Congratulations on your nomination for The RoNA Rose Award for The Kydd Inheritance. How does it feel to be nominated?
Thank you, I’m absolutely thrilled! This is the third year running that I’ve been shortlisted for the award (it was previously called the Love Story of the Year). I’ve been up against very strong stories each time, so I’m delighted that the reading panel enjoy my books enough to include them on the shortlists.
Why do you think the Romance genre is so popular?
I think love, companionship and happiness are things that everybody wants. They make your heart beat faster, they make the day brighter. Reading about characters you care for going on that journey and finding that bond makes you feel good by proxy. It lifts the soul.
Why did you choose to write Romance books?
I write books that I’d like to read. (I also write mystery serials and general-interest short stories.) In the case of the romances, I get caught up with my characters and want to write their story. I also want to make my readers happy!
Where do the ideas for your books come from?
There are no shortage of ideas in my head – it’s more a case of which ones make short stories, which ones are suitable for magazine serials and which ones have the potential for a full novel. I usually start off with the main characters and the situation and take it from there. I normally know what the ending will be, and a couple of key scenes along the way, but the rest of the book comes from the development of the characters themselves. It is as much a delight for me to find out about and write as it is – I hope – for readers to read.
Oh, beyond compare. Writers are generally a bit odd, living inside our heads as we do for long periods of time. It was a huge relief to me when I joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association and discovered masses of other people who did just the same. I’ve made a lot of very good friends through the RNA whom I would never have met otherwise. On the business side, The RNA also has parties which are tremendous for networking, and they run conferences where we can all hone our craft, brush up on our PR, find out about the latest opportunities and trends, or simply talk about work.
As a regular tweeter, do you recommend it to would-be writers as a source of support?
Definitely. The lovely thing about Twitter is that you don’t have to be glued to it all the time, but it is there whenever you need a tiny break. Any time of the day or night you can log on and chat to someone. It’s a good source of answers to quick questions, it is lovely for cyber-hugs if you feel a bit low or convinced that what you’ve just written is rubbish. It’s good for keeping in contact with existing friends and for making new ones. Getting a Twitter response is instant gratification – it reminds you that you are not alone in the universe.
The Kydd Inheritance is out now in hardback.
If you would like more information about the Romantic Novelists’ Association, check out their website.