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As a full-time writer with a (albeit momentarily dormant) thing for travelling, one of the questions I’m asked the most is ‘how’. How did I make the change from my 9-5 to this, how much money do I make, how how how. This time around, I was asked by Do What You Love For Life, an inspirational lifestyle blog that encourages people to do exactly what the name suggests.

Check out my article here, and let me know what you think!

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Not long to go now until Wanderlust is released, and I’m SO excited, not to mention nervous. It’s going through the final stages of editing, but I thought I’d share the updated character bios and blurb. What do you think? You can click on each image to enlarge it.

So the lovely folk at WordPress reminded me this morning that my website is three years old today! How is that even possible? Maybe this is what parents mean when they say time goes so quickly. I remember when I first started, I was worried nobody would even find the site and now, I’ve got over 2,000 followers – totally cray-cray!

To make the day even more special, Becca’s Books, kindly did a cover reveal this morning, for Wanderlust. It’ll be released this summer and is book 2 of the Pull series. I cannot WAIT for this one 🙂

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When Selina gets dumped in a viral YouTube video, there’s only one thing she can do: withdraw her savings, quit her temping job and leave. Vowing never to fall for guys like her ex again, she swaps London for Ibiza and finds herself volunteering in Colinas Verde. With its alternative, relaxed lifestyle, sunny skies and deep blue sea, it’s the perfect place to start her backpacking adventure and forget the humiliation she left behind. If only it weren’t for Alex.

Berlin born Alex is travelling solo, and with good reason. In the wake of a promising rock climbing career cut short due to injury, he’s left a trail of disappointment and broken hearts behind him. Determined not to make the same mistakes again, he opted to volunteer in sleepy Colinas Verde over hedonistic Southern Ibiza and with only one week left, it was a choice that paid off, until Selina showed up.

New housemates Selina and Alex are both determined to change, but in a place where people come and go and relationships are intense, old habits die hard.

Two backpackers. One week. What happens in Ibiza…

So I read an interesting blog post on Becca’s Books yesterday. It was asking whether fictional romance gives readers unrealistic expectations when it comes to love. My answer was that it did, without a doubt. But it wasn’t a simple yes/no answer. I don’t know how many films I’d watched or books I’d read when I thought to myself ‘Yeah, yeah. Whatever. That would never happen in real life.’ That’s why they’re in fiction, right? But then I realised, I’m a writer, and I write about love. And I’m adding to this problem. I felt a flash of guilt, but it didn’t last long. The reason? Because things like that do exist.

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Ok, so we now know that this photo was of two random people kissing in the street and not an actual couple, and ok, movie-like love doesn’t happen to everyone every day. I’m a skeptic about most things, but not when it comes to love. This is why I love my job, because I don’t think love is something you should compromise on.

In Together Apart, Adam loves Sarah without question. Even as he begins to uncover her past, it’s a love that never waivers. Does he like her all the time? No. She’s a pain in the ass, a secretive woman who’s broken his heart, but he still loves her. And in my new book, Love You Better, there’s Smith, the guy who was just plain awful, someone you should most definitely steer clear of, and yet, he still manages to get under Effie’s skin.

To me, the art of writing anything with a love story in it, is that it has to be realistic. Yes, readers want escapism, but they also want something they can aspire to. And what makes a great love story great, is that in the end, the couple are together despite everything that gets thrown at them. They don’t have to organise a flashmob in Central station, or fly halfway around the world before they realise they’re in love to do it.

What made the answer to the question posed in the blog more grey than black and white, was that I’m now in one of those relationships. Remember my post about falling in love while travelling? Being honest, that post was the skeptic in me, the part of me that has this ‘yeah, yeah, whatever’ reaction to the standard romance novel/romcom happy ending. What happened after I wrote that post, was that he went off to Nepal as planned, while I went to Thailand. I never dared to dream that he would join me in Thailand afterwards, or that we would travel to Cambodia together. And I definitely didn’t dare to imagine that I’d be invited to go to his brother’s wedding the week after we both landed back in our home countries, let alone visit his hometown. But that’s what happened, and that’s where I am as I write this post – in Germany, sitting in his mum’s garden while he does some DIY.

I can’t tell you how many times I’d get frustrated with the Hollywood happy ending when I’d date guys who’d cheat, go back to their exes or just drop off the face of the earth. It seemed too realistic to imagine ‘romance’ as it was in the books I loved being real, until I found myself in the situation myself.

And that’s why I’ll continue to write the stories I do. To me, these stories should be something to aspire to, whether we get them or not, instead of something to keep us down and believe that happiness is something that only happens in fiction.

After all, isn’t there a famous quote that to be a good writer, you should write what you know? So, yeah. Expect more of these stories from me. And I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry.

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So, I’ve just realised, it’s April. Already! That means it’s my birthday month, Easter, and spring time. Yay! It also means I’ve only got 2, maximum 3 months to get my second instalment of Pull ready. Balls.

I’ve met so many people who’ve got glossy eyed when I tell them I’m a writer. They all say the same thing – how great it must be to write and travel at the same time. And they’re right, it is great. It’s just that time doesn’t really exist while you’re travelling. On one hand, everything is super slow and chilled. The biggest dilemma of the day might be deciding where to have breakfast that day before lounging around all day. On the the other hand, everything goes so fast. I’ll be home in under a month – where have the last 4 months gone?

The inspiration for Pull is already there. The idea is there, I just need to get it out and on the one hand, being surrounded by scenery like this is pretty much most writers’ dream.

On the other hand, I don’t want to miss it by being stuck behind a laptop screen all day. It’s taken me the best part of 4 hours just to get this blog post done – the internet was sketchy and it seems that whenever I do get some precious time to do anything work related, my laptop decides it wants to throw a hissyfit.

Still. I’m not complaining.