What’s your background, what compelled you to start writing?
Reading meant so much to me growing up. It taught me empathy, compassion, and gave me an escape when I needed it most. It gave me light in dark times. Creating opportunities for others to feel; that is my greatest motivation as a writer.
Which other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you be a
I jointly formed a writers and illustrators group with colleagues at my work, some of whom also write for Black Hare Press. We are a really diverse, friendly and insightful bunch who show incredible support to each other, both personally and as authors—although we mainly moan about how tough it is to succeed as a writer!
If you didn’t write, what would you do? Or, if writing is not a full-time job, what do you do?
I’ve always been interested in publishing, so I work as a Publishing Development Manager in educational publishing for my day job. That basically means I work with publishers to produce textbooks and digital learning resources that are of high educational quality. I love my job, so always see myself doing it to some degree, though my goal is to earn half my living as an author too.
Besides hard work and talent, what other traits have led to your success?
Tenacity is just as important as talent. It is very easy to want to give up and lose faith in your work, particularly after rejection. But experiencing rejection and dealing with self-criticism are part of earning your stripes as an author, and I’m definitely a stronger writer for it. I also think it is important to be experimental. Since starting to write for BHP, I have written in lots of genres I never had before and have grown in confidence as a result.
In relation to Those of the Light;
Is there a particular message that you hope readers will take from the book?
Those of the Light is fundamentally a love story, albeit a horrific and darkly comic one. Despite the dark world my characters find themselves in, the strength of their relationships gives them the hope and motivation they need to fight for their survival. It is about how love lights you up and also very literally about finding light at the end of the tunnel
Did you base any of the characters on people you know?
Tulip is based on and inspired by my gorgeous Syrian hamster, Chonka. He’s a diva too.
What’s brewing? What projects are you working on?
One of the problems with being a multi-genre writer is that I always have multiple ideas brewing and it can be difficult to choose a focus. Currently, I’m leading on a collaborative horror novel around the theme of Ruins. I am also still pitching agents with my first novel, the first book from an animal-focussed fantasy series for middle grade children.