Questions posed by FB friends: 
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What inspires you? - Can be anything from a chance-heard phrase, a picture [not necessarily of a sexy man or two *g*], a feeling, the kind of dream that's like watching a movie. Sometimes, and those are the most awesome times, at least one of the characters appears out of the blue, right *there*, virtually in front of me, and presents me with the opening scene of the book. Then I have to work out all the necessary background details, of course. And that little thing called plot *g*. Xavi [Fool's Odyssey trilogy] has done that to me three times.

Do you take a notepad with you wherever you go? - Yes. Notebook and pen, as well as a small net-book for when I have access to a wifi hotspot. And usually a camera as well. There's always a pad and pen beside my bed as well. Writing is a compulsion, something I've felt the need to do since I was a kid, so I'm well and truly in the habit of being prepared. So much so, that if I have to leave the tools of the trade behind for some reason, I tend to get twitchy...


How do you keep everything straight? Especially when you have characters from different books fighting for attention. - I keep all my Work In Progress stories and ideas in their own folder - notes, maps, family trees, other cast members, locations, research sidelines and websites, photos, rough drafts, all filed under the story title. I also have a paper file for the maps and town and house plans I draw myself. Not all my stories are set in real places.

Pushy characters demanding attention are real pains in the ass, and it's easy to end up with a mental log-jam of conflicting ideas. The only way I've found that *sometimes* works, is to make notes on what they have to say, then file it in their own folder, and promise them I'll get back to them as soon as I've finished the story I'm working on.

How do you feel when it comes time to end the story? Sad? Happy? Relieved? - All of the above *g*.

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Fool's Rush from Manifold Press

Xavi has changed - oh, how he has changed! But how much has he learned - about life, about himself, about what - and who - he needs?

Third in the Fool Trilogy - Father Esteve hires Xavi to trace the true owners of the gold found in the crypt of San Pedro-by-the-Wall, but it's an old and tangled web. Someone has an agenda and a rising tide of anti-vampire reaction sweeps Barcelona. It's focused on Xavi and Andreas, which causes additional problems with the vampires of Renaissance. Then Xavi meets a handsome young man who isn't all he seems, and that's when things become really complicated... 

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Excerpt 
September 2042 

Chapter One 
144 Las Bolas Street and Las Ramblas, Barcelona; 
Renaissance, Begues, and San Pedro-by-the-Wall, Barcelona 

The balcony was secluded, not that Xavi gave a damn if half of Barcelona watched him work on his all-over tan. His body was good and he knew it. But exhibitionism wasn't entirely why he was stretched out oiled and naked in the sun. Maintaining the bronze that emphasized the sleekness of his muscles was no longer as simple as it had been, especially since he refused to go for the easy and painless option of a fake tan. Fake was exactly that; he preferred the real thing. Exposure needed to be finely judged, though. Death by sunlight wouldn't be immediate, unlike the movie and TV stereotype. With care, Xavi could endure the rays. Clothing, of course, offered protection. So did sunblock, which was why he was lying there wearing neither. Xavi would be relatively safe as long as he remained conscious. Leaving it too long, until he passed out, would guarantee there'd be no second chance.

He wasn't a masochist, but sheer vanity insisted he accept the risk of death and the suffering necessary for the genuine article. So Xavi gritted his teeth, lay in the unshaded heat of noon and endured the pain of the blistering. The burn would heal in a matter of moments once he was in the shade of the tree again, and he would be left with the perfect suntan. Without the risk of skin cancer, or so Doctor Cortes assured him. So far, Xavi had failed to persuade Andreas to do the same. That was a shame because it would change the man's sallow ivory pallor to an olive-bronze, which would look very good on him. Just because he was a vampire, didn't mean he had to go with the stereotypical pallor.

So he gritted his teeth against the agony, waited until his vision started to fade and the blisters began to crisp. By then he'd had enough of the torture in any case, and he crawled from the spread towel to the one waiting in the tree-shadow. He collapsed, groaning with relief. With no direct sunlight to fuel it, the burning of his over-sensitive skin faded quickly. So did the pain. Xavi yawned and stretched, then rolled onto his back and relaxed into a semi-drowse. Life was good. Boring but good.

The nights weren't boring, though. They were better than good.

*****


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