No longer ‘mild mannered’ accountants, she is now a ‘mild mannered’ dog walker. Read on and find out more…
According to Wikipedia, ‘a superhero is a type of heroic character possessing extraordinary talents, supernatural phenomena, or superhuman powers and is dedicated to a moral goal or protecting the public.’ Sounds like a writer to me!
Join me as another one of these unsung superheroes invites into their personal ‘batcave’.
All superheroes have their mild-mannered secret identity. How has yours grown and changed since you started life as a superhero?
I’m still working on the mild-mannered – with little success. And for the time being I’ve retired Ms Accountant – excel sheets just don’t provide the required disguise anymore. Instead, I’ve developed Ms Dogwalker – a lady wrapped in practical clothing who spends a lot of time walking her dog and scowling at the rain which has her looking like a drenched cat – a most efficient disguise.
Do you have any side kicks or a new superhero team member? What are their superpowers?
I do, actually. My trusted Red Laptop died on me – most inopportunely, if I may say so, seeing as we were far from home and I had my head filled to the brim with new scenes. Ergo, I now have a new laptop – not red, but with a red cover – and I’ve added the Red Notebook to the team, by which I mean the stack of red moleskin notebooks I acquired to ensure I can always write my ideas down on something.
Truth be told, the notebooks are mostly blank. It is at my keyboard that I write, words hopping at an alarming rate from my head to two finger typing (on a good day I use three).
Have your superpowers grown and changed since your last adventure?
Not really. But with four more published books under my belt I HOPE my writing has improved. At least the number of drafts has dropped substantially (I have 75 drafts of my very first book, only 4 of the latest. That’s progress, right?)
What new supervillain have you faced on your latest project and how did you vanquish it?
On my latest project I am writing within the constraints of dealing not only with a historical setting but also with real historical people. Very frustrating: “No, that won’t work. You see, I die on March 19th 1330. Sorry. Can we reschedule?” Obviously, in the name of historical accuracy, I reschedule…
What new lessons have you learned during this new adventure?
Well, I have learnt a lot about 14th century England. And the political turmoil in the years 1321 – 1330 is pretty heady stuff.
What have been the best/most memorable experiences along the way?
One of the main characters in my new series is Roger Mortimer, remembered as the man who together with Isabella deposed Edward II and, some say, murdered him. Roger is a complex and ambitious man, but there’s also a rather endearing whimsical side to him – like the fact that he had a thing about butterflies and therefore adorned tunics and tapestries with butterflies. And he liked silk sheets.
If you did this again what would you do differently and what would you not change?
I have toyed with the idea of having Roger Mortimer’s wife play a bigger part – but I chose not to. Sometimes, I regret it. I would never change my choice of protagonists: Adam de Guirande and his Kit are very dear to my heart, no matter how invented they may be.
Tell us about you new book and why we need to drop everything and get it now.
My new book is the second in The King’s Greatest Enemy and takes you back to medieval England and France. Roger Mortimer, until recently the king’s prisoner, has managed to escape the Tower and is now in France, determined to somehow reclaim his lost lands. In England, Edward II and his favourite Hugh Despenser continue to alienate more or less everyone – including Isabella, Edward’s wife. And my hero, Adam de Guirande, is caught right in between: foster son to Roger, he owes him for everything he has, but since some time back he is sworn to serve Prince Edward, heir to the throne.
If you enjoy political intrigue in a medieval setting, liberally spiced with love and action, this may be just up your street.
What’s in store for you in the future? Do you have any other big projects on the horizon?
I always have plenty of stuff in the pipeline. Other than completing The King’s Greatest Enemy series, I have a trilogy ready to go with more of a contemporary touch, I am planning a new book in The Graham Saga and have two entirely new storylines to explore, both of which are in the 17th century. And then I’m thinking that Adam de Guirande and his Kit need a couple of more books – standalones set in the 14th century.
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