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 was 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 narrative is about love and acceptance for who you are. Tolerance, although that word implies you put up with something you don’t really like. 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 are your books about?

Most are adult contemporary fiction and explore controversial characters that I’ve come across in real-life. The plots involve a love relationship and the associated family saga with a serious splattering of emotional and psychological suspense. Some of the most innocuous people I’ve ever met actually live in some intriguing and challenging arrangements with others. My characters are ordinary people, living extraordinary lives. It’s a great way to develop subplots with increasing tension and angst, allowing the reader to participate in a life they wouldn’t normally consider. I often use humour and a series of shock factors to make sure readers enjoy these stories and can identify with the main character. I guess my stories can be classed as biographical fiction.

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 the second book in a proposed trilogy called Crow’s Song. This is only the working title and may change. Book One will be set in India in the 1850s while Book Two is set in England and the Netherlands during WWII. Book Three takes this family saga to New Zealand and to the present day. So it’s going to be a challenging epic story based on historical fact but with creative input around the plight of the main characters. I’ve been thinking about it for over two years and am now committed to writing this family saga. I’ve been plotting and planning since the release of Duplicity in August and have drafted the first four chapters. Much more to come. See my News blog for updates or sign up to follow my writing journey.

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 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 four books with my next one in the works.  Once I publish a book, I take a short breather before embarking on my next exciting project about my new characters surviving Life’s hooks and sinkers. Watch this space!

Enjoy Life!

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