Q: In the Foreword to Books, Bits & Bobs you tell the reader that the shorter stories were written in ‘a variety of places’. Where was the strangest location you wrote in and which was the story?
A: Not to sound like a John Hughes film title but they were written on planes, trains and automobiles – not while driving of course. I think the strangest place must be sitting on top of a mountain in Meribel, France, covering winter sports and the event was delayed by a white out. I used the time to write some bits, with a warming hot chocolate of course.
Q: Some of the pieces in Books, Bits & Bobs, serve as commentary on life’s experiences and self-knowledge, which of the stories was the most personal to write?
A: Dad – because it was drawing on a memory of my father laid in a convalescent home during the last six weeks of his life. The piece refers to the last day I spent with him as he prepared to undergo, what would turn out to be a failed operation, to remove a brain tumour. He was such an amazing man, so powerful and true. He would say that as a family we should stand for the pursuit of absolute justice. As he lay there, I began to think of all of the moments we had shared and the influence, wisdom, love and guidance he had shown and imparted. The piece in the book crystalised the last moments we were fully together.
Q: Where did inspiration for The Noise come from?
A: Put simply, the world around me, where everybody uses mobile phones, iPads and so on. They give them the opportunity to be in touch with each other, yet the one thing they don’t do, is exactly that. I clearly remember waking up one morning in an old flat I rented and heard this noise, it seemed to block out all other sounds. The second day I heard it again and it got my imagination going. So that was the actual starting point, from there I tied it into the mobile phone and social media aspect.
Q: Tell us something you enjoy doing aside from writing?
A: This may sound like a trite answer, but I simply enjoy being alive. I love music, films, socialising, clothes, being indoors, outdoors, everything a day brings really. I like to think of life as an adventure and that’s how I try to live every day of my life – as an adventure.
Q: What inspired you to research and write about the town of Tombstone, Arizona in the 1880s?
A: My new book, Blood and Silver, was inspired by my many visits to Tombstone, AZ. We live less than an hour away and I became increasingly curious about what was now a town of thirteen hundred people. In 1884, Tombstone was a roaring metropolis and was the largest city between St. Louis and San Francisco; quite a different story today.
Q: Which character did you enjoy writing the most?
A: I enjoyed writing about my heroine, Carissa, the most because she was in trouble when she arrived in Tombstone. But she was brave enough to ask for help and smart enough to manipulate Miss Lucille, who was a very scary person to cross. She was able to outsmart the bad guys and achieve her own happy ending.
Q: Which character was the most challenging?
A: The most challenging character for me was China Mary. There are so few facts about her life, especially before Tombstone, and that severely limited my ability research her. Mary’s life in Tombstone was documented to a degree by a combination of fact and hearsay but all steps were taken to ensure historical accuracy and I am convinced she was very much as I portrayed her.
Q: What are you currently working on?
A: I have two more novels that I have been working on, both very different from Blood and Silver. But since publication of this book, my “fans” have been asking for more of Carissa, China Mary and the old west. So I am trying to think of what new trouble my girls have been getting into.