1. What do you like best about incorporating history into your books?
I think history is a good way of looking at our present times; it puts things into context. I also like the fact that you can't clean up history — it stand as it is, and unlike fantasy, you really don't need to make half of it up. It all happened and then some.
2. Your background is in art. What made you decide to get into writing?
I think I was born telling myself stories: I escaped my childhood through the stories I told myself. The one thing that my very expensive education had been keen to teach me at every stage of my youth was that I couldn't be a writer. Instead I went to Art College and studied to be a theater designer, for after all theater is where story is king. Then I went into illustration where story is also king, and finally found I had the courage and support to realize that my teachers were wrong. I can write, I just can't spell.
3. What were some of your favorite books growing up?
I didn't read until worryingly late (14), so I was a bit of a write-off where it came to books from childhood, apart from WIND IN THE WILLOWS, which was read to me. When I finally got to read, I read Dickens, the Brontes, and Jane Austen. Later on I discovered Hemingway, whom I adored, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, whom I was told was dreadful at spelling. THE GREAT GATSBY is an all-time fave.
4. Any advice for aspiring writers?
Story story story! There is nothing, apart from characters, that is more important. Be brave — never let anyone tell you that you can't do it. Find your voice and enjoy the journey; there is nothing better in all the world than telling a rattling good tale. It can even keep tomorrow at bay.
5. What are you working on now?
The new book is going to be called THE SILVER BLADE and is a sequel to THE RED NECKLACE. It is set in the time of the Terror and is the conclusion to the love story between Sido and Yann. I hope it will be a gripping adventure and a heartrending love story.