1. Are you a panster or a plotter or perhaps a bit of both?
Some novelists plot every chapter. I don’t write detailed plans. Instead I choose a theme For example, in my novel False Pretences, the heroine is desperate to find out who her parents are.
I admit that I’ve struggled more than usual with the plot and theme for my new novel, Saturday’s Child. I considered rejected many ideas before I chose a theme and jotted down a few notes about the plot.
So, to answer the question, I am a bit of both.
2. Which comes first - characters or the plot?
Sometimes the characters come first. While I read a non-fiction book about Jacobites who followed James II to France after he was forced to flee, I asked myself what would happen to their children. Who were they? I chose names for the hero and heroine Richelda and Alban, then wrote detailed character profiles. While I got to know them, the plot evolved.
3. What are you working on now? Is this a book in a current series or something totally new?
I am writing Saturday’s Child, Heroines Born on Different Days of the Week, Book Seven.
When I wrote Sunday’s Child, I didn’t plan to write one with a title for each day of the week based on the nursery rhyme that begins: Monday’s child is fair of face. After it was published, I decided it would be fun to write six more novels based on each line of the rhyme.
4. Do you have some kind of object or place that figures in most of your books? I use gems a lot, hospitals and caves.
I neither have a specific object or place but the food, clothes, furniture, jewellery etc., from the eras in which my characters exist’ are important.
5. Do you write every day or just when the spirit hits?
To meet the deadline to submit my novels to BooksWeLove, my publisher, I must be self-disciplined. I wake up at 6 a.m. and work until 10 a.m. with a break for breakfast – usually a healthy one of porridge, sweetened with organic honey and mixed with three handfuls of soft.
Later, although the time is flexible, I write and deal with ‘writerly matters’ from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m.
6. Where can we find you?
You can find out about me and my novels at:
You will also find me at:
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