What is your name/pen name?
What do you write? Genre?
I write literary fiction: novels to tug at your heart, short stories to unsettle.
Tell us about yourself?
When I’m not daydreaming, I live in Cambridge, UK, with my husband and son.
What prompted you to pitch your book in #Pit2Pub?
All the cool kids on my timeline were doing it - I am in a little network of wonderfully supportive authors - and it seemed as though #Pit2Pub might get me noticed in just the right way. I had a completed, fully-honed novel to pitch.
Tell about your #Pit2Pub experience.
I wrote a 140-character pitch and Blue Moon Publishers, based in Canada, starred it. (It was stars on Twitter back in those days!) I looked up their submission guidelines and followed them precisely. It only took a few days after reading my synopsis and sample chapters for them to ask for the full manuscript. After that it was only about a week before we chatted on Skype and were tweaking a contract.
It was particularly exciting because it hadn’t even occurred to me to try the large North American market. I was still dutifully plodding my way through the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook, choosing agents to send to in small waves so that I could take on board feedback before submitting again. Now that everything is on the internet, though, it doesn’t matter that I’m based in the UK and my publisher is Canadian. An event like #Pit2Pub is an excellent international opportunity.
Which publisher did you sign with?
Blue Moon Publishers
Tell us about your upcoming book.
Ashes intertwines three stories which have at their heart the power of human resilience:
Eva is a little girl of five years old who seems to emerge from an otherwise empty burning house. As she cannot remember who she is, beyond her name, and no one comes forward to claim her, she must carve out spaces for herself in a succession of homes and attempt to discover where she belongs.
Dan is the fireman who rescues Eva. He is struggling to maintain a relationship with his wife after the still birth of their daughter and wonders if keeping and raising Eva would help to heal their rift.
Carrie-Anne is a woman who lives in a caravan behind the house that burns. She battles alcoholism and depression, both of which pin her into her tiny sphere of existence with an overpowering inertia.
To be brief, Ashes is about how personal choice is limited by the circumstances over which no one has control. The subject matter is dark, but not devoid of hope.
When is your book scheduled to be released?
Later this year.
What is at the top of your bucket list?
It was ‘getting published’, so the next thing I write is going to have to be a new list.
Parting words for other authors?
Don’t ever give up on a dream. Keep trying in as many ways as you can find. There is nothing that can’t be improved through practice and learning.