Film, theatre, literature, music, philosophy, religion and LGBTQ identities are her primary interests. If she is not making a film, directing a play or writing a novel, you will find her lying on the sofa reading a great book or enjoying a good drama.
Her The Legend Of Pope Joan, Part 1. Frankia and Part 2. Athens are Goldie finalists in the Historical Fiction category. I asked her the 6 questions you posed on Facebook – and here are her replies.
1) Who/What is your favorite book/author? Why?
My favourite author is Sarah Waters because her storytelling and plotting are incredible, her writing sophisticated but not turgid, and her characters are well-developed and three-dimensional with shades of light and dark. And, of course, most of her novels are lesbian or have lesbian characters.
My favourite book, however, is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. This is the most inspiring novel I have ever read and because it is magical and weaves into the soul of the reader, every time I read it, I find myself identifying with a different stage of the character’s journey. A great story for reminding us of the importance of following our dreams and the many tests and stages one needs to go through in order to achieve them.
2) What has been your most surprising or interesting inspiration for a book?
My first novel After The Night was inspired by watching the 1956 film Yield To The Night – I simply started writing without knowing where it would lead and before I knew it, I had written novel! When I watch the film now I am still astonished that it spawned a lesbian love story that has sold thousands of copies worldwide.
3) Writing is emotional and can be isolating. From where do you get your support?
I am extremely lucky to be in a long term partnership with a fantastic woman who loves me unconditionally and supports my work in every possible way. I also find having dogs very handy for company and inspiration. Nothing like a furry muse!
4) What does it mean to you to see your work in print and then up for an award?
It is wonderful to see my work in print and even more wonderful that people like it! I am over the moon that my novel The Legend Of Pope Joan, Part 2. Athens has been short-listed for the GOLDIE Historical Fiction Prize. It really is an honour!
5) What is next on your personal bucket list to accomplish (literary or otherwise)?
I wrote a feature film called Banned Girls a few years ago and almost got the funding to make it (I am a filmmaker as well as a writer) – I would love to make that film.
6) What are you working on now and what’s next up for publication?
I am just doing the final work on The Legend Of Pope Joan, Part 3. Rome. After that I will be turning Banned Girls (the feature film mentioned above) into a novel.
Huge thanks to Rachel for taking part.