In 1991 I married my husband and we decided to start our family. I must have harboured some kind of daft idea that I would have a baby, put it in a papoose and carry on pretty much as before with my acting career. Not surprisingly it didn't quite work out that way. I hadn't realised quite how powerful mother-love is. I had five children in six years, working only very briefly during this time. I now live in Bedfordshire with my husband and my children. I love antique fairs, collect kitchenalia, paint in watercolour, and am a signer for the deaf (BSL). My house is in a constant state of disarray but I make great cakes, write books and no one seems to mind.
UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT!
I think authors must have their brains wired differently from other people because anything and everything has the potential to spark an idea which will eventually become a book.
Often it’s a combination of things. For example, my heroine in ‘Accepting the Boss’s Proposal’ is a single mum who’s struggling to pick up her life after her husband traded her in for a new and improved model. Sadly, that’s a situation several of my girlfriends are currently in and I know that influenced my creation of Jemima. The choice of Myles’s car came about because I read a magazine in the hairdressers’.
Books are a real melting pot of ideas. And, more often than not, I reckon it’s better not to think too much about where ideas come from. It’s magic!
What makes you mad?
I’ve become a real ‘grumpy old woman’. So much makes me mad.
- Dog owners who don’t clear up after their pet.
- Teenagers who spit on the ground.
- Blogger not accepting my pictures.
- Shop assistants who carry on their own conversations when there are customers waiting.
- Lazy reporters who use Mills & Boon as a generic term for all that’s bad in romantic fiction.
- So much plastic packaging round food in supermarkets.
- Inconsiderate parking.
- Being left hanging on the telephone – then having to speak to someone who doesn’t speak English and can’t possibly help me.
- People who drop litter.
- People who jump a queue.
- Filling out my tax return.
- In fact, filling out any government form.
- Supermarket trolleys with wonky wheels.
I could go on …
What’s the most romantic thing that has ever happened to you?
The most romantic times have been the unexpected and ‘fun’ ones.
I’ve loved eating chips from paper cone on a beach front where horse and carriage owners were racing across the sand. Or the time I ate a hot roast beef and stilton baguette on the roof of a narrow boat. Maybe even the time I sat on the step of the Stephensdom in Vienna …
It’s more about the person you’re with, I think – and the way they made you feel.
What in a hero makes you drool?
Glinting eyes and long artistic fingers are my personal preference. I also like to feel that he’d be the kind of man standing in the heroine’s corner whatever life throws at them.If you weren’t a writer what would you be?
I don’t honestly know at this point. My husband’s cancer has returned to pay us another visit so I suspect I wouldn’t be doing anything much. Longer term I may have pursued the idea of being an interpreter for the deaf and combined that with theatre.
What do you do to relax and wind down?
A glass of wine, a great book and a long soak in a hot bubble bath is my first choice.
How do you get out of a writing rut?
Have a sleep. Often I just need to give my subconscious time to work.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
Who would you most like to give a hug to for a fabulous book you've read?
Jessica Hart for ‘The Convenient Fiancee’. It was the first Mills & Boon book I ever read and, I can honestly say, it changed my perception of category fiction and consequently my life.
What music do you listen to when writing?
None. I find it very distracting.
Tell us a secret nobody knows about you?
No. Not doing it. It's a secret...
What was your most embarrassing moment?
It’s difficult to choose one just one, but I think it has to be the time I fell out of my dress during a matinee performance of ‘Taming of the Shrew’.
I was playing ‘The Widow’ in a winch-me-in pop-out-the-top dress and, during a celebratory dance when both my hands were held by other actors, I did just that – popped out the top. Which left me in a bit of a quandary. Either I had to draw attention to myself by pulling my hands out of theirs to deal with the problem. Or I had to pretend all was well and finish the dance.
So, I decided to finish the dance. Only, as we formed a pretty circle, one of the actors whispered, ‘Don’t worry, darling. We’re not looking.’ V- e-r-y embarrassing I thought! And that’s not even beginning to think about the audience.
That’s a difficult one. This year has been hard. But I’m hugely proud of my children and what they’ve achieved. I’m also thrilled to be one of the authors launching the new ‘Romance’ line.
What’s beside your computer when you’re writing?
The cooker timer – so I don’t forget the school pick-up.
A fan – because it’s been a hot summer.
A mug of coffee – because I have an addiction.
A print-out of what I’ve written so far – I’m a tidy kind of writer and I like what I’ve already got to be kind-of tight before I move on.
If you could kiss anyone in the world who would it be?
Discounting the person I can kiss anytime I want – I’m going to choose Alan Rickman because he has the sexiest voice of any man I’ve ever heard. Or maybe Johnny Depp because I reckon that would be fun. Or Hugh Jackman because we’ve been talking about him so much!
What are you working on now?Willow’s Story. She’s a bad girl come good … and I really,
really like her. If I were casting her in a film I would give the role to Sienna Miller and I’m letting Luke Wilson and Hugh
Jackman fight it out for the role of Daniel.
Natasha would love for you to visit her at her websiteor her Blog
And for more about her new book, check out her publisher's website.
And watch this space Pink Heart-er's 'cos we have some Huge Names from the world of Category Romance coming your way in October!!!!