FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Did you always want to be a writer?
I have always written, ever since I was a child. I wrote books (aka a bundle of notes stapled together!), articles (aka stories about my fantasy pop star husbands) and much more. When I was a teenager I thought I wanted to be an actress. I took acting classes for years, and went on auditions, but I found that the only part of the process I actually enjoyed was writing the application letters! All the producers I met always told me that they loved my letters, but I don’t think they felt the same way about my acting technique! Eventually the penny dropped and I realised that I was never going to be an actress, but I definitely was a writer. Once I realised that, I put my heart and soul into making my dreams come true.
How did you become a published author?
I worked for seventeen years in a day job I hated, but the whole time I was there, I’d fantasize about the day I could finally walk away and become a full-time writer. My first book was published in 1995 and while I made enough money to go to Los Angeles on holiday, it was never going to enable me to become a full-time writer. I got close several times with novels I wrote, but unfortunately they always failed to get published at the last hurdle.
I became pregnant with my daughter in 2003, and this enabled me (in 2004) to go back to work part-time instead of full. As luck would have it, I found a course to teach yoga to children, so I did that and when I ended my maternity leave, I worked some of the week at the old day job, and the rest setting up a yoga business. I also became a regular contributor to a yoga magazine, and the two combined meant that I could finally give up the day job and become a full-time mummy, yoga teacher and writer. I taught yoga for about eight years then did some freelance work for a small publisher for a while, but all the time continued to build up my writing career. Finally, after being offered three book contracts in under a year, I took the leap into full-time writing. This was a full 24 years after deciding I wanted to become a published author. No-one can ever call me a quitter!
Where do you get your ideas from?
All over the place. Sometimes one subject leads me to another. For instance, when writing the Marilyn biography, I came across the name Pat De Cicco. I wondered who he was so Googled him and discovered he was once married to an actress called Thelma Todd. Of course I just had to Google her too, and before I knew it, I was obsessed. My book about Thelma was published at the end of 2015.
Can you ghost-write my book?
If you have a really great project in mind, please contact me and we can certainly talk about it.
Can you come and talk at our museum/gallery/school/meeting?
I love doing talks and I have done various talks in schools, which I love. In 2012 I spoke at the National Portrait Gallery and then in 2013 I did one at the Victoria and Albert Museum. These were wonderful experiences for me and I would be very happy to do more. Please contact me in the first instance, and we can talk about your needs.
I am a journalist/blogger/webmaster… Can I interview you?
Of course! I have been interviewed hundreds of times in the past, about all kinds of subjects including my books, my writing career, my reading tastes, etc. etc. If you have a blog, website, magazine etc., please contact me.
I am a student, doing a project about Marilyn/film stars etc. Can you help me?
I have helped many students with their essays over the years but I’m afraid I can’t do this anymore. Not because I don’t want to, but because I just don’t have the time to do it. However, you will find lots of information about Marilyn and other film stars, in my books.
I am a producer and I would like to speak with you about a film/documentary project I’m working on.
Great! You can get in touch through the Contact page of my site and I will get straight back to you. Please note: I am unable to do any film-related research for free, but I do have competitive rates.