Today I’m pleased to be taking part in the blog tour for The Map Maker’s Daughter. I’m sharing my post with thanks to Zoe O’Farrell for inviting me on the tour and to Caroline Dunford for answering my questions.
Have you always wanted to write?
Ever since I can remember, I’ve told stories. In primary school I made friends by creating stories for the other children to act out. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I’ve studied and worked in the fields psychology, psychotherapy, and journalism. I find human interaction fascinating.
What were your previous jobs? Have they helped you with your writing process?
I started out as an arts and features journalist. Then I did a degree in psychology and trained as a psychotherapist. All this time I was writing short stories and beginning to sell some of them. I’ve also worked as an archery instructor, a charity development officer and I’m now a part-time Teaching Fellow at Edinburgh University.
What was your inspiration for The Map Maker’s Daughter?
Quite simply, I woke up one morning and thought what would happen, if by changed a map, you could also change the physical world. Then I thought about it for a couple of years while I was writing other things, and finally, in six weeks, I wrote the first draft.
How do you construct your characters? Do they have traits of people you know?
I construct my characters as if they’re real people. Effectively, I create a profile for them. I want them to be as real as possible. None of them are based on people I know, but I imagine they are influenced by my experience of knowing other people.
What does your writing process look like? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a mixture. I know the key stages in the story before I start. I know the characters. However, I also leave space for organic growth when I’m writing. More often than not, the characters will start chatting to me when I’m writing, and extra scenes will appear, making the story much richer (yes, I know this sounds a bit mad, but it’s honestly not uncommon among writers).
How did you research The Map Maker’s Daughter ? Did you enjoy it?
It was important for the Map Maker’s Daughter that I designed the world, and knew why it worked the way it did. Should there be a sequel, I’ll reveal more. The MapMaker’s Daughter relied very much on my imagination rather than real world research, but it had to be constructed carefully.
Who are your favourite writers? Are you influenced by them?
I have lots of writers I love. I discover more every day. I real a phenomenal amount. This is only possible because I don’t sleep very much! Of writers who have left us, I loved the Canadian writer Robertson Davies, and of course the clever, Dorothy L Sayers. Jane Austen definitely influenced me in her detailed portray of characters and her sly wit. I was a huge fan Diana Wynn Jones and Anne McCaffrey. As for living writers – I love so many of them, it’s too hard to choose.
If you could invite three people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be and why?
Robertson Davies (such a great storyteller for pre-dinner stories), Dorothy L. Sayers (witting and literary conversation) and Conan Doyle (to keep our spirits up).
Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Someone vomiting, for obvious reasons.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
What is this spare time you speak of?
What is next for you?
More YA, I have two in progress. More on my espionage series (Euphemia Martins Mysteries and The Hope Stapleford Adventures) set respectively in WWl and WWll.
Book? If I have to pick I loved Donna Tart’s The Secret History.
Film? Equal firsts for Grosse Pointe Blank, Casablanca and Cowboys and Aliens.
Band/Singer? Ghost, Kaiser Chiefs, Queen, Lighthouse Family.
TV show? Equal First for Star Trek, Doctor Who, The Avengers and Resident Alien.
Colour? Black, or silver, or emerald green (oh, indecision…)
Place? Home (with family), although I do like Venice.
Biscuit? Anything with good chocolate on it. Florentines perhaps?
The Map Maker’s Daughter is available from Amazon.
You can follow the rest of the blog tour here: