Hi Kate, thank you so much for joining me today. Can you tell me about your book, Beneath Cornish Skies and what inspired it?
Hello, Laura, and thank you for inviting me to be on your blog.
Cornwall has always inspired me. As a teenager, I holidayed on the North Cornish coast in a thatched cottage with impressive, uninterrupted views over a wooded valley down to the cliffs and the sea beyond. It made a huge impression and it’s this cottage that features in my fourth novel with Aria.
I like to write books that have a message; hopefully, readers will think Beneath Cornish Skies delivers. It’s not simply a contemporary romance, but also a story about a young woman’s journey in finding herself, with a little help from friends, nature, ancient magic and spirits in the landscape.
What’s your typical writing day like?
I like to be at my desk by 9am, working through to lunch when I meet up with my husband (who also has a home office). In the afternoon I catch up on any writerly loose ends, social media posts, etc., or if I have a WIP I concentrate on that. Our kitten-cat regularly visits and, having been turfed off the keyboard on numerous occasions, she settles on the printer and watches out for any pieces of paper to attack!
How do you approach the process from first draft to final edit and how has this changed since writing your first novel?
I’d like to be a plotter, but as my characters develop I’m often put in the pantser camp! I think I may be a plantser – a little of both.
Hopefully, the first draft is an unhindered stream of imagination. I’ve worked as a proof-reader, copy-editor and writer, so, at the final edit I put on my objective ‘editorial’ hat and heavily prune, removing any superfluous words and anything that hinders the story’s momentum.
Since writing my first novel there have been no major changes to the process, apart from having a keener idea about deadlines and pacing myself. I don’t panic so much and approach each ‘challenge’ a word at a time.
What, in your opinion, is the most common mistake made by aspiring authors?
Many people believe writing a novel is easy. You put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, and a publisher will soon snap you up and success will follow… but that couldn’t be further from the truth! To write, you have to master self-discipline, even when the words refuse to flow. It’s a hard way to make a living, but if you’re drawn to writing you cannot deny it. At the start of my writing journey, a more experienced author gave me this advice: ‘Have patience. Each novel is your apprenticeship.’
Do you feel character or plot is more important? Why?