When I lost my job in 2013, I was in a very dark and dangerous place. Writing was a way for me to stretch my imagination and to keep myself occupied.
I’ve been writing since I was a teenager, scrawling mostly bad sci-fi in notebooks on the school bus. I first pulled together some of the contemporary short stories into Millennium Short Stories before using one of my fantasy stories to begin my immense Heart, Mind & Honour series. Princess is based on the true story of my best friend and her experiences at and after university.
I have a very organic writing style, I’m rather bad at planning things out so my stories tend to take themselves where they go and the characters often object to what I’m getting them to do which creates a unique experience for me and, hopefully, for my readers too.
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Where do I start?! Choosing a favourite character I've written is like a parent choosing their favourite child or a pet owner choosing their favourite animal.
Charlie (Somone to love- Millennium Short Stories) is my first character, the first little voice in my head who wanted their story written. But she is a little immature (speaking from a character profile perspective) and went quiet after it was written.
Daryo (The Walker) is the centre of my longest book and was a very loud voice but he's distinctly unpleasant and violent at times and copes very badly with loss and defeat.
Ceri and Ash (Princess) are based on real people, or composites of real people, and that feels like cheating.
Akalba (Trust & Treason) is my first homosexual character and a pile of contradictions, trauma and frustation.
Alan Ingram, Jess Randall, Nicole Hunter and Cleo have never had their stories finished.
And I haven't mentioned Mercy Brown (Mortality), Cammi (Trust & Treason), Kym the Harlequin (The Walker and Until Discharged by Death), Chelsea (Bloodlust and Life) or Zoe (Princess).
After a lot of deliberation I've chosen...
Emma Macvicar (All of the Vampires at War series)
Born in the early 1920s and bitten at just 16, Emma becomes a vampire shortly after her mother's death and offers her house to her Origin, Mercy Brown, as the home of House New England. Physically, Emma looks young and, at the start of 'Mortality', she is undoubtedly the baby of the House- very emotionally-attached to her Origin (who she sees as something of an older Sister), a talented and very powerful telepath and mind reader, seen as an annoyance by older members of the House.
She looks 'vampirish' with black hair, dark eyes, pale skin and prominent bite marks on her neck, a perpetually youthful face and a penchant for dressing in black.
During her stay in England from 1939 to 1946, she takes responsibility for the evacuees billeted on them and she becomes a much more mature and considered individual, starting her own coven in her old wartime home in 2018. When she sacrifices her psychic ability in the volcano Popocatapetl, she becomes a much more thoughtful individual and accepted as one of the senior members of the House.