I have always had a vivid imagination and stories in my head since childhood. Now, in my 60’s, I am finally turning my ideas into novels.
My stories cannot be pigeon-holed into any particular genre. An early school report said ‘Carmella has the mind of a butterfly’ and my ideas seem to confirm that statement.
What I have written so far, varies from a fantasy elf-world adventure, a modern-day ‘happy ever after’ and how a race developed with the help of a particular blood line to be able to exist as human.
My own life saw me presenting on local radio for nearly 30 years, representing Great Britain in the ladies’ squad for pistol shooting and more recently, working as a Registrar and marrying hundreds of couples over the last 15 years. During all this, I have still found time to paint, indulge my own prolific love of reading and raise 2 children.
With a grandchild on the way, I hope I can pass on my love of books and find the time to get all my ideas written for people to enjoy.
What was your inspiration to write?
I had the opportunity to spend a few years abroad, in Cyprus and a lot of the time, it was so hot, all I did was read or paint. Ideas in my head that had festered for years pushed their way through, with one idea in the forefront, so I started writing and never looked back.
Do you have a designated working area?
Out in Cyprus, I sat in the shade and wrote everything in longhand, typing it up when it was cooler. Two years ago, I moved back permanently to Plymouth and type in my half of a shared office with my partner, Dave. I still write in longhand, sometimes when watching television, or sitting in the garden.
Do you have a set out plan for a book before you start?
I have an outline of an idea, but mostly it comes as I pick up a pen, or sit at a keyboard. I’m not terribly disciplined in planning my chapters ahead. The beginning and the end is there, the rest grows as I go along.
Is there any connection between your books?
No, my ideas are all over the place. The first book being published is a one-off in the women’s fiction category. I have also written science fiction and fantasy.
Do you base any of your characters on family or friends?
Not specifically, I wouldn’t dare! There are aspects of course. People you spend time with are bound to influence your outlook and perceptions. Many things people have said, or experienced, have found their way into my stories
Do you concentrate on 1 project at a time, or can you multitask, i.e. write 2 books together?
I usually have another idea in my head and make notes so that I don’t forget a storyline. I am editing one while writing the current book. As I finish, I’m already eager to start the next one.
So, what are you working on at the moment?
I’m on the 3rd book in a set of 4. A fantasy, set in an Elven world, involving a Prince, a human girl, a prophecy and a mixture of other fantasy creatures and the obligatory ‘baddie’.
What is your reading of choice?
I was brought up on Enid Blyton, but I have moved on from that. My choices are quite eclectic. Big blockbusters from Jilly Cooper or Penny Vincenzi. Kate Furnivall is a recent discovery and I love her books. I find Martina Cole quite compulsive and in a lighter vein, Lulu Taylor and Philippa Gregory. Far too many to mention them all, apologies.
When you read, do you choose a book or read electronically?
I never thought I would like an e reader, but I love it. You can’t beat the feel of a book though, so I mix and match. The reader is easier at night I find.
Any advice you can offer?
Believe in yourself and your idea. Read, read and read it again, you will always find a sentence or paragraph you can reword, add too or obliterate. Have somebody like my sister Alison, who will read, correct, comment and suggest but most of all, always encourage.