First of all, congratulations on joining the Mills & Boon Medical family! We’ve admired your writing for a long time; you’ve been creating beautiful romance books for our friends at HQ for a few years now! Could you tell us a bit about your career as an author?
I always wanted to write, and did, but the big break came when I entered the Prima magazine Flirty Fiction competition. They were looking for the next Mills & Boon author for longer novels, and my entry The Chic Boutique on Baker Street won. Since then, I haven’t stopped writing, and have gained an MA in Creative Writing from Teesside University now too. I love writing, and having books published is the dream I’ve wanted since I held my first book as a child. I am currently writing my next medical romance novel for M&B, and it will be my 12th published book.
What was your experience of writing your first Mills & Boon Medical like?
Hard! I always laugh when I see people being snippy about Mills & Boon novels, about how easy they are to ‘churn out’. Having read, ooo, thousands over the years, I knew different, and I was right. Each novel is a little work of art, and I really enjoyed the challenge. I am in awe of the M & B authors with 50 books plus under their belt. That is a lot of happy ever afters! Amazing.
What was the inspiration behind your new book, Fighting for the Trauma Doc’s Heart?
I wrote a book called The Long Walk Back (HQ Digital) about a Red Cross trauma medic, and it’s something that has always interested me. The fact that people are saving lives and showing such bravery in horrendous circumstances. The research I did for that book never stopped, and I devour everything I can find. Characters usually spark first, and Michelle barged her way in to my brain and demanded I tell her story. She’s not someone to mess with.
How would you describe Jacob and Michelle from Fighting for the Trauma Doc’s Heart?
Stormy, in one word. They are both busy people, with a lot going on. The minute they meet on the page, it’s fire and ice.
What is your writing routine? Do you have a favourite place to write?
I would love to say that I write in a beautiful garden office, or a quiet coffee shop, but I work from home with a rather cute dog, a cat who hates pretty much all humans, a tortoise, a couple of pre-teen boys, and a husband in there somewhere. I write in the car, by the side of various sports fields, at 2am in bed, at 7am at my desk. I have an office I share with my husband, so when he’s about, I shut the door, put my headphones on and hope that the house is still standing when I take them off again. Writing is a bit of an obsession, so even when I am not putting down words, I’m researching, or talking to imaginary people in my head.
What do you do in your spare time when you’re not writing?
I love to dog walk, read, watch TV, cross stitch. I’m a homebody, and I like my animals but I love to travel to when we can. I used to be a post 16 teacher, so I keep my hand in with that too. Pretty boring really, but happy! I am a member of the RNA, and go to events in London which are great fun, but for now, the boys need me home.
Who are some of your favourite authors at the moment and why?
I love the Game of Thrones series on audio when dog walking, the world building is amazing. His writing is so interesting, the way he unfolds his tales in a methodical, unhurried way. Kate Walker is always a favourite too. I tend to read anything and everything, by a lot of different authors, so it’s hard to pick!
What are some of your favourite romance films/tv shows? Any recommendations?
Grey’s Anatomy is my happy place. I would love to meet Shonda Rhimes one day. Scandal is fab too. Virgin River on Netflix is amazing, and I love rom coms. I don’t think we have enough good rom coms made these days.
Can you give us 3 fun facts about yourself that we might not know?
I used to be a nightclub manager, which I loved in my early 20s.
I once served a bowl of bananas to David Ginola, but I didn’t know who he was. I was working as a hotel waitress, and I thought the men were quite loud! He was with his team, it turned out. I didn’t have a clue.
My son (3 then) once streaked naked across a huge play barn, much to the amusement of the other parents and children, having shoved his clothes up the ball chute. Mortified to this day. My friends who were with me at the time still laugh about it.
What are you reading at the moment?
I am terrible, I always have 3 going at once with kindle, audio and paperback! War Doctor by David Nott is my non-fiction read, GoT on audio, and I just Started Good Omens by Pratchett and Gaiman. I love David Tennant, so holding off the TV series to binge after the book, and deadline 🙂