1. Tell me about yourself.
I had to wait a long time to achieve my dream of becoming a writer, only putting ‘pen to paper’, once my children had left home. Then after joining a writers’ workshop, my short stories were published widely in women’s magazines in the UK, Australia, Norway, South Africa and Ireland. Feeling more confident to attempt a mainstream novel, I wrote Ring of Clay which won the Romantic Novelists’ New Writer’s Award, and also the Society of Authors’ Sagittarius prize - at that time sponsored by Terry Pratchett, who I was lucky enough to meet. I have now written seven romantic regional novels set in the Potteries (Staffordshire), where I was born and grew up.
2. Your new book is called Dangerous Decisions. Tell me about the book too :)
Dangerous Decisions is completely different from anything I’ve previously written. Set against a cosmopolitan background and in the Edwardian era, it tells the story of Helena, a young and sheltered debutante who is courted by the wealthy, handsome and enigmatic Oliver Faraday. Despite a sense of unease and being haunted by the image of an attractive young doctor, she mistakes infatuation for love and accepts Oliver’s proposal. But he is deeply flawed and I would describe Dangerous Decisions as both romantic and full of suspense.
3. What inspired you to write this book?
I’ve always been fascinated by the Edwardian era and used to love the TV series Upstairs/Downstairs. The beautiful clothes, the pampered life of the aristocracy, the widespread poverty and drudgery of the working classes, the servant culture, all drew me like a magnet. And I was half-way through the book when Downton Abbey hit the TV screens. Naturally, I’m hoping that its fans will enjoy reading my own Dangerous Decisions.
4. Why is Helena and Nicholas the couple of the season?
Theirs is an instant and bewildering attraction that defies class barriers. It seems unbelievable nowadays but being a member of the medical profession, Nicholas would have been regarded as being of an inferior class - certainly not acceptable in Edwardian society. And their love, being secret and honourable, had a special poignancy.
5. What is coming next from you?
Having enjoyed so much my research, I’m writing another novel set in the same era. I don’t have a title yet - I nearly always have to wait until the last chapter to hit on the right one. The opening chapter begins within the harsh conditions of a workhouse - I write organically but already am intrigued by the mystery developing. And of course there are scenes of wealth and privilege where to spend one’s days - if only in the mind - is a joy.
1 copy of Dangerous Decisions
1- Open to everyone in the world
2. Ends Dec 21st
3. Just enter :)
And be free to ask questions if you want