I got the chance to meet Billy at the Meet and Greet for Beautiful Trouble Publishing here in Atlanta.
Of course I had to have her on my blog and here she is........
1. Before we start talking about your book, why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about yourself?
Well for starters, I'm a girl. I've had a few Facebook and Twitter requests that made me question how clear I've made that! I live in London and I'm a Londoner before I'm anything else. My first book was laminated and printed when I was six years old. It was for a local competition. My mum was ready to hire a float and organise a parade in celebration! Ever since, it's all been about the written word. In between hangovers and shopping excursions that is...
2. Besides writing, what other things do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Buy shoes. Laze around on beaches. Watch appalling tv to counter the day job. Wind up my family. Exercise until I start to sweat then stop to save my hair.
3. What is your daily routine as far as when you have an idea for your story?
Because I do have a pretty demanding day job, I tend to write when I can. When my muse Hank moves me to get motivated.
4. Where do you get your ideas from?
Everything inspires me. I've just written a sequel to Said the Demon To Little Miss Eva and the idea came from watching a programme about post natal depression after babysitting a beautiful eight month old baby boy. I still have no idea where the idea for Shibah's Monster came from, even though its one of my more mental creations. The Baby Gift simply came from the challenge Shara Azod set for her authors where the heroine had to be pregnant when she and the hero meet. That was crafty. Quite pleased with the results actually!
Army of Me and You was born out of my deep desire to honour someone I worked with. She told me that all she wanted to do was go home and bury her father properly. In leaving her country she hadnt had the time to do it. She could either stay and die or leave and survive. I wanted to write something for her, give her hope and love and peace. I can only pray I've done her justice.
5. Out of all of the stories you’ve written so far, what would be your favorite and why?
That's like Sophie's Choice! You're not allowed to choose favourites! You never forget your first novel and I've got the DaCanaveze name tattooed on my body. Loyalties eh? When I was writing Windows, there was a lot of stuff going on with me personally - with my relationships, with my health, my work - and it all came pouring out in that book. Maybe a bit too much!
6. Tell us something funny about yourself that not a lot of people know about?
I cannot drive. A few weeks ago I nearly careened into a skip. Don't think it's a skill I'm meant to have. And I recently spent a festival working at the bar wearing metal studded bunny ears and bouncing around to Faithless. I looked like a BDSM bestiality advocate. This author can build a freakin' tent.
7. Does any of the stories you’ve written based on real life experiences or basically just from imagination?
Have to plead the fifth or people will stop telling me stuff. I already get the side eye for spending nights out making notes on my iPhone. If I admit any of the above, I'm going to get it!
8. Does your ‘muse’ have a name and if so what is his/her name?
My muse is called Hank. We've been rubbing each other the wrong way for years. He's very pretty, very mad and disappears for weeks on end and all I can think is that he's gone on a bender with my male characters.
9. What other genre besides the one you are writing about now would you like to venture into writing?
I'm world building for a fantasy novel. Swords and magic and demons and all sorts! I tend to write whatever Hank feeds me and it's coming together quite nicely. Other than that I feel safe and relaxed in the contemporary world.
10. Who are your favorite authors that are out now?
I love Serenity King - she writes traditional romance, the sorts of stories that made me adore the genre in the first place. Erosa Knowles' dedication to research really shows through her work. Janet Eckford's paranormals are effortlessly fantastic, Nikki Winter is developing into an even more amazing writer and I cannot say enough good things about Violette Dubrinsky's Warrior.
11. Who is your favorite female and male characters from your books and why?
You're trying to get me into trouble! I have to say for male character it's Nick DaCanaveze. I don't want to jinx my tattoo. Again he's my first. He's beautiful, cheeky, dedicated, loving, dark, violent and imperfect. Favourite female... At the moment it has to be Madeline Mpoyi. She is strong and smart and she's got not only fabulous taste in clothes but in men. Having been a child of a civil war genocide, she's come through it to be a fully fledged and committed member of society. Plus she has a thing for the military so me and Maddy would be great friends.
