Hello and thank you for having me on your blog.
What do you write? Why this in particular?
My favourite genre, to read as well as to write, is the full-length domestic thriller novel. There is something grounding in its structure, where the chaos of the puzzle is always logically resolved in the final chapter, and where justice is usually served.
I also write contemporary short stories, which are like little peeping holes into people’s quirky lives: you can get inside the head of a housewife who has an unusual secret, or a playboy whose reality is about to be shaken, or the old age of an ex-spy.
What got you started on writing in the first place?
I’ve always had stories running like movies in my head – I mean, doesn’t everyone? When I was in my early 20s, I saw an advert for an annual short story competition and, just like that, it was the most tempting thing in my life to take part. I didn’t win that competition, but I was short-listed. It was like an addiction: I took part in it every year, until eventually I won it. Three times in a row. That’s when I stopped and decided to write my first novel instead.
I know exactly what you mean about having movies run in your head. That happens to me too.
Do you have a particular routine?
I write at night when the house is quiet
Do you have a dedicated working space?
Ever since Covid, my writing desk is the same one as my day-job desk. I know the common advice is to have a space in which you do nothing except creative writing, but my brain isn’t wired that way.
When did you decide you could call yourself a writer? Do you do that in fact?
Ever since that first short story, I’ve been saying that I’m a writer in my spare time. Four novels and over a hundred short stories later, nothing has changed.
How supportive are your friends and family? Do they understand what you're doing?
My mother-in-law is my first reader and line editor :-)
What are you most proud of in your writing?
The book that I’m busy writing, always. No matter which one it is.
Which writers have inspired you?
Agatha Christie taught me to love who-dun-its.
Harlan Coben gave me my taste for domestic suspense.
Liane Moriarty showed me the importance of eccentric characters and astute commentaries on our culture.
Now, about tell me about your book, For a Few Hours.
“For a few hours” is a collection of short stories. Some are thousands of words long. Others may be half a page. They all have one thing in common: I wrote them because I wanted to say something that felt important to me at the time. The message may be “life is short, enjoy it”, or “family is the most precious thing” – and yes, it would be a lot shorter to write it in one sentence – but also a lot less fun!
Tell us about your research for this book.
One of the stories is set in an alternate history world. In order to write it, I had to research quite a bit of the actual history, from dates to fashion. Google makes it super-easy nowadays, though I do miss the days when I’d disappear in the local library every afternoon to nerd out on Ming vases or the art of town planning.
What inspired you to write this?
I always start with a “what-if”. What if the Internet disappeared for a day? What would a bunch of teenagers do if they heard the news that a volcano was about to erupt? What if you had to travel halfway across the world to find your soulmate?
Oh, there are so many “what-ifs”! What if you lived in a society whose only aim was the pursuit of happiness? What if you had to grow cannabis for a living? What if you owned a tropical island?
How can we get a copy of the book?