Thanks for joining us here today, Scarlet.
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What is your writing process?
I work full-time and have two young sons with numerous evening activities, so my main writing process is doing as much as possible, in as little time as possible! I write 1000 words a day, mainly in my half hour lunch break. Writing everyday keeps me focused. Any research I need to do for my book I’ll do at night when I’ve got a bit more time for surfing the net. Any medical research I need to do I can generally do in a phone call. I’ve worked in hospitals, community and public health and I’ll generally know someone who can give me the answer to the question I’m looking for.
Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?
It’s got to be a priority that fits into my life. As long as I meet my word count every day then I’m happy. Even if what I write is crap – I can edit crap the next day!
Keeping fit: Do you have an exercise regime to counterbalance all those hours sitting at a computer?
No I don’t. I’m inherently lazy and I’m starting to get fat!
Do you believe in writer's block?
Can I be controversial and say no? I think you can write your way through it. Even if you don’t like what you’re writing or think that it’s wrong. Even when I’m hideously stuck and have no idea what happens next in the manuscript I keep writing. If I do that, the characters tell me what happens next.
Have you ever used an incident from real life in a book? If so, did it get you into trouble?No. My imagination is much better than real life. I’ve yet to meet a George Clooney or Patrick Dempsey in real life. When I first found out I was going to be published, lots of people I worked with asked, “Am I in your book?” I resisted the temptation to tell them they weren’t interesting enough!
In what way is being a published writer different to how you thought it would be?There are still loads of things I don’t know. For some reason I thought being published would give me whole host of information that would mean I knew exactly what I was doing. It hasn’t happened. Sometimes I feel as if I find things out by accident. The medical authors have a group e-mail loop and they’ve been great when I’ve had any queries.
Promotion is no longer a dirty word. In what ways do you strive to reach more readers?I’ve built a website and a Facebook author page prior to my release. I’ve been blogging for the last 18 months on my own page and now have a spot on the eharlequin medical author blog every month. I like to join in the chats on the some of the online forums and comment on other people’s blogs. But I’m not a “in their face” girl. I’ve lined up a few spots on blogs for my first book launch but that’s it.
What is your top promo tip for other authors?Get online and speak to others!
What did you learn while writing this book?
That revisions are hard, really hard. I got the third set and wanted to give up. I felt as if I couldn’t deliver what they wanted. But I got two pep talks – one from my editor Sally Williamson, who must have sensed I was struggling and phoned me to talk me through them, and the other from Kate Hardy, another Mills and Boon medical author who gave me some really good advice.
What was the most fun part of writing this book?Seeing the story come to life. I could see scenes playing in my head like a Hallmark movie and wanted to get them down on paper.
And just for fun: what would your hero’s honeymoon destination of choice be?
Cooper would take Missy and their lovely baby to a beach front bungalow in St Lucia, with an inbuilt cook, nanny and masseuse!
After one hot date…. Dr Cooper Roberts has a new job and the chance to begin a new life. What’s most definitely not in his plans? Waking up with his new colleague, Melissa Bell…And having to hold his head up above the dropped jaws of his fellow docs as he escorts Missy to buy a pregnancy test!
It Started with a Pregnancy is available to buy on Amazon and from Mills and Boon
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Scarlet will be giving away a book to one non-Minxy commenter - so get commenting!