Welcome to Allthingsbookie Serena
Can you tell us what prompted you to first start writing? What was the first thing you wrote?
English essays at school. The first piece I wrote was about horses and the wonderful feeling of a trot turning into a canter.
Can you summarise your latest work in just a few words?
TANGO is the latest. A dilemma - should she risk her heart or claim her freedom?
What was the inspiration for this book?
Eavesdropping a conversation on a bus between two women. I had to stay on way past my stop till they’d alighted in order to hear the entire story.
Did you do any research for the book?
What does a typical writing day involve for you?
How do you decide on the names for your characters?
Rather like the ManBooker I
draw up a longlist that’s whittled down to a shortlist. Sometimes the chosen names get changed during the course of the story depending on how the characters are misbehaving.
Which writers have influenced your own writing?
Every good writer influences one by a sort of osmosis but
it’s difficult to be specific.
What are you working on next? Do you have a WIP?
I’m into a romantic suspense- another challenge- as I’m told this is difficult to master. It’s very much a WIP with highs and lows. The fingers aren’t exactly flying over
What has been the best part of the writing process…and the worst?
of times is putting down the bare bones and the worst of times is “killing one’s darlings” in the editing process.
Tell us about your travels.
Generally off the beaten track. From Burma to Burundi, from rocky mountains to coral strands, from deserts to frozen wastes.
us about your childhood.
This was spent in India. It was a magical place to be brought up - a place bursting with
colour and myths and exotic food. Small wonder it was the Jewel in the Crown.
Most writers have some quirks – what are yours?
I’d feel lost if I started to write without putting on my earrings. And I skip ( I love buying skipping ropes) quite often during the day.
Do you plot your novels or allow them to develop as you write?
I started off as a punster, progressed to being
a plotter, now I’m a bit of both.
Have you taken any creative writing courses and would you recommend them?
I once went on a creative writing course but that was in respect of a certain genre that I decided not to pursue. It’s horses for courses, really. I think they’re
very useful for a complete beginner but shouldn’t be a substitute for actually sitting down and getting that book finished. ‘How To’ books are very helpful.
book(s) are you reading at the moment?
Madame Bovary and Easy Guide to Treehouse Construction.
If you were stranded on a desert island and could only take three books with you, what would they be and why?
The Oxford Book of Quotations – bite sized and easy to digest nuggets.
The Canterbury Tales – all human life portrayed and plenty of inspiration there for the next book.
an ace thriller and, without fear or favour, I could cast myself in the leading roles.
Do you have any advice for
Write, write, write. Read, read, read. Don’t give up.