If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
Laptop indoors, and pen and paper outdoors
Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?
Success for me as a writer comes with the knowledge that I have been able to transport readers to exciting worlds, to the extent that they come back for more. Making a living from writing would also be brilliant.
It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?
The expensive lesson I have learnt whilst marketing my book, is that my book will only probably appeal to people who like to read slowly and patiently, and are looking for something unpredictable and surprising. Being new to this online scene, I have noticed there are a lot of readers, who I suspect speed read, or it seems are looking for books that follow a familiar pattern. Trying to target compatible readers is proving to be a little tricky. But I am now putting all my efforts into the UK book scene, by way of book tours to blog sites etc. and targeted banner ads with compatible sites and of course Good Reads.
Tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it?
A timeworn house confronts a reluctant visitor, who has been placed mysteriously in an ancient wood. Sheltering in the house, she enters a room that transports her to a Georgian Estate in England, where a dramatic encounter with a belligerent lord, sets the tone for the narrative. Managing to escape through another magic portal, she suddenly finds herself in Regency era London. Here amongst a household of unusual characters she remains, before an extraordinary blood connection is established. As the eccentric cast act out their complex lives, her role switches to that of an observer. Having lived on a diet of historical fiction prior to this adventure, her romantic idealism is challenged by all she sees and experiences. One day a handsome poet arrives and is immediately drawn to the beautiful time traveller. A surprising end lays in wait, with hidden truths buried within the mysterious house.
Being my first book, I always wanted to tap into the fantastical. I started my love of books with reading fairy tales, therefore it seemed fitting that I explore this enduring and fascinating genre. I have always been interested in metaphors and archetypes, so that when I was inventing this narrative and the characters within, I gravitated to these themes as a subtext. The idea that the unhappiness and restlessness one experiences in their own reality may be due to unfinished business from another period of time, when they wore a different identity, was such an interesting theme to me, that I knew I had to carve a narrative from this.
If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask?
Apart from David Bowie, Stephen Fry and Germaine Greer, all other guests haved passed away. There are so many that I would love to meet, but here are some of the luminaries that spring to mind without much fuss; Cleopatra, Virgil, Hildegarde de Bingen, Artemisia Gentileschi, Michel de Montaigne, Voltaire, George Sands, Catherine the Great, Lord Byron, George Eliot, Jane Austen, Balzac, Zola, Tolstoy, Madame Blavasky, Alastair Crowley, Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, Katherine Mansfield, Anais Nin, Isadora Duncan, Garcia Lorca, Aldous Huxley, Somerset Maughan, Jean Cocteau, Martha Graham, Kerauoac, Miles Davis, Fellini, Dali, Picasso, and Cary Grant.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
I watch movies – classic 1930’s to late 1950’s.As well as any crime/mystery from England past or present, or BBC dramas.
How often do you write? And when do you write?
I try to write daily. In the mornings I am at my freshest, so it is a good time to write in a ‘stream of consciousness’ way, which means i come up with some unexpected material, that excites. I clean up my writing later in the day or evening when I am too tired to be imaginative, that’s when I grapple with grammatical issues.
Sometimes it’s so hard to keep at it – What keeps you going?
When I am not writing, I am working at dance, which is the career I have been involved in all my working life. Presently I still choreograph performances, and train 5 times a week.
I manage to write about 2hours a day. I feel the need to do it, for it empties my busy mind, whilst resting my body. I have so many stories and ideas, that the frustration is in finding the time to divest myself of all these themes. When training as a dancer, discipline came to me from an early age, that now, I have been able to transfer this motivation into my daily writing.
What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?
Awaiting the reader is a fantastical, richly aesthetic world, intercepted by dramatic impulses. Within this dichotomy of beauty and the unknown, the mysterious hand of destiny transports the unsuspecting reader and time traveller into fascinating historical settings.
As with fairy tales, a large eccentric cast interact with the heroine of this story. Once the19th century constraints are lifted, these characters reveal familiar emotional traits, so that the reader meets with personalities that are both complex and sympathetic in nature.
It was my intention to demonstrate that we have most certainly come very far in acceptance of individual freedoms (in the developed world at least). To the extent that, were The House to be published in the period that it describes, it would most certainly have been scandalous.
I would like the reader to consider the distance we have travelled in the acceptance of feminism and individual sexuality, as well as, some of the modern advances that are discussed in a few scenes.
Although past life love and soul mates are the fundamental themes, this.
story also speaks of idealism, by casting an eye on the disenchantment that accompanies those who dwell in the past with rose coloured glasses.
When the time traveller actually visits the historical settings she had often venerated in her imagination, she is shocked by the reality of that period.
Thus the dreamer wakes to find herself in a nightmare. There are many sad moments in the book, conveyed through letters, and revelations of regret for past deeds, which caused me to weep. I hope that this pathos reaches the reader. Despite being positive, the ending is also very surprising.
The House is an adult fairy tale rich in mystery and intrigue.
Here is a tale of a woman so absorbed with historical novels that her own reality ceases to offer any hope of romance and beauty.
Until one day this dreamy idealist finds herself in a mysterious forest. How she arrived there is unknown. Soon she encounters a dilapidated house, within whose ancient walls magical rooms that transport to parallel worlds lie in wait. There she is transmigrated to 18th century England, where our heroine interacts with an odd mix of characters whose dysfunctional lives become immediately apparent.
Her first tribulation involves a nefarious lord, an archetype of the monstrous characters one encounters in fairy tales. The ramification from this confrontation sets the tone for the narrative.
A magic portal finally enables escape from the austere Georgian dwelling. She is then spirited back to the enigmatic house, and a journey to Regency London follows, where a large cast of eccentric identities present themselves.
Late one night, following a long stay in Florence, a young, heart-broken poet arrives. His introduction to the beautiful time traveller offers promise of restoration and love. But there are several more obstacles ahead before her destiny in this curious adventure is made apparent.
In the end an unexpected twist is revealed. But like all good fairy tales, this surprising conclusion is pleasing, even though the means of getting there are dark, and at times sinister.
Genre - Historical, Fantasy, Romance
Rating - PG-16
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