Writing is a huge part of my life; it’s a part of my personality, a part of what makes me, me. I began writing in my early teens, finding the act of writing both cathartic and liberating. Through the eyes of my characters I was able to explore different worlds, to challenge my own perceptions and to delve deep into the psychology of what makes each of us tick.
I would write reams and reams of stories, line after line of hastily scribbled thoughts borne into the world at the tip of the pencil and then resigned to the cupboard (or attic). There was no hope of publishing, not back in the late 80’s, early 90’s. I managed to purchase a copy of the Writers Yearbook and quickly balked at the idea. I was alone in my written worlds, tucked away in a tiny village in North Devon and too young to understand what was required of me. There was no way I could contemplate sourcing an agent; the fear stopped me in my tracks and the stories gathered dust.
I continued to write. It’s not a choice, it’s a calling. When that idea gets into your head there’s no getting rid of it until you craft it into words. I only stopped writing when my mother died suddenly (I was 16). Within two years I was writing again, my emotional experience fueling my stories. I’ll always remember seeing a collection of books by Stephen King, their covers dark and ominous, on my mother’s bookshelf and her warning me not to touch (she did give in, thankfully!). Remember this when you tell your kids not to touch, curiosity might have killed the cat but I bet that darn cat had one hell of a ride.
I wrote whatever sparked an idea in my head, all within the Fantasy & Sci-Fi genre, where I could break the rules. I wasn’t interested in romance, or comedy. I wanted angst, conflict, battles and swords. Give me dragons, vampires, ghouls and demons and I’m on cloud nine. I wanted brash multi faceted villains and heroic but flawed leads, the more complicated the character, the better.
I carry this ethos forward in my writing today. The characters I create cannot be defined by being ‘good’ or ‘bad’’ they are flawed, they make mistakes and they don’t make the right choices. It’s about the journey, not the outcome.
This brings me onto my debut novel; ‘Within’ and its short-story prequel, ‘Hunted’. Neither are your typical vampire fiction. Vampires are sexy, but we all know that, how about we shake things up a bit? The main character, Devon Hurst, is a capable hunter, a vampire killer and with good reason. Brought up in a post-apocalyptic landscape all he knows is how to survive, how to kill, no matter what the cost. Haunted by the loss of his family and hunted by the vampire that murdered them, Devon wants revenge. Seems simple, but when he tries to help a small group of survivors, he quickly realises it’s not all about him and he pays the ultimate price, becoming the very monster he despises.
‘Within’ follows Devon’s story as he adapts to a harsh and unforgiving world, looking for hope, hoping for survival and only in surviving can he achieve the freedom from revenge he so desperately desires. His journey takes him into the heart of a city rising from the ashes where vampire and human co-exist. On its hastily rebuilt exterior and against all the odds the city appears to be thriving, but there’s a cancer at its core, the Vampire Council. Devon finds himself battling not only his inner demon, but also the very people he sacrificed everything to protect. With the battle lines drawn he finds himself on the wrong side of right, his old enemy by his side.
The prequel ‘Hunted’ was released on November 14th (click on the title to see details TSRA). ‘Within’ is likely to be released at Christmas. Follow me on Twitter or drop me an email at my website to be kept informed. Do check-in to my blog, Hotel California where I often talk about my own personal journey (much less interesting then Devon’s) and occasionally post flash fiction.
So that’s me in a nutshell. Mum of two girls, wife of a blacksmith, a writer at heart. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.