When did you decide to write your book?
I had never thought of writing before but when I first came to Tunisia in 2007, I loved the country but I saw many of the problems experienced in relationships, both between couples and in families, and I believed there was a novel to be found. I used to read books while sun bathing but was often disappointed and I felt I could do better. I started writing the book in 2009, initially for myself with no thought of publication. It started as a simple romance with a twist, but I felt I owed it to the two protagonists to complete their life story.
Where did the name of your book come from?
I changed the name in my head several times. I decided on The Jasmine Flowers because I have written a love story and jasmine is the flower of love, it is also the national flower of Tunisia. When my heroine returns to England she plants jasmine in her garden to remind her of Tunisia. Also it features at the ending of the book.
How long did it take you to write your book?
I started in 2009 and then gave up. My work was taking up a lot of my time and I felt I was no good at writing anyway. I wrote on and off for a couple of years and then had a flood of inspiration and ended up being late for work on many occasions because I was writing into the night. I finished the book but was not happy with it so I added another character and changed the ending. I actually finished it several years ago but never thought of publication.
Do you have a personal favourite piece in your book?
I have several. I like the first meeting between the protagonists and when they meet again for the second time. I also enjoyed writing about Debbie and how horrible she was. I admit I like the ending (which I changed many times) as told by Ben and his mother.
Where did you write some of the pieces in your book? Do you always write in the same place or where ever you happen to be?
Never in the same place. I carried paper and pen with me all the time for years. If I ran out of paper I would make notes on till rolls, serviettes or anything else I could find. At work, at home, on the beach, in a bar or restaurant, if something came into my mind I wrote it down and transferred it to the computer when I got home. Inspiration comes in the strangest places sometimes.
How have you found your experience so far with Olympia Publishers?
As a new writer I did not realise how much work was involved and how long it would take to reach publication but I now understand that a year or so is usual, especially with a book as long as mine. I was perfectly happy with the service received, amendments made and the advice offered, particularly in respect of copyright about which I was completely ignorant. The book cover caused a delay because Olympia did not like my suggested cover, so again I took their advice, which it seems has proved sound. I have received several messages saying how much people like the cover.