I was recently interviewed by the official Wattpad profile for Romance and discussed Currents, my writing habits and inspiration.
You can read the official interview here and below.
We’re so glad you’ve agreed to this! Our first question is pretty generic to all, but what inspired you to write “Currents”?
The idea came to me during my third year of university when I lived in Italy. I was regularly flying back to the U.K. and daydreaming about what it would be like to travel in business class rather than economy. It inspired me to write about a character whose lifestyle was vastly different to mine, but I wanted to put her in a situation where she was out of her comfort zone, despite all the comforts that money can theoretically bring.
It’s great that you’ve managed to do that, we love that the character is out of her comfort zone seeking more to life than material things. We’re looking forward to finding out where it goes! What did you learn whilst writing this book?
From a writing perspective, I learnt how to plan! Currents was the first story I planned, and it helped me to stay on track with updates, beat writer’s block and structure my plot. I started with a beginning, middle and end, and then I filled out the chapters in between – very basic but it worked well for me. There were certain key scenes that I’d had in my head right from the start, and planning meant I could organise my thoughts and link everything together. I’ve been a dedicated planner ever since, and now use OneNote to flesh out my stories more thoroughly, so I’d definitely say it had an impact on my approach to writing in general.
In terms of sharing the story on Wattpad, I loved engaging with readers. I was incredibly fortunate in that Currents picked up momentum quickly (much faster than my previous stories), and so I spent time replying to each comment, every day. I learnt exactly what readers liked to see in my chapters, and it was very important to me that they knew how much I appreciated their feedback.
Planning sometimes is the best way to go. And we have noticed how you’ve also managed to thank your readers with dedications and responses in your book! That’s a wonderful way to engage with your readers. We’d like to know what inspired your main character Rosalie?
Rosalie has grown up in an environment very focused on image, so I wanted to create a character that challenges the very idea of “judging a book by its cover”. On the outside, she’s the queen bee with a lovely boyfriend and a promising future ahead of her. But, in reality, she’s insecure in her relationship and unhappy about the direction her life is taking. I think even if you can’t relate to Rosalie’s lifestyle, a lot of people can relate to putting on a brave face, worrying what others think, or trying to fit in when you’re out of your comfort zone. That’s how I came to create Rosalie — I felt she was a good combination of different but familiar.
She certainly is something else. Personally, we related to Rosalie a lot. There were many parts of her live that hit close to home where we were reminded how difficult it actually is and you’ve managed to portray that very well! What inspired your book’s theme? How did you end up coming up with such a relatable Elite and Socialite environment?
Thank you! The elite and socialite environment was partly inspired by a reality TV show that’s popular here in the U.K., called Made In Chelsea. It follows a group of young, wealthy Londoners as they navigate friendships and romances. Whenever I watched it, I couldn’t help thinking, “Wow, how the other half lives!” But even though they shopped in designer stores, had extravagant parties and could afford to go on luxurious holidays with just a few days’ notice, a lot of their problems were the same as everybody else’s.
We’ll have a look at that TV Show then! This book did remind me of Gossip Girl as well, and in a good way. Tell us more about the Lifeguard (we love to refer to Brent that way), he’s our favorite character and with such a tragic past? Was he inspired from a real life person?
I agree, there are some Gossip Girl vibes! Brent wasn’t inspired by anyone from real life. I knew I wanted a beach as one of the main settings in the story, and having a lifeguard there whose background and personality would clash with the protagonist’s was a dynamic I was keen to explore. Rosalie is very much used to people falling at her feet and wanting to impress her, whereas Brent had no interest in doing that! It comes back to judgment again—Brent was very quick to judge Rosalie without knowing anything about her, but he has a past that influences his behaviour, too.
Yes, we’ve noticed that Brent is very judgey and slightly hypocritical too. But the realism is what made us like him! What do you think happens to the characters after the book has ended? What possible problems could they face?
So without giving away any spoilers for those who haven’t read it, I wanted to make sure that the ending also showed how far the characters have come in their own personal journeys. Both Brent and Rosalie had pushed themselves out of their comfort zones during the book, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a switch has flipped and they’re now totally cool with those challenges they’ve faced. A different way of thinking, a different job, a different town, and a different kind of relationship are all big changes that will take time to fully come to terms with, so they’d still have to work on that after the book ends. Rosalie is also just about to start uni, so that’s a whole other lifestyle/environment for her to navigate!
Let’s focus a little bit on you now, when did you first realize you wanted to become a writer? And how long does it usually take you to finish a book?
I can’t actually remember a specific moment when I first realised I wanted to become a writer. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember — even as a child, I would get up extra early so I had time to write before school! When I wasn’t writing, I was thinking about writing. It’s always been part of who I am. I’ve always felt like I’ve had characters living in my head who needed to have their story told. It usually takes me about a year to write a book. With Currents, I was in my final year of university at the time so had to juggle studying with writing. That posed challenges, but having planned it out beforehand helped me to keep on track with updates because I could spend the time actually writing the chapters rather than thinking about what needed to happen.
It always helps when you know what you want to write down. I think I’m going to give planning out my stories before hand a try! What is your favorite word and why? Also, What’s a fun fact about you that your readers might not be able to come across your profile or from reading your books?
Favourite word — that’s a tough one! I love serendipitous, both as a word and for its definition. As for a fun fact, I once spent a summer in Costa Rica doing voluntary turtle conservation work, which was an amazing experience.
Wow, turtle conservation work sounds amazing! This draws our interview to a close. Is there anything else that you would like to share with the readers?
It really was amazing! I don’t think so — thank you so much for the interview!
You can read Currents for free here.