Hello Lovely Readers & Book Lovers! Today I thought I'd take a few minutes to answer some of your questions about The Rules Series. It's been a while since I first wrote it and I'm super excited to announce that I will soon be adding it to Radish! The first book, Broken Rules, was released all the way back in September 2015 - when I was only twenty-five. I like to believe my writing has improved since then but I still hold a soft spot for Landon & Aurora. Without further ado, on to the questions!
What inspired you to write The Rules Series?
A ton of things. My own family for one. The Stone family remind me of my family quite a bit. I grew up with my own list of rules but I was a tad more rebellious than Aurora. Rules are important. We make them for good reason but if we’re not careful we can let them ruin everything. They can hold us back from all the amazing things this world has to offer including love. Other people’s expectations can be the worst for that but Rules is all about realising that you have a choice – you can let those expectations keep you back or you can take on the rules that mean something to you whilst doing whatever you want with the rest. Rules is also about realising that some people are worth throwing the rule book away.
Who is your favourite character from The Rules Series?
I’m not sure I can pick just one. I love Tallulah and I can’t wait to write her story. She’s hurt and a little bit broken right now but she’s so bubbly and happy that you can’t help but love her. Aileen’s one of my favourites too, Aurora’s sister. We learn a lot about Aileen in this serial novel. She’s rebellious and independent. As for the guys, I actually really love Mr Stone, especially when we see him with his daughters Aurora and Aileen.
Why do rules matter so much to Aurora and Landon?
Aurora and Landon have completely different reasons for their rules. Aurora has grown up with her list of rules. For her it’s all about her family’s expectations and making them proud. She lets their expectations hold her back until she meets Landon and she realises that she’s been so busy meeting everyone elses’ expectations that’s she’s completely missed her own. As for Landon, his rules are a bit different. He likes distance and control. He doesn’t get attached or fall in love. I’ll let you learn his reasons for yourself.
What motivated you to become an author?
Writing isn't about money... it isn't about getting rich... or famous... it's about sharing the words in your heart. Those words are important... they mean something. In fact you could say they mean everything. Every story I write comes from a thought, a memory, an idea, an experience that for some reason I feel is worth sharing.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Flip. I have no idea. I usually just get out of bed and don't really think about it. The thing I look forward to most each day is definitely writing though. It's rare that it's the first thing I get to do that day but it's usually the favourite part of my day.
'He's a sight to behold, like a thunderstorm on the beach, commanding and devastating in his ability to take control of everything around him.'
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love reading. I usually read romance. I have a bit of a habit of getting so lost in the books I read that I forget to eat, sleep, live... for whole days at a time I can get lost in books until someone drags me out of my reading space.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Discovering books can be an absolute joy. A lot of the books I read are from authors that I have grown attached to, but I'm also a follower of a lot of authors on twitter so I get to hear about new books from indie authors quite easily.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
In an English class at school I wrote a short story about Jack The Ripper... I write Romance now but I started with a prostitute, a knife and a murder...
What is your writing process?
I'm not sure I'd call it a process. I tend to write a chapter or two, read something else for a while, re-read and edit those chapters and then continue with the next few chapters before taking another break. It's a bit random but I always edit before continuing with the next fresh bit of my book, so that I know my starting place.
'He loves the idea that he's corrupted an angel. I'm not an angel. I'm not perfect, but there's no telling him that. It scares me a bit that one day he's going to work it out and then I can't help but wonder what he'll see in me. What will he see when he realises that I'm just Aurora and I don't have wings.'
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Dr Seuss was my favourite childhood author; I pretty much lived on his books. Then as I grew up a bit, it was Meg Cabot and JK Rowling. Then Jane Austen. I think we like books but you can fall in love with an author's style of writing.
Describe your desk
I sit with my laptop on my lap in front of the TV, in bed, on the train, in the garden... my dogs are my writing companions too. They often try to lie across my laptop or underneath it. I only very occasionally actually sit at my desk.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Scotland but live in England. I'm not sure if it influences my writing; except that I refuse to use any americanisms. I spell mum as mum not mom and I use an S when Americans use a Z. I put British phrases in my books like, "jolly good" and I love it when my characters call people "pillocks."
When did you first start writing?
I've only been writing romance for the last year. Before that I'd engaged in a bit of Fanfiction writing as a teenager but nothing more exciting than that.
