Today Kate Field is answering my Author in the Spotlight questions. Her novel, The Magic of Ramblings, was published by Accent Press on 8th September. You can order a copy here: The Magic of Ramblings
First of all, would you tell me a little about yourself?
Thanks for inviting me on your blog, Joanne.
I’m a Lancashire lass, and live with my husband and daughter in a hillside hamlet with views over the moors from every window. It’s idyllic in many ways, except for the weather : we definitely have our own micro-climate, and I keep wellies and a shovel in my car boot all year long. We were recently joined by a kitten, who loves nothing more than chewing books, pens and paper, and so has found her perfect home!
What inspired you to start writing?
Reading! I was around ten years old when I made my first attempt at writing a book, and it was a shameless copy of a crime book I’d just read, featuring a child detective. I wrote it in a chunky square notebook with a shiny white cover. I can remember every detail of the notebook, but nothing at all about the story inside!
I moved on to poetry when I was a teenager – truly terrible stuff – but then a pivotal moment came at school, when my English teacher praised a short story I’d written and suggested I enter it into a competition. I don’t think anything came of the competition, but those few words of encouragement were more valuable than whatever the prize might have been. I’ve written on and off ever since.
Tell me about your journey to publication
For a long time I wrote because I loved doing it, and although I wished I could be published, I wasn’t brave enough to try. Reaching a significant birthday gave me a kick: I couldn’t spend the second half of my life writing books only to hide them away when I’d finished.
I joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme, and in my second year of membership plucked up courage to make an appointment with an editor from Accent Press at the annual conference. It was a huge surprise when she said she loved the first chapter of Ramblings and asked for the full manuscript – and even more of a surprise when Accent subsequently offered to publish it!
In a nutshell, what is your latest book about?
A house called Ramblings is at the heart of the story, and it’s where the three main characters – Cassie, Barney, and Frances – come together. They are all hiding away from their pasts, and all keeping secrets, but with love, friendship and the magic of Ramblings they help each other find a happy ending.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
I wish I had a better answer to this one! The truth is that it came from desperation rather than inspiration. The story was always simply ‘Ramblings’ in my head, but I had to find a proper title for it before I submitted it to the RNA New Writers’ Scheme. I sent a few suggestions to a friend – who hadn’t actually read the book! – and she picked the one she liked best. It stuck after that!
How do you plan to celebrate publication day?
I’m answering this before publication, and at the moment the plan is to have a day off work, lunch with a friend, and to open a posh bottle of champagne that I’ve been saving for a special occasion for far too long. I don’t think there could be a more special occasion than this!
Do you have a work in progress just now?
At the moment I’m writing another book set around Ramblings and the village of Ribblemill. It’s not a sequel to The Magic of Ramblings, as the hero and heroine are new characters, but Cassie and Barney make an appearance, and so do some of my other favourite Ribblemillers.
What’s your favourite book you’ve read in the past few months? Or favourite three if you really can’t choose!
It will have to be top 3 as I’ve read some great books this year. I’m excluding books written by friends as I can’t choose between them! In no particular order:
- Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey
- The Murder Bag by Tony Parsons
- Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor
What are you reading just now? (September 2016 )
I’m reading The Butterfly Summer by Harriet Evans. Twenty pages in and I’m totally hooked, to the point that I want to hide away and do nothing but read.
Tell me about your reading habits: book or kindle, bed or bath, morning or evening?
I’m shuddering at the thought of reading in the bath – I couldn’t bear to crinkle the pages by turning them with wet fingers! Is that just me?!
Book or kindle? Both. It’s always kindle on holiday – it’s fantastic never having to worry about running out of books again. At home, it’s probably an even split. I have hundreds of books, and regularly borrow some from my local library, but I still can’t resist downloading more, especially as there are so many great books only available as ebooks.
As for morning or evening, the answer is anytime I can! For the last two years I’ve set myself a Goodreads challenge to read a certain number of books. This year I reached my target of 50 books by August. That may explain why the next Ramblings book is still a work in progress…
How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?
And finally, if you could be a character in any book you have read, who would it be and why?
This is a tough question, and I know if I think about it I’ll dither for hours, so I’m going with the first answer that popped into my head. I’d love to be one of Bertie Wooster’s friends…life would be full of adventure, cocktails and laughter, and who wouldn’t want that?