I’m not sure it’s a matter of choosing. I’ve always loved fantasy fiction and fairy tales in particular. I think you naturally want to write what you love most. Also when I first heard my main character’s voice (Eileen) I knew early on she had a magical past, which set the genre immediately.
Where do you get your ideas?
I’ve read many author interviews where the reply to this is flippant and makes me laugh. In all seriousness, my novels reflect relationships – mother/daughter – which I have direct experience of so to an extent I am writing from life. I then combine that with my writing from my favourite genre. It is a case of asking how this relationship would work if one was magical and the other horrified by that. I do a lot of “what if” planning when working out my stories. I outline almost all I write now. I never used to but have since found it helpful to stop me going off at a tangent. (Tangents are all very well if you can use them and they can strengthen the story but I was finding this wasn’t the case for me).
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
No. I’m not convinced it exists either. I accept there are days when the words won’t flow so easily but that only proves writers are humans, we’re not machines, and on the plus side you will get days when the work does flow. I think you need to persist.
Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I used to just write but I always outline now. I find them helpful for being able to work out where to insert new ideas (and to test if they will fit in). I don’t plan out everything but work out the rough structure of whatever it is I’m working on. I will add in phrases, sentences that strike me. I once prepared a brief outline for a piece of flash fiction! That probably makes me a sad muppet, albeit a sad muppet who has worked out what she's going to write and then gets on with it!