Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?
Success for me as a writer comes with the knowledge that I have been able to transport readers to exciting worlds, to the extent that they come back for more. Making a living from writing would also be brilliant.
It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?
The expensive lesson I have learnt whilst marketing my book, is that my book will only probably appeal to people who like to read slowly and patiently, and are looking for something unpredictable and surprising. Being new to this online scene, I have noticed there are a lot of readers, who I suspect speed read, or it seems are looking for books that follow a familiar pattern. Trying to target compatible readers is proving to be a little tricky. But I am now putting all my efforts into the UK book scene, by way of book tours to blog sites etc. and targeted banner ads with compatible sites and of course Good Reads.
Tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it?
A timeworn house confronts a reluctant visitor, who has been placed mysteriously in an ancient wood. Sheltering in the house, she enters a room that transports her to a Georgian Estate in England, where a dramatic encounter with a belligerent lord, sets the tone for the narrative. Managing to escape through another magic portal, she suddenly finds herself in Regency era London. Here amongst a household of unusual characters she remains, before an extraordinary blood connection is established. As the eccentric cast act out their complex lives, her role switches to that of an observer. Having lived on a diet of historical fiction prior to this adventure, her romantic idealism is challenged by all she sees and experiences. One day a handsome poet arrives and is immediately drawn to the beautiful time traveller. A surprising end lays in wait, with hidden truths buried within the mysterious house.
Being my first book, I always wanted to tap into the fantastical. I started my love of books with reading fairy tales, therefore it seemed fitting that I explore this enduring and fascinating genre. I have always been interested in metaphors and archetypes, so that when I was inventing this narrative and the characters within, I gravitated to these themes as a subtext. The idea that the unhappiness and restlessness one experiences in their own reality may be due to unfinished business from another period of time, when they wore a different identity, was such an interesting theme to me, that I knew I had to carve a narrative from this.
If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask?
Apart from David Bowie, Stephen Fry and Germaine Greer, all other guests haved passed away. There are so many that I would love to meet, but here are some of the luminaries that spring to mind without much fuss; Cleopatra, Virgil, Hildegarde de Bingen, Artemisia Gentileschi, Michel de Montaigne, Voltaire, George Sands, Catherine the Great, Lord Byron, George Eliot, Jane Austen, Balzac, Zola, Tolstoy, Madame Blavasky, Alastair Crowley, Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, Katherine Mansfield, Anais Nin, Isadora Duncan, Garcia Lorca, Aldous Huxley, Somerset Maughan, Jean Cocteau, Martha Graham, Kerauoac, Miles Davis, Fellini, Dali, Picasso, and Cary Grant.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
I watch movies – classic 1930’s to late 1950’s.As well as any crime/mystery from England past or present, or BBC dramas.
The House is an adult fairy tale rich in mystery and intrigue.
Here is a tale of a woman so absorbed with historical novels that her own reality ceases to offer any hope of romance and beauty.
Until one day this dreamy idealist finds herself in a mysterious forest. How she arrived there is unknown. Soon she encounters a dilapidated house, within whose ancient walls magical rooms that transport to parallel worlds lie in wait. There she is transmigrated to 18th century England, where our heroine interacts with an odd mix of characters whose dysfunctional lives become immediately apparent.
Her first tribulation involves a nefarious lord, an archetype of the monstrous characters one encounters in fairy tales. The ramification from this confrontation sets the tone for the narrative.
A magic portal finally enables escape from the austere Georgian dwelling. She is then spirited back to the enigmatic house, and a journey to Regency London follows, where a large cast of eccentric identities present themselves.
Late one night, following a long stay in Florence, a young, heart-broken poet arrives. His introduction to the beautiful time traveller offers promise of restoration and love. But there are several more obstacles ahead before her destiny in this curious adventure is made apparent.
In the end an unexpected twist is revealed. But like all good fairy tales, this surprising conclusion is pleasing, even though the means of getting there are dark, and at times sinister.
Genre - Historical, Fantasy, Romance
Rating - PG-16