Questions & Answers


Questions & Answers


Welcome to my Website

I'm the author of the Emma Holden suspense mystery trilogy, and standalone thrillers Someone to Save You and For Your Own Protection. My books have been e-book bestsellers, topping the charts in a number of countries since self-publishing in 2011. I am also traditionally published by Coronet (an imprint of Hodder and Stoughton) and Thomas and Mercer (an imprint of Amazon Publishing). I am known for twists, turns and cliff-hangers, and aim to write "can't put down" fiction.


Did you always want to be a writer?

I always enjoyed writing fiction in school, and English literature was one of my favourite subjects. I also liked the idea that one day I might write a novel, and for a few years had ideas about what I might write about. When I did start writing my first full length novel, a comedy, it was for the challenge of seeing if I could do it. After that, I found that I just wanted to keep writing and more novels followed.


What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve always enjoyed writing fiction, and back in 1999 I started to write regularly. For a while I concentrated on comedy, and had some success with that in terms of being long-listed for the 2004 London Book Fair “Lit Idol” competition and having short pieces broadcast on BBC radio and ITV television in the UK. I also completed my first full-length novel, a comedy called Rob-a-Job. Then one day on the way to work, I was reading and enjoying Tell No One by Harlan Coben, and I decided to try my hand at writing a novel in the suspense mystery genre. I like a book with plenty of twists and turns, a fast-paced plot, and an emotional component. So I wanted to write the kind of books that I enjoy. I love the challenge of the genre; creating cliff-hangers, twists and turns, and piecing a complex plot together in a way that works as a fast-paced story but also has some emotional depth to it and characters that the reader can care about. That’s when I started to write The One You Love, a novel featuring Emma Holden, whose fiancé disappears in sinister and mysterious circumstances, just days before their wedding. Emma is in a race against time to find out the truth about what happened. Over the course of the trilogy, the reason behind Dan’s disappearance is revealed.

My first standalone thriller, Someone to Save You, is about a talented young heart surgeon who is haunted by a terrible incident from his past (the murder of his little sister), which threatens the safety of himself and those he loves.


Did you ever try to get a book deal before you published independently?

In the first few years I did send off submissions to agents and publishers. After the dreaded standard rejection letters, I did start to make progress, and began to make some contacts in the publishing industry who liked my writing. But I decided to just focus on enjoying writing, and didn’t approach agents or publishers for a few years. Then, following my self-publishing success, I was contacted by a number of agents and publishers, which eventually led to my signing with a literary agent who secured me a publishing deal in the UK with Hodder and Stoughton for the Emma Holden trilogy.


How has the past few years been for you?

It’s been an amazing few years for me, especially through my experiences with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), Smashwords and the Apple iBookstore. All of my books have been bestsellers. It’s amazing that so many people around the world have bought my books – something that I could never have imagined back in the days when I was writing just for my own enjoyment. I’ve had emails from all around the world from readers, and messages from my lovely followers on Facebook, telling me how they have enjoyed my novels. None of this would have been possible without publishing platforms such as KDP and Smashwords. Now the challenge is for me to continue writing, and hopefully satisfying those readers who have enjoyed my novels.


Do you have any advice for other writers out there?

For anyone thinking about e-publishing through channels such as KDP, I would say, go for it. I would however recommend either carefully editing the work yourself, or better still, having a professional look over the manuscript for you. With traditional publishing an author has an agent, editor, and copy-editors to check the manuscript before the book hits the shelves, so as an independent author you need to address this and ensure quality in your work.