At school, a big comprehensive near Bradford, I was inspired by my two amazing English teachers – Paddy and Vanda. Paddy was quite eccentric, he had a thick black beard [in vogue now, but not back then!] and wore black capes, but above all he had passion, plus great spirit and charisma. From school I went onto further education and I have a BA Hons degree in English/American Literature with Film and Creative Writing from the world renown University of East Anglia, UK. In 2015 I became fascinated by life purpose – we are all unique, what are we meant to contribute, are we in-synch living authentically and using our unique gifts? I travelled to Paris and became a Passion Test facilitator with the amazing Chris Attwood, and in mid 2017 I co-authored a No 1 best seller – ‘Inspired by the Passion Test.’ After the self-help book experience, from seemingly endless drafts through editing to publication, I got fired up enough to write fiction, or rather finish writing the novel in me, that had long been gathering dust in a drawer [a mature person’s equivalent of a PC file and much easier to find?]
Self-help to fiction that’s quite a jump?
Yes, I guess! The self–help book was my first toe in the water and it was published traditionally in paperback form and digitally on Amazon Kindle. The novel has taken a long time from inception to completion and for ages I struggled with the genre, but through numerous drafts it took shape as I drew on things I’m passionate about: horses, spirituality, paranormal, psychology, past lives, magic, witch craft, alchemy, astrology, unicorns and winged things [no not planes – but definitely dragons, fairies, bees and butterflies] Native American Indians [special thanks to my spirit guide Alohma,] and of course crime, mystery and suspense. Many of these ingredients went into the mix of my debut crime/mystery novel ‘Spirit of Prophecy’ which is available on Amazon.
Your interests are quite diverse, why’s that?
I grew up in Cottingley, West Yorkshire,UK which is famous for fairies [Ok, well fake fairy photographs taken several decades ago by two local girls.] That sparked an interest in metaphysics and the paranormal for me, and in the Age of Aquarius the ideas are spreading rapidly and delighting all us free-spirited nonconformists. When I first submitted the book to a literary agent they said: ” great equestrian love story, but take out all the paranormal stuff and you’ll stand a much better chance of landing a publishing deal.” I ignored that advice, so let’s hope the time is now right.
You studied literature, so what are your favourite reads and why?
Jane Eyre, [Charlotte Bronte] Gone with the Wind, [Margaret Mitchell], Wuthering Heights [Emily Bronte], Pride and Prejudice [Jane Austen]. The Bronte’s hail from Howarth, West Yorkshire which is a place very close to where I grew up and which I hold very dear in my heart. These works are all remarkable stories of loss, love and eligible bachelors. These four amazing female authors created fabulous, unforgettable heroes – the Byronic Edward Rochester, a wild and very untamed Heathcliff as rough and rugged as the Yorkshire moors themselves, the very desirable [and rich] Mr Darcy and that archetypal affluent Southern gent Rhett Butler. They form a line up that’s tall act for my hero Tommy Rafferty to follow.
Can you tell us about your hero in Spirit of Prophecy?
He’s dark in a Poldark kind of way – a horse dealer, ex-show jumper and an Irish Traveller. A bit of a rogue, so I hope he can fill their boots and do the feisty heroine Juliet Jermaine justice. Wait and see? Or better still read, ‘Spirit of Prophecy’ and find out for yourself.
You decided to self-publish on Amazon, why?
Initially, I was going to enter a publishing competition run by Amazon, this imposed a tight completion deadline which incentivised me to crack on, but then I realised the finalists would be selected according to sales, readers and reviews – so this disadvantaged first time novelists who had no tribe or established following. I was a nomad wandering in the wilderness, so to speak. Ultimately, it was speed which swayed me – the self-help book was traditionally published in print and relatively quick at eighteen months from start to shelf but it still seemed to take ages, [I’m not a patient person by-the-way.] Also control, I got to design my own book jacket and image and that was very important to me, so I launched into Self-publishing – great but not for the faint of heart.
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