Q – What inspired you to become a writer?
A – I’ve always loved books. Reading and writing have been my go-to form of escapism for as long as I can remember. I always wanted to be an author, but I didn’t think it was a realistic option. Then, I decided to do it anyway. You never know unless you try, right?
Q -Who are your biggest literary influences?
A – Oh, where do I begin? In terms of someone I look up to, Stephen King. That man has written and had success with so many novels it’s ridiculous, and his book “On Writing” is full of helpful advice. However, I don’t think my writing style is anything like his.
Looking back, I remember Louise Rennison’s “Confessions of Georgia Nicolson” series that I read as a young teen, and I definitely think I took on some of her humour and silliness.
I suppose every book I have read has shaped my writing in some way, so considering I read on average 50-100 books a year, it’s kind of hard to pin-point!
Q – How do you handle negative reviews or criticism of your work?
A – I think it’s important to remember that you can’t please everyone. Books are highly subjective so whilst some criticism is worth taking on board and using to improve your writing (technique, grammar etc), if someone just doesn’t like your style, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad.
I like to look at the bestsellers and read their 1-star reviews, as a reminder that even popular books can be disliked.
Overall, I take it on board, but I don’t let it drag me down or ruin my enjoyment of writing. Some will love it, some won’t, and that’s okay.
Q – What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
A – Write. Just do it. Get those words down, get polishing, and then figure out what to do next (probably more editing). Find someone you trust to give you an honest opinion. I don’t think I’d have ever released my debut without the help of my mum and future sister-in-law. They’re not writers, but they had opinions as readers which helped me to make the novel so much better, and they didn’t hold back!
Q – What do you hope readers take away from your writing?
A – I want my books to provide the escapism readers need. I want them to laugh a little and to get completely absorbed in the narrative so that they forget whatever is going on around them. My books are meant to be fun and surprising, read quickly because they are so addictive. If someone reads them and forgets whatever is stressing them out in the real world for a few hours, I’ve done my job.