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Reader Question: How do you come you come up with your ideas/story lines?

Okay, answering this could get weird, you have been warned! :)

Sometimes, ideas for stories just walk into my head. They arrive as fully formed characters in situations that are out of their control. This often happens when I'm doing something else - like driving. And is also the reason I often end up somewhere I never intended to go! 

Take my latest book, Rage. I thought I had Callum's life all figured out. I knew who he would fall in love with. I knew the story line. All I had to do was write it. So I sat down to do just that, but instead of writing what I'd planned, four women appeared on the page standing around a dead body, and I knew Isobel was the woman for Callum. Where did this come from? I have no idea. But I think there's a version of Invertary's evil Betty living in my subconscious. This woman has a big stick and she stirs up everything that's gathered in my mind, once it's swirling, she dips her hand in, grabs something at random and throws it at…
Recent posts

Throwback Thursday - the goat ate my manuscript...

I wrote this post about 18 months ago and very little has changed! Enjoy. :)

The Real Life Struggles Of A Romance Writer
Like all writers, I deal with constant interruptions in my work. Most of these are normal, everyday interruptions that are part of the package of working from home - kids playing in my office while I write, hubby doing every freaking DIY project he can find that's right outside my office door, cold callers, people at the door and cats. Seriously, cats are a big problem, just look at all the posts on Facebook with photos of cats sitting on a manuscript and you'll know what I'm talking about. ;)

But some things have interfered with my work over the past few years that just don't fit into the usual list. I thought I'd share them with you:
The goat ate my manuscript This has happened three times now. You would think I'd learn from my mistakes. Apparently not. Anyway, my pet goat is adorable. And she eats everything. Twice I've thought it would…

Reader Question: Can you give us any hints about future Benson's Boys books?

Right, Amanda, you asked for it! I just hope the answer makes some sense. :) 
Next up in the Benson Security world is Elle and David. For those who don't know, Elle first met David in book two of the series, when he turned up in Peru to help them out of a sticky situation. As soon as the two of them met, sparks flew and I knew I had to get them both together for longer than a scene of two. In Relentless (book 2), David challenges Elle to find out his real identity, and who he works for, and she's been searching databases with his DNA sample ever since. But she's still no closer to an answer. Now, if you've read Rage, you'll have noticed that not only are things heating up between Elle and the mysterious David, but our Elle has a secret. Something in her past she wants to remain hidden. So, in Elle and David's book, we find out what's in Elle's past and also, we find out who David is and who he’s working for. It should be an explosive read!

After Elle, I p…

Throwback Thursday: A Rant About Sleep Deprivation

I wrote this post a couple of years ago, when everything around me was getting between me and my sleep. All I can say is that nothing has changed. In fact, my books probably make a whole lot more sense now that you know I'm seriously sleep deprived! Anyway, enjoy this week's trip down memory lane. :)

A Rant About Sleep Deprivation
I’m in a mood. I can’t get any sleep and I’m like the Cranky Bear in the book. Yes, I’m referencing a kid's book. That’s how cranky I am. It's winter. I should be allowed to hibernate. At the very least I should be allowed to sleep!!!! This is the night I’ve just had:

10.30 pm. I try to go to sleep. Husband's snoring sounds like a freaking fog horn. I try waking him by poking him in the side, tugging his duvet off him, coughing loudly and eventually get through to him by lobbing a pillow at his head.

11.15 pm. My shy cat, Peanut, wakes me up. She's sitting on my shoulder, giving my ear a wash. Get up. Wash ear. Turf cat out of room.

Reader Question: How do you develop your character pairings?

Hello! I asked you lot on my Facebook page what you'd like me to blog about and there were some great suggestions and quite a few questions. I'm going to try to answer one of you questions each week, until I run out! And first up is Deb, who asks:
How do you develop character pairings?
I'm taking this to mean, how do I know who will suit whom. And the answer is that I spend a whole lot of time thinking about it! When I start with a character I've already established, say in an earlier book in the series, I already know this person inside out. I know where their failings are and what they hunger for most out of life. From there, I try to think about the type of person that would fill those empty spaces for the character, while still challenging them to become a better person. A sense of belonging for all my characters is really important to me. I think, too often, as people we feel like we don't fit. I know, in my life, I've spent a lot of time feeling as though…

Throwback Thursday: seven things I never imagined saying...

Hi there! I wrote this post a couple of years ago and it still makes me laugh.
Ah, the memories... enjoy!
Yesterday, I was in the middle of telling my nine year old to get down from the top of the hedge and bring the dog with her, when I thought - this is one of those things I never imagined having to say. Which in turn reminded me of all the other sentences I never imagined saying over the years. Which led to this list! Seven things I never imagined saying:

1.  "What do you mean we crashed into an elephant? Said right after the driver of my motorized rickshaw rear-ended an elephant on the motorway outside of Delhi. My driver then ranted for half an hour about how stupid it was for elephants to be on the highway without lights!


2. "I don't need to be strip searched, the only weapons I have are the spears." This was followed closely by the line: "What the heck kind of weapon do you think I'm hiding up there?!"  I was deemed a high-jack risk on a South Ame…

my writing process

Some of you have been asking me how I write. Do I plot all my books out on sticky notes and spreadsheets? Do I sit down with a pencil and paper and hope for the best? I wish there was a simple answer to these questions. Basically, every book I write is different. Generally, I start with an idea that pops into my head. With Lingerie Wars, it was "wouldn't it be really funny if a macho military guy inherited a lingerie shop and had to make it work?" From there, I sat down with a spreadsheet and planned the scenes I wanted to include - then I pretty much wrote something else entirely! That's when I realized that I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type writer (or a pantser, if you want the industry lingo ;))

I realized quite early on in my writing that the reason plotting and planning didn't work for me, was because my characters took over and did what suited them. Some writers can plot a book and then develop characters that fit their story. I can't. My chara…