1. What made you want to write books?
I’ve always had my nose in a book. My granddad was a school principal and he taught me to read, so I could read from the age of three. Books offered me a world of wonders and fuelled my imagination.
I wrote my first piece for a middle school assignment and then did nothing until bored of studying in senior year, I wrote a hot piece to entertain my friends during study hall. Then again nothing. Boredom struck again during September 2011. I was off sick, had read loads of books and didn’t feel like doing anything. I remember reading a book and thinking, maybe I should give it a try. And I did. I absolutely loved the process - from the research through to typing ‘the end’. Now, I won’t look back.
What’s more, I often had horrible nightmares, since I began writing, they’ve disappeared. Writing is as such therapeutic - a means to also relieve my subconscious from whatever dark thoughts may lurk inside it. In each book, there’s one occurrence that’s terrible - that’s my subconscious emptying out. *grin*
2. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
I write because I love books, so I aspire to write the type of books that I’d read. In terms of what sparks an idea? Well, it could be anything - a photo, something on TV or an experience.
3. How many books have you written thus far?
4 - Finding Promise, Coffin Girls, Ghosts & Lovers and Home for Love. The latter will be released this March, although the exact date is still to be finalized. I have plans to write 3 more this year - the next installments in the series I’ve already written.
4. Do you have a lucky charm or something that you have to have with you while you write?
My sanity? LOL - nope, no lucky charm. I do however need to have something to drink like coffee or soda, smokes and a notebook to scribble in. Of course, I need my research handy too, particularly when I can’t remember a certain colloquial term. For example, when I wrote Coffin Girls, I had various dictionaries and references to Louisiana speech.
5. What genres do you like to read?
Romance, paranormal and crime. At times I also enjoy fantasy but it has to have magick in it and some element of romance. Murder mysteries are pretty cool too - my favorite is Charlaine Harris’ Aurora Teagarden mysteries.
6. Do you ever let family or friends read your work before it's finished?
I first let hubby and a few friends read it but now I kinda let it stay in my own head and on my own laptop because I found that I often went back and changed things, which frustrated them. I do ask friends to read the manuscript before I send it off for editing now. They act as moral support and beta readers. My first two books were read by friends at home. One friend, Odile, who is French, was invaluable in assisting me with the various French terms I use in Coffin Girls. With Ghosts & Lovers, I let hubby read it. He’s more conservative than I am, so the explicit nature of the erotica shocked him (LOL) and he strongly hinted that I publish it under a pseudonym, which of course I didn’t. *grin* Home for Love has been read by a few friends on Facebook and they helped me pick out a thing or two I needed to change. (Thank you Carmen.)
7.How do you come up with your characters names?
I just pick them - they need to intuitively suit the character. However, for Coffin Girls, I did extensive research because the names had to have meaning, be unusual and be older. Anais and Yves for example are very old-fashioned French names. Anais is also a name I’ve always loved. Conall and Niul are old-fashioned Irish names, etc. You could easily Google them and I’m sure you’ll find the meanings interesting if you’re a history boff.
8. Do you put places in your books that you have visited before?
The only place I’ve visited before is Johannesburg, the setting for Ghosts & Lovers. In fact, I’ve lived in Joburg (short form of the name) for around 7 years now. The other places are well researched and the color is added by my imagination. The research really is extensive because I really want it to be authentic. For Finding Promise, for example, I researched the flora and fauna of the Cape Cod coast. For Coffin Girls I researched anything and everything I could get my hands on. The research for Coffin Girls alone took three months.
I’m very comfortable that I set my books in places I’ve never visited… I believe that it is my poetic license.
9. Do you ever add your own life experiences into a book?
Oh yes! I studied psychology and worked as a therapist for a while, so I have a number of experiences and insights I draw from. I have also had a rich life, so yes, that colors my writing too.
10. Do you have a Fav. movie?
Avatar, Truth Hurts, Phantom of the Opera
11. Do you have a Fav. time of day you prefer to write?
Late at night when all is quiet and the kids are asleep.
12. Once your book is published, do you read it?
No - I’ve tried and I can’t because it stresses me out. But, I’ll have to re-read Finding Promise to remind me of the little things I put into it before I write the next one. I remember the others vividly but I wrote Finding Promise ages ago.
13. What do you like most about writing? Dislike?
I dislike formatting the document for publishing. But I love everything else - really, I do - so formatting is a small irritation.
14. Do you have a pet peeve?
I dislike it when people are purposefully hurtful to others or lack authenticity.
15. Whats your Fav. color?
Red - deep, violent red. In fact, it has an exact name - Rouge Noir or black red. It is a color developed by Chanel and is patented. Anais wears the Chanel Rouge Noir range.
16. Coffee or Tea ?
Both. LOL - I love having options. I drink loads of both.
17. Your book Ghosts and Lovers: First Confession, how many volumes can we expect in it?
As many as my deprived mind can come up with. I have a few really interesting fantasy situations for Simone.
18. With Ghosts and Lovers being an Erotica, do you prefer writing that genre over others?
Each of my books are of different genres, although they all have romance involved and elements of erotica to varied degrees, depending on the book. The easiest genre for me to write is contemporary romance and I do love it. But I love writing the others too. Ultimately, I love romance - unashamedly and thoroughly. <3
19. Do you have any advice for someone just starting out as a writer?
Do what feels right. If what you are writing is something that you’d read, then you’re on the right path. Edit your own work as thoroughly as you can and then send it off to a professional editor. Then manage the contradictions to find the right balance for yourself - and there are many contradictions… research versus imagination, flow versus plotting, outrageousness versus authenticity… you know what I mean.
20. Have you set a goal as to how many books you hope to write?
As many as I can until I depart this earth… now that I’m hooked, I don’t plan to stop. I may have to take breaks at times but I’m not planning any permanent departure from the world of writing.