Today I have a short spotlight on author Kittie Lambton, a former resident of Portobello, and author of two novellas The Cellist’s Notebook and The Rescue. Find out how to buy either book on Kittie’s Amazon page here.
What inspired you to start writing?
I was awarded a prize when I entered a national letter writing competition many years ago. I had written a letter to Oscar Wilde, as though a male admirer attending the opening of the Grosvenor Gallery. Wilde had had a cello coat made for him and of course this had ignited my imagination as a young cellist myself!
Tell me about your journey to publication:
I have written two books, The Cellist’s Notebook and The Rescue. The Rescue was originally written as a short story for entry to the Westgate Literary Festival 2019. The competition had caught my eye because I had lived in Portobello for a number of years and Westgate is also a seaside town. I based on my experience of living in Portobello as the inspiration for my story. As a prizewinner, I decided to write an adaptation of the story and self publish the book.
In a nutshell, what is your latest book about?
The arrival of a sailing yacht named Madeline to the shores of Westgate-on-Sea marks a turning point in the lives of a visual artist, a mechanic, a Syrian refugee and a fiddle player who plays Klezmer, Classical and Celtic Folk Music. And so begins a heartwarming and uplifting tale of discovery; where acts of kindness and community spirit are rewarded with life-changing consequences that bring hope, opportunity and good fortune to all those who have the courage to embrace strangers.
How did you come up with the idea for your book?
I often think of my life in Portobello. It was a place that I first fell in love and one where my memories of the kindness of local people has stayed with me. I love local community groups. Fun Fiddles features in my book, which is long established in Portobello, where people come together to learn to play fiddle tunes. From my experience, when you live away from small community towns such as Portobello, you soon come to realise just how special such community groups are; not to take them for granted and that the sharing of skills and expertise very much enhances wellbeing and enriches the lives of those around you. I explore the importance of such groups in my book.
Music features hugely in my writing. I was born in Norfolk and went to primary school in Fife as a youngster. I was fortunate enough to pass an audition that saw me bringing home a school loaned cello and I was fortunate enough to be provided with free cello lessons by the school. It was a love affair that has lasted a lifetime. As a cellist and cello teacher myself, who has seen first hand the decline of music and the arts being supported in schools, I am a strong advocate for young people having the opportunity to learn music much the same way that I did. Many studies have shown the multiple benefits of learning an instrument. Interestingly, surgeons who have trained as musicians and who require dexterity and coordination of both hands, benefit greatly from having learned instruments!
I took up running as a sport when I lived in Portobello and would often run the six miles to Cockenzie Power Station and six miles back. Running features in my book The Rescue and so too sailing, which is experienced once again as an activity that can act as a magnet to bringing the community together.
Do you have a work in progress just now?
I am writing a sequel to my novella, The Cellist’s Notebook currently.
How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?