After a messy breakup with her boyfriend, Anna is feeling fragile. So when her best friend Melissa suggests the two of them go to their school reunion, she’s reluctant as Anna’s school days weren’t her happiest. The evening is going well until she meets the boy who made her school life hell.
But the grown up Will is different and Anna is surprised by the direction her life takes. The reunion sets in motion a series of events that lead Anna to realise things will never be the same again.
‘Reunion of the Heart’ is a romance that will lead you to ponder whether love can atone for past mistakes.
First of all, I’d love to hear about all of the projects you have in the works, where you’re at with them currently, and what your hopes are for each of them.
I’ve only got one story that I’m working on at the moment, but it’s going well. It’s a romance called Teaching Mr Leavis about a young woman called Rebecca teaching at a secondary school (here in the UK it’s for 11 to 16 year olds). I’ve set it 20 years ago for when I was at secondary school, reason being that I have no idea how things are done nowadays in school. What with the advance of technology since I was at school, I felt it would be easier to set it in the past and write about what I know. It’s saving me a ton of research – that’s for sure!
I’m about halfway through writing it, but I’m finding that the plot is kind of running away from me at the moment. I think I need to rein it in a bit so that I don’t get to the end too soon. But I feel it’s important for me to finish the first draft before I start going back and changing/expanding on what I’ve got.
Tell me a bit about your writing process. Do you set strict deadlines or do you just go with the flow? Do you outline or fly by the seat of your pants?
I don’t set myself strict deadlines – I don’t really work well under pressure, so I don’t set myself stringent targets. But I do make a plan. However, I don’t necessarily stick to that plan all the way. In fact Teaching Mr Leavis is deviating quite a lot from the plan!
In your bio you admit to genre hopping, which you claim makes your work hard to market. As someone who also genre hops how do you feel about authors who give the advice that writers who are just starting out should only write in one genre?
I would disagree with that. I think that, especially when you’re starting out, you should go with whatever genre you feel called to write in. In my opinion as a writer you should follow your gut instinct of what you want to write about. Write what you like! Of course, as I’ve mentioned in my bio, if your work doesn’t fit neatly into a genre that can be a problem too. But personally I don’t think there’s anything wrong with experimenting with genres. It’s what I’m doing at the moment and I feel that in a way I haven’t yet found the genre that suits me best. So I’m mixing it up.
Why did you decide to go indie?
My husband actually suggested I go indie. Before he told me it was possible to self-publish via Amazon, I had no idea that you could do that. But it seemed to make sense – I wrote a novel a few years ago which I sent to a few agents and they all turned me down. One didn’t even reply! So going indie seemed like a sensible idea.
Self-publishing has made it possible for me to share my writing, my novels, with many people – those who I know personally and many more who I don’t. Also, I really think that going down the traditional route of publishing is just so hard. It’s very difficult to get an agent, and just as hard to get picked up by a publisher. Self-publishing means that your work is out there for people to read almost as soon as you click the publish button.
What are your ultimate publishing goals?
I would like to be more successful as an author – wouldn’t we all?! I want my books to reach as many people as possible. I don’t actually intend to be a full time author at the moment, but it would be good to extend my publishing reach so that I get a much bigger audience than I have at the moment. I’m in it for the long haul, so I’m just going to keep working away producing more novels until my sales take off.
Gosh that is an intimidating question! Um… well I would hope that my books would still be read after I’m gone, that would be wonderful! I think the beauty of digital publishing is that even after I’m not around, my books will still be in the virtual world. So there’ll never be the problem of them going out of print – if people stop reading them, someone else may well rediscover them and share them with a new generation of readers. I think the future’s bright for indie authors.
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