I began writing in 2005. Exhausted, pregnant (sure I was going to expire from morning-sickness) and coping with a demanding toddler, I decided the time was right to embark on a writing career. (In hindsight I may have been suffering from a scorching case of sleep-deprivation).
Still, it kinda worked out. My debut novel - and the first manuscript I'd ever written - Running Scared, was published in January 2007. My next book, Secret Intentions followed. Then I had a short story published in the Mammoth Book of Special Ops Romance (MBSOR) in 2010 - my story is called The Grey Man.
In 2012 my novel Drive Me To Distraction was published, and my novella The Danger Game came out just before Christmas. My next book, The Bunker, will be published in July 2013.
What came first with The Danger Game: the characters or the plot?
I find that characters and plot tend to evolve together. When I start planning a book I usually begin with a plot idea; for The Danger Game this was… ‘what if a cyber-war program fell into the wrong hands?’ But from there I move onto the characters, as they are the essential part of a romantic story.
Flick is a computer expert. Are you also an expert in computers? Or what type of research involved in the line of work that Flick is in?
Generally I am an expert in crashing computers and not being able to find the on button. And that’s a good day. Despite this, I did do a couple of programming courses at University (which led to an extraordinarily unsettling love of databases) and this knowledge has given me a solid basis for further research.
I do have an expert in my life though, which you can probably pick up in The Danger Game. I’m married to a computer geek extraordinaire! My husband lives and breathes computers; they are his work and his hobby. When I’m writing I’ll come up with an idea in my first draft and then he’ll figure out how to make it work in a real life situation. We are planning to take over the world once the kids are a bit older.
How do you keep the suspense going?
Be horrible to my characters! Poor Ben and Flick. Just when they think they’re out of trouble they fall right back into it. I blame that nasty arms dealer David Darkthorne and his insatiable quest for pots of money.
Will there be a sequel with Flick and Ben?
Ever since I finished The Danger Game an idea for a sequel has been niggling me. I think where I left Flick and Ben (in a Humvee in the middle of the Syrian desert), has huge potential. I’m in the midst of writing a trilogy at the moment, but it might well be next book onto paper.
What would you like fans to know about you?
My next book, The Bunker, is out in July 2013. It’s another thrilling romantic suspense set in deep underground in an old bunker, in the idyllic green hills of England. If you sign up for my newsletter you’ll be the first to hear about when it goes live. And don’t forget to leave a comment and enter my giveaway. Prizes include much sought after Timtams (legendary Australian chocolate biscuit).
Flick likes computers. She’s good with them, and they do what she tells them, mostly. People, however, are more of a challenge.
But when a terrifyingly dangerous program is stolen, and her mentor killed, Flick finds herself on the run. The police are convinced she’s committed murder, and a sinister weapons developer will stop at nothing to force her to work for him.
In Ben’s line of work being suspicious keeps you alive. So when Flick turns to him, he quickly realises that she’s up to her neck in trouble and hasn’t fully grasped the danger she is in.
First he has to keep her safe, and then, together, they have to figure out how to save the world from an epic meltdown.
“It’s your last chance with the Vice Chancellor.”
“I said I’d be there.” Flick didn’t bother to hide her irritation. “I just won the man a million dollar grant, what more does he want?”
“Your bubbly and fun personality?” There was amusement beneath Andy’s sarcasm.
Flick snorted. “All right. Okay. I’m leaving now.” She growled the words, and hit the off-button on her phone.
They both knew she lied.
She dropped the phone onto the desk. Then, scowling, she clicked on the icon that’d run the Bellona program. It crashed instantly, and took the computer with it.
“Awesome.” She threw herself back into her chair and stared at the ceiling panels, running the changes she’d made to the code through her mind. Realizing it’d be a waste of time to unpick what she’d done, Flick rebooted her computer and went in search of a clean copy of the program on the backup server.
There were two versions. Usually they only kept one, but she thought nothing of it, and after saving a copy to her hard drive, she opened it up.
She scanned quickly through the code, looking for the section she’d been working on, so preoccupied with figuring out how to manipulate it into doing what she wanted, she nearly missed the strange command, her eye travelled straight past it. But then she hesitated, and went back to the unusual group of letters. They hadn’t been there before.
A logic bomb? Some little joke Andy was playing?
She ran the command and it brought up a whole section of Bellona that she’d never seen before.
“Bloody hell -” For a moment she simply stared at the screen.
It was no joke.
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