12. What do you think is the hardest thing about being a writer?
Getting too deep into what characters are feeling and having a mini breakdown because of it! There were plenty of times writing Army of Me and You when I had to stop and do something else so I wouldn't end up curled into a ball in a corner. There's also the challenges that come after writing: promoting, blogging, marketing, chasing pirates who distribute your work for free making you feel worthless and depressed. Especially the last one, makes you wonder if its worth writing at all.
13. What advice would you give someone who wants to start off being a writer?
Just do it! Don't just talk about it, do it. It's harder than it looks. And don't stick to that 'write what you know'. Write what you feel.
14. If you hadn’t become a writer, what do you think you would be doing right now?
I still think on retiring, I'll be running a bar in Tulum in Mexico. It will happen. But I'll always write. That's never going to change. I may not publish anymore but I will always write.
15. What would be the perfect Romantic getaway?
In the UK, there's several beautiful spots that are deeply romantic. From going from a stroll along the Embankment underneath the Victorian lamps at night, to a boat ride on the rivers in Cambridgeshire. The forestry in Suffolk is glorious as is my favourite place anywhere - Whitstable. Pebble beach, waves, sun perfect. Yeah, water makes me frisky...
Well now that we got the question and answer out of the way…..why don’t you tell us about your latest story you have out now?
This is the blurb for Army of Me and You:
The irony of Madeline Mpoyi's choice in a career was never lost on her. Being that her days as a girl in a war torn village, suffering the horrors of an innocent Rwandan child started off as anything but sweet most would find it incredibly funny that as a woman she'd be manufacturing treats to send to the soldier that saved her life. Or at least she thought it was the soldier that saved her life. Errr...technically it is...being that he has the same name and comes from the same bloodline. Although Major Nathaniel Goldsmith Sr. has long retired, his son is carrying on the family tradition as a Captain in the army. A Captain that has come to depend on both Madeline's sweet letters and even sweeter care packages. And it would seem that said Captain has Madeline in his sights...eager to sample whatever else she's willing to offer...
And this is the excerpt:
“Oh, don’t worry. I’m driving. Borrowing my father’s run around for a bit. He barely uses the other three.”
Madeline tucked a twist under her scarf. “You’re quite privileged, aren’t you?”
“In many ways, yes. Not many people come home to a few cars in the garage that they can borrow.”
“Who needs five cars?” she blurted.
He ticked them off his hand. “The Land Rover, the truck that pulls the horsebox, a Mercedes, a Jaguar, and my mother’s Bentley.”
“No one needs five cars.”
Cain gave a shrug. “They’re all old enough and ragged enough to be worthless in today’s value. I won’t say it’s not nice being privileged. I wouldn’t get free sweets otherwise.”
“Or free truffles,” she added.
Madeline’s eyebrows drew together. “I don’t have anything called kisses...” Her voice trailed off as she took in their circumstances. That sweet chin of hers was balanced on the edge of his left hand, and his right cradled the small of her back. Until he’d touched her, he hadn’t fully appreciated just how badly he wanted to kiss her. He watched as the rise and fall of her chest increased in speed, mimicking his uneven breaths. Her mouth parted, and the flash of her pink tongue flicked off his brain switch. All instinct based, he lowered his head and pressed his mouth to hers. He’d only meant to kiss her goodbye. Or rather, see you later.
As soon as he tasted her, all his thoughts were on Madeline naked, underneath him, thighs parted and cradling him against her soaked sex. His hand moved from her chin to lightly stroke her face, the skin so soft beneath his fingers. He trailed his hand over her side, tracing the shape of her waist and the flare of her hips. Madeline moaned under his mouth, the sound sending a thrill over his body.
“Um,” she gasped. “Can we... Not in the street?”
He barely lifted his lips from hers to send her a frown. “Where?” With her lower body pressed to his, his mind transported him to the back room of her shop. He could sweep the chocolate aside, perch her on the edge of the table, and lift the skirts of her vintage dress. Within moments, he could be buried inside her, rocking them both to satisfaction.
My next book depends on a few factors! But I'm hoping it will be the next in the Italian Knights' series. It’s called A Life Sublime which is again about the Da Canaveze family and the patriarch, Massimo. It's about the challenges of mature love when you run a Mafioso empire!