Book Name and Description: Fogbow and Glory is the story of Olivia, a teenager with Down’s Syndrome, and her dad, John. John hates admitting to having a disable child, but Liv doesn’t care; she just wants to keep her family close. When her weatherman dad’s recurring unfaithfulness begins to withdraw him from the family, Liv uses her teenage wiles (and a bit of magic) to make sure that doesn’t happen!
What gave you the idea for (Fogbow and Glory)?
That’s a hard one… Actually I struggled with the title for this one for a while. I knew the premise of the story and did lots of research into the weather. When I came across the type of rainbow called a fogbow and glory, it just seemed right.
What got you into writing in this genre?
No idea! I suppose it’s along the lines of some of my favorites, The Green Mile, The Dead Zone, and anyway, the story kind of wrote itself!
How long have you been writing?
Thirty years. Long time!
Tell us about your past books and stories?
I was published in 2014 by US press JEA with Twin Cities, although my first story was called Shades of Grey (no, not that one!) I’ve now written 11 novels, three screenplays and a few shorts.
What is the writing process like for you? What is your writing day like? What have been the biggest influences on your writing?
Writing is the biggest thrill! Getting lost in the story and having plots work themselves out is an amazing feeling. When I’m in ‘book-mode’, I struggle to do anything other than write. It drives my family mad! My fave book is called The Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks but my go-to author is Stuart McBride. I’ve learned so much about writing from him.
What is your favorite book (other than your own book, of course) and why? What book disappointed you and why?
As I mentioned above, I love the Year of Wonders because the story is enthralling, even though I’m not a fan of historical fiction. Latterly I have been disappointed with work by another of my favorite writers, Peter James. His early (Roy Grace) stuff is brilliant, but the later works are very formulaic, poorly written and badly edited. Shame!
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Massively! In my first novels, it’s easy to tell I was a novice. I also resisted dialogue in my first because I was afraid of it. It’s now one of my greatest strengths!
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
Time. Reading material.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
Read, read and read. It’s the best, cheapest, most practical way to learn.
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
I struggle with marketing L I’m not good at self-promotion. I sell books at the craft fairs I do and am thrilled when someone buys a copy of a novel of mine, but otherwise, I’m hopeless. Any tips gratefully received!
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
An as yet unpublished novel called Hymn and Her. I love it. I love the characters. The irreverence. The final line is the best thing I have written.
For those who haven’t read any of your stories, what story/book of yours do you think best represents your work and why?
Fogbow and Glory because it’s gritty, slightly rude, real and smart!
What are you doing next?
I’ve just finished my 11th novel called The Lord’s Lane. The idea for this came about when I was in my early 20’s so it’s been a long time coming! It’s not been easy to write because of the subject matter. Basically it’s about two women, Pauline and Emma, both of whom have done something they regret. The story deals with crime and punishment and forgiveness as well as the thorny issue of race.
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
I’m a 50 something year old living in the West Midlands in the UK. I write. I make jewellery and I up-cycle furniture, which I sell at craft fairs. I’m an ex-cardiac specialist nurse which shows a lot in my stories, as do other health issues, including mental health. I’m somewhat disabled by arthritis but am happy because I get to do what I love; write!