After having my baby I felt like I'd been introduced to my life, I slowed down, I paid more attention to simple things, I addressed a few issues in my own life, I even got married, I looked at what was important and what wasn't, and so I used that experience for inspiration.
I write my novels longhand. I love the feeling of writing; I love to see pen on paper. It feels more creative than typing, and it's a more visual process for me - I can picture the entire scene in my head and am merely writing what I see.
Whenever I go to Germany I find that my readers have T-shirts with my book covers printed on them. They come to all the events, they have gifts and they come with their families. They are always very open to sharing their personal stories.
I want a character to wake up one day and feel like, 'I can face it'. That, to me, is happy. I want the characters to rescue themselves, though you use the relationships you have, to make you strong enough to be able to do that.
Don't force yourself to write. Some people can write a novel in a few months, whereas for others it can take over a year. I'm lucky to be one of the former - but, even so, if I'm not in the mood to write, I won't. I'll go off, do something else and come back to it when I'm ready.