About the author
Tell us your story? What made you start writing?
I have always loved writing. Even in my early years, I would write everything from poems to short stories. I’m not much of a talker so I have always found it easier to express myself through writing. I’m also a big daydreamer and was always building all kinds of worlds and stories in my mind. So, my Adapted series is one of those stories I made up and would tell my children about the characters and their adventures. During a challenge one of my daughters had, which was to write a story within a month a little like NANOWRIMO but not as intense, I told her I would join her on the project and write a part of Adapted into a novel. It was only meant as an encouragement for her really, but once I started taking the novel seriously I couldn’t stop. It took me longer than a month when you take editing, rereading and all of the things that come after writing the first draft but, by the time I had completed the 3rd draft I knew I had to try to get it published somehow. Now I struggle a lot with getting the time to write but I’m super dedicated to writing more. I still have more from the Adapted series and a few other stories that I have started that need to be finished and put out for the public.
If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?
It might have to be the Regency era. I am a big fan of Jane Austin and I love some of the things about life at that time. The innocence and the clothing mostly. The only thing would be the lack of ethnic diversity so it would have to be more like how it is depicted in the Bridgeton series.
If you were ruler of your own country what would be the first law you would introduce?
I would hate to be the ruler of a country. I’m too much of a softly and would probably agree to some really ridiculous requests because of it. I think my number one rule would have to be, ‘No one is allowed to speak directly to me EVER!’ It would have a really big penalty like death or something LOL. I know it sounds harsh but otherwise, my country would probably be in extreme debt because I was always giving into requests and we would all end up being sold off in to labour or something like that.
If you had to describe yourself as an animal, which one would it be?
A cheetah. I love cats, especially the big cats, they’re beautiful, and cheetahs have always stood out to me. They’re the weakest of the big cats and they’re so vulnerable, and the markings on their face make me feel like they are always crying so, I don’t know, I just always felt a connection with them.
About Adapted: book one Heat
Born with a unique ability, Claudia has found her life to be filled with rejection, ostracism, and manipulation by all but one person, Dr J. Right after escaping a research facility she has been kept at and experimented on, Dr J. is found dead and the police rules it a suicide.
Needing answers and revenge for the only friend she ever knew, she follows the last clue he has left her and finds herself in Westpoint. Everything changes when instead of vengeance she finds a family. She has to learn what it’s like to live a regular life. And when the high school quarterback is thrown into the mix, being normal feels so strange.
Torn between the urge to avenge Dr J’s death and the chance to belong. Will Claudia learn how to fit in, or will she ultimately yield to the power the facility had worked so hard to nurture?
Tell us a little about the book. How did you come up with the idea for Adapted?
The very early life of Claudia started as a Superman-style story. Superman was one of my favourite superheroes from back in the day. Claudia was half human and half alien and had similar abilities to Superman. She never knew her father and, as her mother had died in childbirth, she was raised in a research facility due to her obvious abilities.
So, that was the birth of Claudia, but over the years she developed into a character within her own rights. A lot of the details about her changed as she developed, like her abilities and her quest. It became more about starting over and fitting in and the kind of situations you might come up against rather than just fighting bad guys, although I did throw a few bad guys in throughout the series.
Do you have any connection to orphanages? Is there a reason for having such strong attention on orphaned children in the story?
Initially, it was the whole Superman/alien thing that inspired the orphans, but as the story progressed and changed, I realised that I understood Claudia better as a lonesome person, so I kept it like that. I actually come from quite a large family but I have always felt a bit different from my siblings, I’m not sure why. So, I spent a lot of time alone in my own mind, and I understand how it feels to not trust people and to be scared to open up to people and things like that. You know, you can be physically surrounded by people but, due to your own fears, whether they’re rejection, ridicule or whatever else, you can actually feel so alone. And this was kind of the feeling that Claudia gives me, she really was alone but she made her loneliness so much greater by not opening up to people.
Which character did you have most fun writing?
Definitely Solomon! I’m actually a little bit in love with Solomon so there’s that, but I just love watching his interactions with Claudia, he is so devoted to her and makes her feel so special. Writing about him just makes me feel happy.
If you would rewrite something in Adapted right now, what would it be?
I might have Solomon follow her when she leaves with Dr. R. I don’t know how it would happen but when I think back its actually probably something he would do. But having said that I don’t think he had enough time to react and he’s too calm to have done anything rash even though he was a bit suspicious of what was happening.
If you were a character in Adapted, who would you be and why?
Probably Claudia, to be honest, she’s very much my kindred spirit so it would be an easy enough transition. Plus I would love to have her ability, and there’s Solomon, of course.
Did you need to do research for Adapted? What was the most interesting thing you learnt while writing Adapted?
I did a little research but I think the most interesting thing was about football. I actually don’t know anything about American football so I looked up a few things about it. There’s one scene where Claudia asks Solomon if he can throw his ball across the whole yard and after writing it I didn’t even know if it was possible so I remember looking it up and watching a few videos about it.
How did you feel when your first book was released?
I was scared but relieved. Actually, it was my daughter who finally pressed the submit button because every time I went to do it I found a reason to wait, maybe I needed to check something or change something, things like that. When I got the message saying it was live I just felt, finally. But I was so worried about what kind of feedback I would get I almost found reasons to take it down again.
What’s your favorite and least favorite part of publishing?
My definite most favourite part is sending out the book link and having someone say it looks interesting. Getting feedback on the actual story is so amazing. I love connecting with people on that level and feeling that they felt a connection with my characters.
My least favourite part has to be finding ways to get my book noticed. I still get self-conscious about telling people to read my book in case they tell me they took my advice and hated it! It is slowly getting easier but sometimes I do feel like I’m at battle with myself when it comes to trying to attract an audience.
When can we wait for the sequel? Is there anything you can say about it without any spoilers?
I really hope to have it out before the end of the year. Writing is a slow process for me at the moment as I have a lot more responsibilities than I did when I wrote Heat, but I am working hard and trying to get something done each day.
Book two’s title will be Ice. You may have noticed some hints from Heat about others with similar abilities to her so, after confiding in one of her friends about her own ability, she is officially introduced to the ‘gang’.
Unfortunately, she gets caught up in Marcus’ revenge plan on her father which involves some mind games and she starts to lose grip on which exactly her real persona is. This causes a lot of friction between her friends and of course Solomon, who we also learn has a slightly different side to him when he’s pushed in the right way.
You are lost in a foreign city. It is getting late. Your only options are to ask directions from a man hidden under a long black coat and sunglasses or a drunk woman is suggestive clothing. What do you do?
It would depend how drunk the woman was. If she was very drunk and acting strange then I don’t think I would be able to approach either of them. I find it hard enough approaching any unknown person to be honest, but put these two characters on the scene and the multitude of scenarios that would run through my head if I did choose to stop one of them and I would probably avoid them both and end up walking around lost all night.