Hello Freda, and welcome to the Romaniac sofa. Put your feet up and relax, I’ve made coffee and walnut cake today. We hope you’ve recovered from the fun and frolics of the RNA conference now?
Here are our questions for you – I’ve kept them short so that you’ve time for several cups of tea.
On your website you talk about several breakthrough moments in your writing life, when it all suddenly seemed possible. Which ones were the most significant and why?
The first thing I ever published was a short article called An Elizabethan Toothache. I think that proved to myself that I could write for publication. And then the first acceptance by Mills & Boon, as it then was, was so exciting. I was riding high for weeks afterwards.
Do you enjoy researching the background for a novel as much as the actual writing?
I love the research, and do have to take care not to get carried away by it. Fortunately as I love writing more, I try to school myself to mainly research as I go along.
If you could go out for dinner with a romantic heroes from one of your books, who would it be and why?
Barthram Stobbs in Ruby McBride. He was handsome, of course, and such a strong character, a man with high principles and yet with a kind and caring heart. What more could a woman ask for?
What has been/is your favourite place to write?
Oh, always the peace and quiet of my office. It is like a womb to me.
What would be your ideal timetable for a day of writing?
I am at my desk around nine each morning and work till one or one-thirty. I generally take a couple of hours off in the afternoon to walk, read or garden, then back at my desk from around four until seven.
Which three well-known books do you really wish you had written?
Wuthering Heights, Katherine, and Rebecca. I wish!
What impact had the RNA had on your life?
I joined the RNA after I was published so was never involved in the NWS, but I have made so many life-long friends through it. It is a wonderful support network.
Camping or 5 star hotel?
Camping in my younger days, now I do tend to go for the 5 star.
Summer sunshine or winter frost?
Always prefer sunshine so I spend my winters in Spain.
Wine or beer?
Wine, preferably of the pink and bubbly variety.
DVD at home or cinema trip?
DVD, feet up on the sofa and a glass of chilled something in hand.
Ballroom dancing or Irish jig?
Prefer a disco myself.
Dawn or dusk?
Dawn does not feature on my clock. I’m a night owl.
Deluxe fountain pen or new pack of felt tips?
Felt tips if I must write by hand, which is rare these days.
Ice cream or sorbet?
I’ll have a choc ice please.
Thanks so much for dropping in, Freda – please call again. Safe journey home, and good luck with your latest release, pictured below.