Novel Kicks To… Kay Seeley

Hello Kay. Thank you so much for joining me today and inviting Novel Kicks onto your blog tour. Can you tell me about your novel, A Heart Full of Hope and what inspired it? 

The story was inspired by the character, Charity. She’s the daughter of a bishop and wants to do something worthwhile with her life. Charity’s family want her to make a good marriage but she’s more interested in helping a small, mute boy she meets in a home for waifs and strays.  A chance meeting with Jack Carter, the hotel housekeeper’s disreputable brother intrigues her and promises a different, more exciting way of life. The story was inspired by the two different worlds in Edwardian London.


What’s your typical writing day like? Do you have any writing rituals? 

I usually begin with going through emails and getting the business side out of the way so I can concentrate on the creative side with free mind. I make a lot of notes about what I want to incorporate into the story. I don’t plot. I put my characters into difficult situations to see how they react. The story comes from the characters. I generally have a theme, but nothing concrete. It’s all very flexible. A lot of the story comes while I’m doing other things, like gardening, walking, or on the train into town. Then I work the ideas into the story.


What are the challenges you found when writing your novel especially when it’s part of a series? 

The most difficult part of writing the third in the series is not giving away too much of what happened in the previous books. If two people get married, you don’t want to give that away if some hasn’t read the previous book. I also don’t want to repeat things I’ve done in previous books in case readers have read them and already know what happens. It’s difficult to find a balance to keep the characters consistent without giving away too much of their backstory.


Which fictional character would you like to meet and why?

Sherlock Holmes. I’d want to hear about his cases and his amazing powers of deduction. I’d ask him what problems he encountered because of them. Were they a curse as well as a blessing?


What elements make up a good historical fiction novel? 

Adversity, conflict and passion. Characters have to feel passionate about something that drives them to act the way they do. There must be obstacles to overcome. People’s emotions a hundred years ago were the same emotions we feel today. It’s just the setting that’s different. Setting is important in historical novels as it can range from grinding poverty to outrageous extravagance. The setting decided the type of story.


From idea to finished book, what’s your writing process like and how long does it typically take you? 

I’m a slow writer. I like to have ideas firmly formed before I write. I make a lot of notes before I begin. I tend to do early drafts by hand before I get into the story.  I have a list of things that could happen. Then, once I start to write it somehow all comes together. It takes about six- nine months for the first draft, then lots of fleshing out and editing, so only one book a year.


What’s your favourite word and why? 

Dissonance. It’s lack of harmony between what you see and what you believe. Something incongruous or out of place. I like it because I think it’s essential for a level of dissonance to make a good book. People have to suspend belief. Good writing can make people do this.


What are you currently working on? 

A follow up to my first book, The Water Gypsy. I want to find out what happened to the characters after I left them ten years ago.


Which book have you read that you wish you could forget, just so you could discover it again? 

Execution Dock by Anne Perry. It was the first of the Monk books I read and made me a fan. I’ve now read the whole series.


Any other advice for aspiring writers?

Learn the craft. Read books about writing, go to classes, join writing groups. Get feedback on your writing. Persevere and never give up.


Would you rather – 

Have the ability to see into the future or be able to visit the past?          

The past

Have the ability to move things with your mind or read minds?      

Move things with my mind so I can mow the lawn from my armchair. I wouldn’t want to know what other people are thinking. Too scary.

Sing or dance to your favourite song for the rest of your life?


Have money or power?          

Money. Money gives one power.

Have an endless summer or winter?               


Tea or coffee?           


Movie or book?     


Paperback or eBook?       

Paperback every time.


About A Heart Full of Hope:

Is love an illusion? A heart-wrenching historical saga set against the background of two very different worlds in Edwardian London

When Charity Browne arrives at The Fitzroy Hotel on her way to a country house party, she knows there’s more to the invitation than a weekend of revelry. She’s old enough to be married and her family are hoping for a good match.

Sparks fly when she collides with dashing Jack Carter, the hotel housekeeper’s disreputable brother.

A visit to a home for waifs and strays makes Charity question her values. Her attempt to help a small, mute boy she sees there leads her to attractive and worthy Dr Adam Radcliffe. Together they uncover a web of deceit, betrayal and lies surrounding the boy’s family.

Fate unites Jack and Charity in a quest to save the boy from unimaginable evil.

Will Charity fall for Jack’s mesmerising charm, or will Adam’s selfless compassion capture her heart?

Packed with compelling twists and turns A Heart full of Hope is a perfect read for fans of Downton Abbey and Upstairs Downstairs.

A Heart Full of Hope is part of the Fitzroy Hotel series and was released on 1st June 2024. Click here to buy on Amazon and Waterstones.


About Kay Seeley –

Kay Seeley is a talented storyteller and bestselling author. Her short stories have been published in women’s magazines and short-listed in competitions. Her novels had been finalists in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. She lives in London and loves its history.

Her stories are well researched, beautifully written with compelling characters where love triumphs over adversity.  Kay writes stories that will capture your heart and leave you wanting more. Often heart-wrenching but always satisfyingly uplifting, her books are perfect for fans of Anna Jacobs, Dilly Court and Josephine Cox.

All her novels are available for Kindle, in paperback, audio and in Large Print.

Kay is a Member of The Alliance of Indie Authors and The Society of Women Writers and Journalists.

Say hello to Kay via her website, Facebook, Instagram and X (Twitter).


Win a copy of A Heart Full of Hope. 

We have 3 paperbacks to give away and all you have to do to enter is click here.

This giveaway is open to UK only.


*Terms and Conditions –

UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. 

Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. 

 I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.


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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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