I've always had a vivid imagination and lived in a fantasy world, because it was better than the one I actually lived in. I got straight 'A's in English with no effort and I'm a great storyteller but never imagined being a writer.
My life has been unusual compared to what I call 'normal people' and I always felt like I didn't fit in anywhere. I'm a bit of a loner and for the main part of my life my head was stuck in books. Healthy escapism.
I desperately wanted to be Russian, a gymnast or a ballerina and my obsession with Russian men is a common theme throughout my books. I also wanted to be saved and created 'The Island' in primary school as a place I could live and be safe by my protectors. I have to say the story has since changed since then but the premise is the same as are the main characters.
Growing up I was inspired by Jilly Cooper, her raunchy books and Martina Cole, the violence and underworld, more recently I love JR Ward and her vampire porn books. I'm a little in love with 'V' aka Vishous, the ultimate bad boy.
Sadly, life doesn't always turn out as you could have imagined or planned. My life spun out of control early on, trauma, anorexia, self harm, suicide attempts, bad relationships, death, mental illness and addiction took everything away from me.
I didn't become successful, beautiful, rich or someone who really mattered. I became a zombie, trapped in a world I couldn't escape, I lost the ability to read, over medicated, drug induced, struggling to speak, never mind live. But I tried, every day to be someone, only to feel like nothing.
My only escape was to disappear back into 'The Island' where I lived two lives for decades. It consumed me, sometimes I got confused which world I was in, then after a particularly bad breakdown, I confessed to my psychiatrist what was going on. I was scared to tell him in case he took it away from me, my only safe place.
Surprisingly, he asked if I could turn 'The Island' into a book, as a way of separating the two worlds in my mind. He'd followed my writing and felt it would be good therapy.
I started writing and didn't stop until I went over 2 million words, in 8 months. I used so much of my life in them but also characters I knew, events that actually happened and my imagination ran riot with the rest.
My readers constantly try to work out the true bits and the fabricated. They are shocked every time when I say 'no that bit happened'
It started as therapy but I loved writing them, twisting the storylines and the characters, the drama, the excitement and hearing that people read them and loved them. That it was different from anything else they'd ever read.
Some scenes are brutal and harrowing, others still make me laugh. At times I was finally living a life I wanted but through words, a mixture of fantasy and reality.
I've not just touched, but gone into great detail of sensitive subjects people don't like to talk about. Readers get in touch to say my books have helped them come to terms with their own experiences. I answer everyone who gets in touch and offer support.
18th September 2019 became the day my life changed forever, I lost my precious boy Bodhi and went through the most devastating time, my life stopped with his. I could only go two ways, die and be with him again or survive without him. With a lot of help I finally got clean from drugs, came off the psychiatric medication and somehow I'm still here.
My head hasn't been in the game since then, antipsychotics shut your brain down, I was taking them for 20 years. I had to take a break from writing but slowly, the lights are coming back on. I'm managing to write a little each day and I'm so enthusiastic about my new books coming out, hopefully in 2020.
I promise they will be outrageous, featuring strong, beautiful women, damaged like the rest of us, who overcome their demons and give hope to us all. There will be drama, violence and sexy men, what else? Hmm twists, turns and page turners.
A lot is based on real life again, I can assure you that I have never been an assassin or tortured someone to death but hey, you never know what the future holds...
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