You write for the Mills & Boon True Love series which celebrates the rush of falling in love and focuses on the emotional heart of relationships. What’s your favourite thing about writing True Love romances?
It’s what I love about writing romance in general — getting to fall in love again and again and again. The rush never gets old!
As for True Love specifically, all series stories have an emotional intensity, but True Love gives me the opportunity to add a sprinkling of family every now and again. I love being able to bring children into my tales which I couldn’t readily do when I wrote for the DARE line. I also love writing about real people being swept off their feet — it doesn’t matter if they’re rich or poor, they still feel very relatable.
What do you think is the best way to improve writing skills?
Read! A lot!
And if you want to write for Mills & Boon, read extensively within the line you are targeting so that you have a thorough understanding of what the reader (and editor!) looks for in those books.
In my early days, I also devoured lots of craft books. They really help you to see stories in a different light (as a writer rather than a reader!) and dissect what makes them work. Applying that knowledge to your tales can only make them stronger and I will still dip into one now when I feel my story is lacking a certain something, or I’m trying to brainstorm a new plot/conflict etc
What was the inspiration behind your new book, Beauty and the Reclusive Millionaire?
I’m a sucker for fairy tales and Beauty and the Beast is no exception. In fact, I love it so much I have somehow managed to gain two copies of the Disney animated classic over the years. Such a great movie! I do so love a scarred, tortured hero, and a sunny, loving heroine who can drag him out of the darkness and into the light.
Hence Alaric and Catherine were born, and you can’t get any more ‘light’ than Catherine who is a Hollywood A-Lister and of course, the very last person on earth Alaric would want to date — there can be no shying away from the limelight when you have a celeb on your arm! It was a great challenge to write with lots of character growth and a hard-earned HEA that made me full-on swoon.
What part of the book was the most fun to write?
The ending and the grand gesture! Though I can’t spoil that for you, so I’d have to say, it was making Alaric crack. Watching his hard exterior crumble in the face of Catherine’s warm heart and sunshine beauty, plus their banter…they really know how to wind each other up! 😉
How do you celebrate when you finish your book?
I run down the street naked, shouting FREEEEEEDOM!!!
No, just kidding, honest…
Fizz, fizz and more fizz. I often rope in the family to celebrate with me too, especially the hubby!
What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?
Switch off the fear, forget any one will read it and write from the heart.
You can worry about the fine-tuning when the first draft is done and then you can pull it apart with everything you’ve learnt from your widespread reading of romance and craft books!
What are some of your favourite romantic films/tv shows? Any recommendations?
Pretty Woman. Notting Hill. The Holiday. I could go on! Anything with a true HEA that makes me cry happy tears and not the gut-wrenching sobs like the film Titanic did. I mean, we all know how that ended but they could have at least let Jack survive too. That movie broke me! Never again!
As for TV shows, it has to be Schitt’s Creek and the epic relationship that is Patrick and David. When they sing Simply the Best to one another…ooo, it gives me all the feels just thinking about it.
Last question! Flowers or chocolate?
Eek! I can’t answer that as it all depends on my waistline at the time – ha! But right now, it would be chocolate…good job too with Christmas fast approaching!