(aka Randomly Asked Questions)
When did you start writing?
I first attempted to write a novel at age 13. It was a bodice-ripping historical romance set in the American West about a Scottish girl adopted by the Cheyenne and a US cavalry captain suffering from PTSD. I never finished it… I got stuck on what happened after the bodice was ripped.
What tips would you give to other aspiring romance authors, looking to be published?
Never stop writing… Come hell, high water, teenage appetites or a million rejection letters! Because it’s only those who never give up who get published.
Where do you look for writing inspiration?
Everywhere (but mostly in The Guardian’s Family section on Saturday mornings)
What is your earliest memory?
Showing my Daddy I could tie my shoelaces, age 4, when we lived in Ithaca New York. He applauded me as if I’d won a Nobel Prize. I have been a praise junkie ever since. I’m still waiting to win a Nobel Prize.
What advice would you give your 18 year-old self
Stop smoking, it’s bad for your health (duh), plus it’ll cost you a fortune and give you wrinkles.
Talk to your Dad more, he won’t be around forever.
Be aware a Comparative American Studies degree is completely useless – but go for it anyway because you’ll get to study The Wild Bunch and meet your best friend.
Don’t bother reading the whole of Gravity’s Rainbow, no one else will – and you still won’t understand it.
Don’t sleep with the first guy you fancy at University — he may be sexy and charismatic, but he’s a total tosser, not that good in bed and he’s going to be in the same seminars as you for the next three years.
What book would you choose to take on a desert island?
How to Build a Speedboat from Driftwood for Dummies. Or failing that, the whole Outlander oeuvre and Iona Grey’s Letters to the Lost.
Name three people you’d like to be stranded on a desert island with.
A Navy SEAL, a paramedic, a boat builder… If they could look like Jamie Dornan, Sam Heughan and Henry Cavill even better (but not essential).
Do you believe in love at first sight?
Yes, of course. I fell in love with Jamie Dornan at first sight…. I’m not sure he loves me, though.