustrated a book about Jane and have also written three novels, Lydia Bennet’s Story, Willoughby’s Return, and Mr Darcy’s Secret.
Why do you write?
I love escaping into a different world and the sheer pleasure I get when I write is something I’ve enjoyed since I was a little girl. I like the fact that each book is like a puzzle waiting to be worked out with ideas coming to life on the page with my words.
What are you writing now?
It’s another Austen sequel. I’ve just finished another Pride and Prejudice sequel – Mr Darcy’s Secret, which Sourcebooks Inc. is publishing in Spring 2011.
What kind of clothes do you like to wear?
I live in jeans, trousers and tops, though I do enjoy wearing dresses now and then. I like soft, colourful fabrics and I have a weakness for accessories, necklaces, scarves and earrings.
Are you in love? Have you ever been?
I am in love with the man I married twenty five years ago.
Do you have a dream lover – and what does he or she look like?
I do – it’s my husband. I still get goosebumps when I look at him and when he kisses me….
What kind of comfort food do you like best?
A bowl of soup or a tasty stew with mashed potato is my favourite comfort food – something savoury and warming!
What makes you laugh? Cry?
Family mealtimes are hilarious in my house – I sometimes wonder what my neighbours think at the noisy laughter they must hear, especially on a Sunday when everyone is at home.
Hearing about suffering of any kind makes me cry – the injustices that some people have to suffer in their lives through illness, death or misfortune.
What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?
I love spending time with my family, reading, going out to watch music gigs, cinema and the theatre. I really love dancing – I studied ballet for years and I am often to be found twirling round the kitchen.
What is it in a man or woman that turns you on? The clean version please!
A man who really listens and makes you feel as if you are the only person that matters in their world is a turn on for me.
What do you hate about life?
Nothing – my mother died when she was very young, and it’s made me appreciate every second. There’s too much to love to waste time thinking negatively.
What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success?
I’ve achieved my dream of becoming a published writer. The only other ambition I have is to feel satisfied that I’ve done all I can to make those around me happy – I’m not sure if I shall be able to say when or whether I’ve been a success!
What are you going to write next?
I’ve got at least two more Austen sequels I’d like to write, but I also have ideas for other historical books I want to write. My daughter wants me to write down the book I used to tell them as children a few years ago – I’d just like more time to do everything I’d like to accomplish!
Illustration by Phillip Gough from Sense and Sensibility
Book cover - Willoughby's Return - Sense and Sensibility continues