A part of me still can’t believe this is happening! Mischief Maker is not only published tomorrow, but we go on a (virtual) tour as well!
I’m beyond happy to be on some amazing blogs, check them out if you’re interested!
I’ve written in lots of different genres, horror, fantasy, contemporary; all usually with a dash of romance and a smudging of angst. I adore creating fantasy worlds and characters, but I find I always write myself in knots and when the going gets tough, I let the slutty new idea lure me away.
2018 was a year to try something different. To knuckle down and actually write the contemporary romance I’d spoken to with my friends (The Five). I’d had a tough few years at work which completely sucked my creativity and my ability to read and trying to get back into writing and reading was tough going–it still is to be honest, but it’s getting better. I changed day jobs, now have good people surrounding me and I can finally breathe easier.
So with a slight nudge from The Five I decided to write something I wouldn’t have to create from the ground up–not to say it was easier, but it meant I didn’t tangle myself up quite so much and so my Animal Lark series was born. A series of contemporary m/m romance novels that are linked through a group of friends and the crazy but cute animals they share their lives with.
I have to say that it was just what I needed to unlock the creative dam. The first in the series was fun to write; and as I’m sure you’ve already guessed if you’ve read previous posts–I do like to write about cute rats!
It’s not that I won’t go back to the fantasy novels that I’m half way through–the characters in them are much to loud and annoying to ever let me ignore them, but while their worlds and stories steep at the back of my mind, I get to write fun contemporary romance set in a make believe town somewhere in the Staffordshire Countryside. And that is kind of awesome.
Or stories anyway. There were a lot in our family.
My childhood was always a place of imagination, play and stories. While my dad would read books to us, The Witches by Roald Dahl a particular favourite of mine (I can still remember how much I laughed when the chef cut the tip of the mouse-boy’s tail).
But my mom; she is the one who would make up stories. As I’ve already written about in a previous post, there were the stories of bogey monsters, of turning into werewolves and howling at the moon, but there was another story. One about ‘The Olden Days’. That weird, obscure time from before I even existed. I could barely get my head around such a thing!
I’d ask what it was like back in the olden days and she would tell me, in detail how our family lived before I was born.
Back in the olden days when everyone had coal fires lots of people worked down the mines. Including children. In fact, my whole family worked in the mines, my older brother and sister, my mom and dad. Then one awful day there was a cave in and unable to get out my family had to eat rats (rats seem to feature in many of my childhood memories) and then they had to dig themselves out with spoons. It was very difficult and took them an awfully long time which is why they had to eat the rats, otherwise they’d starve!
I pretty much pictured them living in The Black Country Museum (a living museum with Victorian houses, a canal, and Victorian style shops and school houses)
It was a miracle that they all got out of that cave in to live to tell the tale. The whole family was in on it, each of them adding a small detail and backing each other up.
I should be lucky that none of us needed to work down the mine anymore, and I got to go to school. I believed this story wholeheartedly, until one niggling doubt took root…where was my brother’s best friend in all of this? (He’d stayed at ours for a week one holiday and I felt he should be in these stories as he was practically family now.)
Not one to miss a beat, my mother told me that my brother’s friend was the pit pony–which in my mind made complete and utter sense and all doubts went away. Of course Aaron was the pit pony!
When I was ten we visited Somerset, England. I was out shopping with my parents and we saw a punk with a green Mohican and a huge white rat on his shoulder. I was completely amazed and became intrigued by them ever since. I’d had hamsters before, but they definitely wouldn’t ride my shoulder like that!
Then a friend got a rat when we were about 12 and I got to hold him and really see how wonderful they were.
I was 15 when I finally got my first pair of rats (not featured above because this was before I had the internet, and I’ve got no photos on the computer!). I’ve had them as pets on and off ever since. I’ve had them from petshops, breeds, rescues, and they’ve all been such fantastic pets.
They make such wonderful, loving pets that want to play, have cuddles and eat treats. I had rats during my second year of university and they were so sweet natured that my flatmate who was scared of rats fell in love with them.
If anyone is thinking of getting a rodent as a pet, then rats are so interactive, and so sweet.
My current rat, Asher sits on the sofa with me and gives lots of cuddles when I’m writing or watching TV. He loves food, especially banana chips.
My poor dapper crow doesn’t look too happy about his Christmas hat. He thinks he looks like a Chicken (better that than a turkey!)
Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton