Where do you call home?
Home for me is London, England. I’m lucky to live in really green suburb of the city so I get all the perks of London town with the quieter life of suburbia.
I was raised in Brigg, Nth Lincolnshire, a mainly rural, farming community, for the first eighteen years of my life – it was an idyllic place to grow up. There is a lot of Brigg in the setting of my novels.
Do you have plans for a new book?
I am currently in the very last stages of Book Two of ‘The Knight Trilogy’ and Book Three is already well under way, most of the first draft complete. However, I am desperate to start ‘proper’ work on ‘Beautiful Freaks’ a stand alone Gothic Horror YA which is planned for release in the Winter of 2012.
What inspired you to write your first book?
A near-death experience and turning 30. (No, seriously!)
How did you come up with the title and cover design?
The title is unashamedly lifted from Mallory’s ‘Morte de Arthur’ which is one of the main influences for ‘The Knight Trilogy’. For me the idea of the Forest ties in with a rich cultural heritage of fairytales, enchantment, coming of age and sexual awakening. (I also have a complete forest fetish – especially when there is a certain kind of sunlight)
Have you based any of your characters on someone you know, or real events in your own life?
Well, the legal disclaimer at the front of my book clearly states no, so I had better stick to this story. However Blake was incredibly easy to write. *winks*.
What books have most influenced your writing most and why?
The Grimms Fairytales, the poetry of Tennyson, Keats, Browning and Plath have all been major influences in my writing. I love dystopia and am a complete Orwell, Golding and Huxley girl. The Gothic works of Shelley, Stoker, Walpole, Poe and Lovecraft have also been hugely influential.
I have to acknowledge that reading the Twilight Saga was my gateway into the amazing world of YA fiction and I owe Stephanie Meyer a lot; she made me realise it was okay to write a love story in my own way. She taught me to put aside my literary pretensions and embrace storytelling and characterisation on a personal level. To be blunt – I was a book snob until Edward cast his spell.
What book are you reading now?
Due to impending release date of #2, I have no time for reading at the minute. However, I have started building my TBR pile and have purchased Lauren Kate’s ‘Passion’. Three weeks ago I read Cynthia Hand’s ‘Unearthly’ which was a really good read.
Is there anything you would change in your last book and why?
Lot of things, I try not to dwell on it. I treat it as a learning experience.
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to writing?
Time. I still work full-time as an English teacher and am mummy to a three year old little girl, so writing is a complete luxury and at the same time, necessity.
Do you have a book trailer?
Yes, I do and you can view it at http://www.theknighttrilogy.com
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Make it happen. Take every opportunity. I find it bizarre when writer’s turn down opportunities because they think they are too small or they are too busy – sleep less!
Where can your readers follow you?
The Forest of Adventures #1 of The Knight Trilogy
Chapter 1 BeginningBLAKE BELDEVIER ARRIVED AT COLLEGE ON THE first day of the January term. He came with the snow. Perhaps looking back this should have served as an omen; a warning that anybody who was foolish enough to fall in love with him ran the risk of having their heart turned to ice.
Nothing could have prepared me for the first time I saw him. He walked in to the common room, took a seat and started reading The Times. It wasn’t for this weirdness that I noticed him - although it would normally have been enough - but because of his instantly breath-stealing beauty; the sort of beauty that snaps that secret part of you to attention and reduces you to the beast you are at heart. It was a rough and rugged beauty, a colouring of the skin, a face that had been hewn from a remote and wild cliff face, a darkness of the eyes, full of latent storms and solitude. He was more beautiful than any other boy I’d ever seen in my seventeen years.
All of this I saw in an instant but it was enough. A sickening current swelled in my stomach. I felt dizzy and stars erupted in front of my eyes as if I’d been hit by a force of freezing ocean air, knocking the breath from my lungs. The book I was holding, a thing of exquisite and private joy previous to this moment, flapped limp in my lap, revealing itself as the faded and battered thing that it was. Now, here in front of me, sat something more divine than anything an author could create.
The Knight Triliogy: Immortal Beloved. Chpt 19With nothing much else on the landscape, the temple came into view like a toy model left by a careless child, and then grew to an almost impossible size. It was amazing that still so much of it was intact. Even the small McDonald’s shack, abandoned with the absence of tourists, did little to take away from its awesome sense of time. We pulled up outside, the breaks slightly skidding on the lose stones and sand sending a small cloud into the air, once again giving the surreal feeling we were caught behind a camera lens.
Tall pillars lined the entrance, sending my memory back to the stone pillars of The Chapel of Perils; strange, the reversal of fortune, but it also reminded me that magic really existed and it shouldn’t be underestimated.
“Woa, this place is awesome!”
“Bloody Nora with knobs on!”
Sam’s outburst caused Delta to turn and share a smile with me.
The entrance to the temple was a yawning black rectangle, giving the impression the whole building was waiting for its next meal. Somewhere in my over active imagination, I connected it with the image of screaming – a deep primordial scream, communicating the horrors of what I might find inside. All I could hope for was it would choose to spit us all back out.