Q. What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
A. I’ve always planned to write The Clifton Hall trilogy and when AAP was done, I began to think seriously about how Lydia Clifton might develop as a young woman. How she might develop anxiety and a sort of defiant resilience. I wanted to showcase a heroine with acute anxiety, but show her learning to develop beyond that as well.
Q. Can You Tell Us About these Books from Your Point of View?
A.For me, it’s a story about a girl who is easily convinced of her limitations by those who have the most influence over her – and she only learns to shift these perspectives (which are not her own) when she is exposed to alternative viewpoints about who she might be. She’s always been quite strong, but for most of her life she’s been told – and treated – as though she’s weak. So she believes it, because the power of those influencers is great.
As she grows and travels and learns more and more that she is more than she’s been taught to believe about herself, she finds she is not weak.She is quite powerful in fact, and quite resourceful. The thing is, like a lot of us, she always was these things – she was just discouraged from believing this because it served those who wished to make use of her, to keep her down. She’s very much based on someone I know and love dearly.
Q. What Can Readers Expect from These Books?
A. This is a story of a powerful connection between two people, two families, and two hearts coming to know each other. They can expect some references to abuse (very off-page and in the backstory but I think it’s important readers are aware), and action, and certainly some hair-raising moments where life and death moments balance out. There is attraction, and desire, and restraint, and release. Love, of course, takes centre stage – but not just the love of the central couple. There are some powerful moments for the heroine as she learns her worth – and struggles to believe in it, and then to prove it to herself. This is why Valkin, the hero, loves her in the end – because she comes to love herself and that’s the story I wanted to tell.
People say it all the time: ‘no one can love you until you love yourself’ – we’ve all heard that but I wanted to draw it in words. What does learning to love yourself look like? Why might this be difficult for a girl who hardly trusts a soul anymore? How can she move her heart forward, towards love? What will it take? Readers can expect a little danger, and a lot of connection, and learning to stand up for yourself and your own heart. .
Q. Can You Tell Me Three Fun Facts About You?
A.I could live on grilled cheese and coffee.I like to work out in light rain / drizzle.
I talk to my characters all the time, and sometimes I forget to do it in silence.
Q. What Are Your Plans for Future Writing Projects?
A.I have an Austen-style novella releasing in the second half of 2023 as part of an anthology to raise money for breast cancer.The third adventure of my regency spies is due out this year as well.
I am penning the final Clifton Hall novel right now, wherein the duke’s heir gets his HEA and good lord does he earn it!
Q.What Do You Want the World to Know About Your Books?
A.That it’s a ripping good read! (My editor said that!)
Q. How Do You Think Your Book Relates to The World Today?
A.I think holding true to who you are in a world that insists you must act as ‘they’ direct, is an act of defiance – and self love. Choosing yourself over others’ demands is harder in the face of Instagram, TikTok, and the general intrusion of others into our private lives – but it’s so important to know that *you* are the main character in your own life. You belong to *you* – no one else, and no one else gets to shape that human being.
Q.What Do You Hope Will Be the Everlasting Thoughts for Readers Who Finish Your Book?
A.That love wins. Love for self, and love for others. Loving yourself expands your heart so there’s more room for more love.
What Should Remain with Readers Long After Putting Your Book Down?
A.That love is a choice, not a compulsion. There are many moments in this story when the characters can choose to turn away from each other. In one part, they choose not to choose – but in the end they both choose love, their love, their way and this is a powerful, conscious thing to do for themselves.
Q. If People Can Only Buy One Book This Month, Why Should It Be Yours?
A.It has a bit of everything: action, adventure, mystery and no small degree of suspense. The heroine travels under a false name and the reader knows how she is connected to our hero – but he doesn’t. The novel also showcases more about Romany life in Regency England as most of the action takes place in a Romany camp, so it’s an interesting historical journey. In fact, it draws you away from 2023 entirely, and into the winter woods of Lancashire. For escapism, for woodlands and winter and horses hooves drumming over moorland, they should open my book…
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