About the Author
What’s your background and how did you get into writing books?
The first novels I wrote for my Teddy and dolls. I’d push them around in my pram and read them stories on the lawn. That worked fine until my two brothers removed the pram wheels to build a Go-cart! I’ve written all my life and have drawers full of half-finished manuscripts. None of them were good enough. I started my career as a newspaper journalist and transitioned into glossy magazines both here and in South Africa where I lived for 20 years. On my return home to NZ, I worked in publishing and then corporate Telco businesses. In the last few years, I made the momentous decision to return to my original passion – the love of writing.
What made you start writing books over the past few years?
I didn’t have time in the past. I was busy raising three children and working full time in a frenetic business environment. After an exhausting day at the corporate coal face I didn’t have the head-space or the energy to write anything longer than a shopping list!
How hard was it to write your first book, No Ordinary Man?
It wasn’t easy. It took me two years of historical research matching the movements of the real-life protagonist, Mick Thompson, to the actions of his convoy during the Western Desert War. No Ordinary Man is creative non-fiction. The historical facts are correct and well researched. After interviews with Mick’s niece and reading a few of his handwritten pages, I was able to create his personality and actions, dialogue and thoughts to drive his intriguing and unusual story.
Did you have any family members who were in North Africa during WWII ?
No. But I had parents who were children during WWII. My mother endured the London bombings and was evacuated to Wales where she lived with a family of strangers. My father was in Eindhoven, Holland, the eldest of seven children who suffered at the hands of Nazi occupation. My Dutch grandfather spent the war working in the Resistance movement assisting Jews to escape from Poland. He barely saw his family for five long years, and my grandmother was left alone to raise and feed their children. After the war they all immigrated to NZ, wanting to get as far away from war as possible.
What is your new book about?
In the Deep End, is contemporary fiction based on two couples who are close friends. It’s a family saga/romance with the action taking place between California and New Zealand. The story revolves around the secret love affair between two of the main characters and delves into the passion and pitfalls of their emotional bonds. If you know the book ‘Men Are From Mars …’ then you’ll understand that In the Deep End is a fictional case study of relationships between men and woman. Several subplots explore marriages, love bonds and living arrangements and how we manage to sustain them – or not.
Which did you enjoy writing the most, fiction or non-fiction?
I enjoyed writing them both for different reasons. Non-fiction appeals to my passion for hard news and fascination with unconventional true stories. But fiction allows full reign of my creative strengths. I love confronting characters with a life changing dilemma and putting them through the emotional wringer and exploring how they survive the webs they weave.
What does your working day look like?
How many hours do you spend on your writing and researching each day ?
I’m a full-time Author. While I’d love to write, and have done so at times, eight to 10 hours a day, it’s just not sustainable. Being an Indie writer means I have to spend several core hours a day with online marketing and advertising, production, and printing issues as well as regularly communicating with my devoted readers.
Are you working on anything new ?
Yes, I’ve just started writing Book Two, a sequel to In the Deep End, which continues with the main thrust of the story through the eyes of the protagonist’s son, Hawke Davis. I’ve managed to write about 60 percent of the manuscript so far. I spent the first three weeks planning and mapping out the structure and plot lines. I hope to get it back from Editors and the Proof Reader before Christmas, ready for publishing
Take a chance – you only LIVE once!
After working long, thankless hours in corporate business over many years, I realized that I had driven my career down a dark, relentless rabbit hole. My day job was sucking my soul dry. There was no job satisfaction or regular lunch breaks, and all I could see was a perpetual cycle of clients, suppliers, and staff problems. If I was a runner, you could say it was equivalent to hitting a hard wall. Looking back now, I recognize the wasted years of worrying through sleepless nights, scribbling a to-do list that would make your eyes water.
All this to make shareholders more profits? Only an insane person would keep up the pace and jump higher and higher for each added demand. It was an easy decision to take time out and put a blowtorch under my proverbial. All the signs indicated I needed to opt-out and return to my first love. Writing.
My early career as a newspaper and magazine journalist proved my happiest days on the job. I submitted a couple of full-length fiction manuscripts to traditional publishers many years earlier when my three children were young, and so was I. One draft went through three readings at an international publishing house in the UK. I held my breath for those 270 hopeful days before they got back to me with a big fat NO.
But now, with many hard-won years of life experience, I became convinced I could hit the Best Seller List! So, five years ago, I chucked in my day job to focus on my true passion of being an author. No easy task with new software and online publishing skills a prerequisite for success. Finally, I have three books with the fourth currently at a professional Proof Reader. I await her red-pen magical marks over the 300 pages of In the Deep End – Book Two with trepidation! This ten-day break gives me a breather to re-write my bio like this and give you some coal-face insight into surviving Life’s hooks and sinkers.
Take a chance – you only LIVE once!