Kathryn’s first collection, Sunday at the Skin Launderette won the Forward Prize for best first collection in 2008. Her short stories have been published in magazines and broadcast on Radio 4. Her first novel, Love and Fallout was published by Seren Books in 2014. We chat with Kathryn about her book, her planning process and Oscar Wilde.
Can you tell us about your novel, Love and Fallout and how the idea originated?
The idea for the novel evolved from a short story I was writing about a charity worker who gets a sudden and unwelcome TV makeover. To help fill in my character’s history, I did some research into the Greenham Common peace camp where she’d protested as a teenager, and the more I read the more fascinated I became.
As I looked at film footage of the 1980s demonstrations, particularly ‘Embrace the Base’, when thirty-thousand women joined hands around the military airbase, I wondered where those women were now and what they might be doing. My original story grew: my character had a secret from her past, an old friend of hers turned up, and gradually a novel began to take shape.
What’s your planning process like when writing a novel?
This is my first novel so I don’t have a tried and tested method. Love and Fallout became difficult to control as the story expanded, and mid-way through I had to stop and properly consider the plot. Writing into the unknown is exciting, but I learned that it’s also necessary to have a loose idea of what’s ahead or you’ll write yourself into a corner.
Carole Matthews is the best-selling author whose books include Summer Daydreams (which was nominated for the Melissa Nathan award,) and A Place to Call Home (which was released earlier this year.)
Today, Carole shares her five writing tips…
1. Write every day.
2. Write what’s in your heart.
3. Don’t follow the latest trend. By the time you’ve written your book, it will have passed.
4. Don’t make excuses about why you can’t find time to write.
5. Don’t give up. Determination is the key. And a great story, of course.
Carole can be found at her website, www.carolematthews.com
HarperVoyager has announced this week that they will host an event with two of their highest profile authors.
George RR Martin and Robin Hobb will be in conversation on 19th August 2014 in an event taking place in central London (the exact location will be announced soon.)
If you are a fan of either author (we love Game of Thrones,) this unique event features two of the world’s greatest storytellers, discussing how they build their fictional universes, create their characters and balance fantasy and reality; about their influences and inspirations, their struggles and successes.
This is a uniquely exciting event, bringing together two of the greatest storytellers in modern fiction talking candidly about their writing lives, said Jane Johnson, HarperVoyager’s Publishing Director.
Tickets will go on sale later this week. They will be £45 each and this includes a hardback copy of Robin Hobb’s latest novel Fool’s Assassin.
For more information about the event, visit HarperCollin’s website.
My first post for a couple of weeks. Better late than never – hopefully that’ll mean my blog boss won’t tell me off too much.
The reason for which is simple; I’ve been desperately putting the finishing touches to getting my one page synopsis down from a page and a half. I could easily write this post which wasn’t what I had planned, but let’s see where this actually does end up. So, welcome folks, step right this way for the Magical Mystery (Post) Tour. No buses, no Walruses, but perhaps plenty of flying pigs!
Please include a one page synopsis – only 6 words, a nice small sentence. Cue pulling out of hair, opening of that bottle of wine you swore you’d keep for that special occasion, making sure the fridge (it is hot at the moment) is full of your favourite chocolate – Milky Way Stars here please (any sponsors out there?). Now, pull out all those notes you have of what’s actually happening in your story and – SWEAR as loudly as you can. Who the heck decided this was a good idea???
Now, settle back and eat chocolate and drink wine until it comes out of your ears, you fall down and decide that yes, this is a good idea. You are now ready to condense your lovingly crafted story into one little page of paper (ok, screen). Sound easy? Of course it’s not. My latest is just under a page and a half and that was difficult enough – but it’s a nice page and a half. Wish it could stay at that length, but that’s the rules and this has to be ready to go out in three days time. So, now you know how I spent this lovely weekend, but if I want to become a published author, this is a cross to bear willingly.
That’s the rant over and I feel much better. Thank you to all of you who stayed with me.
The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook is acknowledged as the indispensable companion to navigating the world of publishing. This book provides guidance on writing for newspapers, magazines, scripts for film, radio and TV; advice on writing and submitting plays, poetry, non-fiction and fiction of all genres and how to contact publishers and agents; managing finances as a writer; negotiating legal issues, such as copyright; understanding the editing process; self-publishing and conventional routes; digital and print.
The new edition is due to be released by Bloomsbury Publishing on 31st July and is available to pre-order in paperback and eBook.
Thanks to Bloomsbury, we have a copy of the 2015 edition to give away.
How to enter:
Comment on this post with your name and county by the closing date which will be Thursday 31st July 2014 at 23.59. The winner will then be chosen at random from the entrants and announced on the Novel Kicks blog on Friday 1st August 2014. The winner will also be contacted by e-mail (we will use the e-mail provided when you enter.) UK and Ireland only.
Visit the Writers’ and Artists’ website at www.writersandartists.co.uk
Creative Writing for Beginners by The Writers’ Academy (Penguin Random House,) is being led by Selina Walker.
It’s a 10-week interactive online creative writing course which gives you the essential skills and techniques you need to get started writing fiction.
You will learn with experienced creative writing tutors, and interact with a highly experienced Editor at Penguin Random House as you are introduced to the key elements of writing a story: Character, Plot, Point of View, Description, Dialogue, Voice, Setting and Beginnings.
The course consists of a series of carefully planned weekly writing exercises, videos and podcasts from world-famous authors (including Audrey Niffenegger.)
The course will involve between five and ten hours of learning per week at whatever times suit you. You can contact the course enquires team on 0044 (0)203 026 0810 if you have any questions.
Friday 25th July 2014 – Undercover.
Fiction Friday is our weekly prompt. The aim is to write for a minimum of five minutes and then keep going for as long as you can. Once you’ve finished, don’t edit, just post in the comments box below.
Today’s prompt: You are a police officer. You’ve not been one for long and you’ve been partnered with someone new (who you don’t know well.) Your first assignment means that you both have to go undercover and be convincing in your role in order to catch a criminal. Where, why and you is up to you.