The fourth book in the series is a little different, what's it about?
A Secret Melody is about Landon's little sister. A lot of readers asked for her story after reading about her and so I couldn't refuse. There's no happy ever after for Melody but she's definitely a character that needed her story told.
'I'm a drowning man getting my first burst of oxygen at the surface of the darkest, most cavernous ocean imaginable.'
The Rules Series is a part of a bigger saga. Tell us about it.
Hanleigh's London is a saga of books that are all based in the city of London with for the most part British characters. So far there are four series, but there are definitely more to come. So far we have; Rules, History, Intimacy & Fate.
What do you plan to write next?
I'm moving off course for a while with my next book. It isn't a part of the Hanleigh's London Saga. It's a Paranormal Vampire book and I'm super excited about it. I've always wanted to write about a vampire! INSTINCT is going to be amazing! Fingers crossed.
'There's not another person on the planet that I'd willingly give control to because none of them could possibly keep me grounded the way she does.'
You mentioned Radish?
I'm going to publishing some of my back catalog on Radish, a mobile reading platform as well as some exclusive (only available on Radish) serials. If you haven't got the app, now is the time to get it. If you mostly read online, then it's a great app to add to your collection. The Rules Series will be the first thing I add, very very soon.
Do you have anything in common with Aurora, your main character in The Rules Series?
Yes. A lot. I love wearing Ralph Lauren jeans... My go to drink is Tequila on a night out. I love a man in a suit. I enjoy singing (although I'm terrible at piano - even though I've had lessons). I have a sister (technically I have four).
'Control is just an illusion; there is no control. It's all random mishaps and coincidences. Don't delude yourself. Just be grateful for the monumental moments.'
Can you believe you've been writing for almost five years?
No. It's crazy. It seems completely insane to think that people have actually been buying my books for five years too. That's what's really mad. I might not be hugely famous or anything but the fact that even one person pre-orders my books still amazes me!
Do you have a favourite book boyfriend?
Gosh... I have too many to count. One of my all time favourites is Mr Thornton from North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell. That's probably my favourite book too.
Do your friends and family know you're an author?
Yes. Mostly. My family all know and some close friends know too. Although that's a recent development to be honest. I tried to keep it a secret for as long as possible. Unfortunately, once my gran knew, the whole world seemed to find out.
How many books have you written so far?
Is it bad that I don't know the number off the top of my head? I literally have to count them on my fingers whenever someone asks. There are sixteen books in the Hanleigh's London saga as of this month, two in the Kumari's Kitsune series and one in the Lust & Lyrics series. So... that's nineteen!
I'm only one book off twenty. That's another reason why INSTINCT is so exciting for me. It's a bit of a milestone...
Do you have any pets?
I have two dogs; Manny & Missy and a whole tank full of tropical fish. I really want to get some ducklings but everyone thinks I'm crazy. I don't understand why. I think ducklings are a perfectly normal sort of pet to keep.
Do you have a favourite quote from The Rules Series?
I have at least two. It's hard to settle on one. There's one about being blinded by the light of the sun that I love. And there's another about the immensity of love, comparing it to the ocean. It's ironic sort of because I'm actually a little bit scared of the ocean. Growing up, I really wanted to be a Marine Biologist - that was until I realised just how intimidating the ocean was.
Do you have any rules yourself?
I have a few. I never go back. If it's over, it's over. I guess you could say I'm a bit unforgiving. I just don't see the point in being hurt twice. I'd have to seriously love someone to even consider going back. Never say never though. Rules were made to be broken.
'Believe me when I say that once you've been blinded by the light of the sun, you can no longer enjoy the stars. They just no longer hold your gaze.'
Have you had your own great all encompassing love?
No. I don't think I've ever been in love. I've cared for the guys I've dated but I don't think I've ever really loved them. Not enough.
The Rules Series is just the beginning, but it's where we recommend you start if you're new to Hanleigh's books. It would be great if you'd one click the series today!
You can either buy the four books individually or purchase the box set for slightly less money. Either way, this series is one you definitely don't want to miss. Especially if you love your CEOs with a sexy accent and your heroines strong & independent.
Don't forget to follow this blog for more updates. Add your own questions to the comments and I will be sure to answer them!
Happy Reading Guys! I'll be back tomorrow with more awesomeness!