on writing & other stuff...
My writing career began, vicariously, through journalists, in the form of press releases. I discovered the thrill of seeing my words in print if a reporter copied my words verbatim into the newspaper.
My publishing career kick-started when I offered to write a restaurant review for a friend who edited a London magazine. My first byline!
Soon I had my own column: club, bar and restaurant reviews. I enjoyed the hospitality of venues all over London. The editor suggested I take some photos and I became the poor man’s “It” Girl – in and out of clubs and bars with no VIP areas. The weekly articles caused hilarity amongst my friends and I hope some help to the occasional Londoner who read them.
To the uninitiated, diving seems like a terrible idea: weigh yourself down with equipment that you need to trust to keep you alive, in order to exist in a world full of sharks and stingy things.
However, there is something about being beneath the waves, listening to the sound of your own breathing and the odd parrot fish tapping away, that makes it the most relaxing activity on the planet. New worlds unfurl before your eyes and any niggles or worries fade away for the duration of the dive.
The less movement you make under water, the better the diver you are. That’s my kind of sport.
The Blood Beach series borrows some of my experience as a journalist and publicist. My heroine, Ana, uses the media as another weapon in her arsenal against her brother’s abductors.
During the time I was a publicist, I attempted to write several screenplays and then graduated to novels under different pen names. I’m a chronically bad sleeper and lying awake making up stories is the only way I know to get through a bout of insomnia.
Now I write thrillers. I write what I would like to read: plenty of suspense and mystery, life or death choices, glamorous settings, and love stories with action heroes.
On Underwater archaeology
It was a museum in Australia that first sparked my interest in underwater archaeology. The HMS Pandora was the British ship sent by the Navy to track down the mutineers on the famous Bounty. It hit the great Barrier Reef and sank. Two hundred years later it was discovered and has been answering questions and throwing up new ones ever since excavation started.
When I saw video footage of the divers searching for artefacts I had my lightbulb moment: I could couple my love of history with diving and wear a bikini to the office if I became a maritime archaeologist. I signed up to do an MA and spent an amazing summer diving on an ancient harbour in warm, Maltese waters.