What is your favorite part about writing The Sheikh’s Bought Wife?
I felt very fortunate with this particular story because it almost seemed to write itself. Both characters came to me fully formed and were eager to tell their story. I must add that this does not happen very often!
What was challenging about writing this book?
The challenging part was in making an outrageous and misogynistic hero come good at the end. Also, it was crucial to the story that Jane really did fall in love with Zayed, because he is the kind of man she despises. But then she gets to know him…
How would you describe the relationship between Zayed and Jane?
I would describe Zayed and Jane’s relationship as tempestuous. He is a playboy and she is a prude. He loves sex and she’s never had sex. They are both distrustful around each other but then the layers begin to get peeled away and what you are left with is a red-hot love-affair which was never intended to happen.
How did you come up with their names? Do they mean anything specific?
Character names are very important to me and this book was no different in that respect. One of the meanings of Zayed is “in abundance” and I thought that was very appropriate because he certainly has lots of things in abundance….sex appeal, money & land, for starters. The one things he’s never had is love.
Jane was chosen specifically because the heroine is plain – but of course, by the end of the book we discover that she is the most beautiful woman in the world in the eyes of her Sheikh!
How long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I sometimes spend weeks mulling over an idea and once it has grown I try to add to it. I go and watch films and read books and magazines. Whichever country I use (or invent) for the story, I then try to immerse myself in it. Often, I use only a fraction of the things I’ve researched but the knowledge I’ve gained helps inform my writing.
How long does it typically take for you to write a book?
I write four books for Harlequin every year, for the best-selling Presents imprint.
If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
I would be a potter! I absolutely love working with clay.
When did you first realize that you wanted to be writer?
When I was about seven years old my teachers always used to read my stories out loud. I discovered that writing was the thing I was best at – and, even better – I loved it. I still do.
What is your favorite thing about writing romance?
I love creating characters and conflict and inventing a different world every time I write a book. Bringing two warring lovers together for a dramatic and mutually satisfying ending to their story is a great feeling.
What book are you currently reading right now?
I’m reading THIS MUST BE THE PLACE, by Maggie O’ Farrell – who is the most superb writer and comes from Ireland (where my mother was born). I am also reading ITALIAN IN 30 DAYS, because I’m supposed to be learning the language at evening class. I’m not very good but I try!