What was the inspiration for your debut ‘A Fortnight is not Enough’?
I began with the fantasy of enjoying a holiday so much that I refused to come home.
- What was is that drew you to the setting for your story?
We enjoyed a holiday in the south of France in 2016. Its connection with famous artists provided a way of developing the story.
- Tell us about your main character – what motivates her, what are her dreams, and what is her worst nightmare?
Imogen is 18 and finding her way in life – in fact this could be regarded as a Young Adult novel. She loves painting and would like to work as an artist. She is being manipulated by an older boyfriend when she meets Jules, an art student, who motivates her to follow her dreams.
- What was the very first novel you penned and where is it now?
I’ve written various novels for years. The earliest one I still have on the computer has a theme of Good versus Evil. It concerns a woman whose dabbling in magic brings her under the influence of and attractive but sinister man.
- What are you currently working on?
I’ve recently completed a novel entitled The Day of the Dolly Bird, which is a romance set in the Swinging Sixties. Through the New Writers Scheme of The Romantic Novelists’ Association it has received a largely favourable report from a professional novelist.
I’m currently working on a historical romance set in World War I.
- When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always loved reading and had the urge to write. I used to dabble as a child, and a friend and I used to produce little monthly magazines.
- What would you advise a new novelist?
Be persistent! Of course, you need to study the market, but still bring your own ideas to the writing.
- Other than writing, what other hobbies or interests do you enjoy?
I try to keep fit by doing Zumba and taking country walks with a group.
I do voluntary work one day a week for a charity which trains disabled adults.
I love travel, particularly to the continent, and enjoy classical music.
- What is your favourite part of the UK?
I particularly love spectacular scenery, like in the Lake District, or Perthshire.
- Which writer or writers inspire you most?
Jane Austen is hard to beat, and George Eliot. Among contemporary writers I love the humour of Terry Pratchett and the quirky stories of Marina Lewicka. I enjoy books by Barbara Kingsolver and I was recently very impressed with Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and mean to read some more of her books. I also loved The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Amazingly it was her debut novel.
- If you were to invite three prominent people, dead or alive to dinner, which three would you invite and why?
What a tough choice! At least one needs a strong sense of humour. I’ve decided on Leonardo da Vinci and Marie Curie with Victoria Coren Mitchell to provide an element of wackiness.
- What would be your favourite menu? Starter – Main – Desert
Salade Niçoise, Noisettes of Lamb and Strawberry Pavlova – yum.
Karen, thank you very much for hosting me on your Blog.
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