My Literary Inspiration - Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May never walked the ordinary path, and though much of herself was reflected in Jo March, she was a spectacular woman in her own right; one of the early feminists, she worked as a nurse in the civil war, took opium and wrote lurid pulp fiction in order to pay her family's bills - something that was severely frowned upon in those days, in much the same way that writing erotica can be sniffed at now.
Whenever one of those inevitable rejection slips arrives, I simply think of Louisa May and Jo, smile, and pick up my pen once more. In fact, my beautiful daughter has even been given the middle name Louisa in honour of her.
My Musical Inspiration - Ginger of the Wildhearts
No word of a lie - this man kept me going through the darkest times of my life, both with his inspirational lyrics and with the very kind words that he spared for a tearful and lost girl. Despite a very hectic and well-chronicled private life, he always makes time for his fans, and that in itself deserves praise regardless of the brilliance of the songs that he writes.
The quote that he shared with me is one from Winston Churchill, one that he told me he often turns to himself when things seem to be at their worst. "When you're going through hell, just keep going." And really, that's all you can do, isn't it?
And finally, the lyrics of Ginger's that I love the most. "Only those who know how to rock know when to roll."
I've always loved a bad boy, and Lucius Malfoy is nothing if not that. Jason Isaacs's portrayal of him in the films is chilling and superb, and since first seeing him on screen, my - ahem - muse has taken his form in my dreams. In fact, my first serious forays into writing were in the fan fiction genre at the age of seventeen. The files are still on my hard drive, and although my writing has matured and improved greatly since then, I still love to look back through the tales that I created and draw inspiration from them.
On A Lighter Note
My weakness for red wine and Jack Daniels is known by most of you now, I guess! However, my other favourite drink is nowhere near as rock 'n' roll. Cream sherry.
It's the favourite tipple of old women up and down the country.
I love it, and I enjoy many a guilty glass or two. Red wine will always be my first love, but cream sherry is the secret lover that I turn to in the middle of the night.
I have an embarrassingly large stash of Yankee Candle tarts. No joke, I have a scent for every occasion.
And finally, this is the castle and estate that I have the very great fortune to live less than a mile away from. There are few sights as inspirational in my local area, and I love nothing more when I have a few hours to myself than to sneak off there with my notebook and pen, curl up under the trees and scribble away.
So, there we are. You know a lot more about me than you did ten minutes ago. I wonder how much of it surprised you?