Today I’m pleased to be taking part in the blog tour for Small Forgotten Moments. My post is written with thanks to Zoe O’Farrell for inviting me on the tour and to Annalisa Crawford for answering my questions!
Q&A with Kate at Bantam Bookworm
Have you always wanted to write?
Yes, absolutely. I was probably about five or six when I first started to write little stories, long before I realised that writing could be a job. I preferred looking around stationery shops to toy shops And I was sending short stories out to literary magazines from the age of about 16.
What were your previous jobs? Have they helped you with your writing process?
I worked in a library for a long time, but it was an academic library with very little fiction. And I’m a fitness instructor now, so that hasn’t helped either – apart from keeping me active and forcing me away from my screen for several hours a day.
What was your inspiration for Small Forgotten Moments?
Jo and her painting are very old characters in my head, I can’t remember where they came from. They started life in a different novel which wasn’t very good, and one day I was musing about how bad my memory was and what could possibly be the reason. Somehow, the characters and the idea merged perfectly. Rest assured, my bad memory is not for the same reason as in the book!
How do you construct your characters? Do they have traits of people you know?
I don’t consciously write about people I know, but I suppose the odd trait might creep in. I’m much more likely to put myself into my characters – up until this novel, everything I’d written had a tiny piece of me in it, whether a gesture, a turn of phrase, or a conversation I’ve had with people. I think I’ve run out of things on that front, so now they’re all made up.
What does your writing process look like? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a pantser, which works well for short stories and novellas, but less so now I’m writing novels.
I’ll have the spark of idea, which is usually the title, then allow myself to day-dream around that idea to see if anything comes of it. I’ll read from my TBR, watch films, browse newspaper articles and blogs. And I’ll be writing little snippets of scenes – not in any order, just something I think might fit.
The process of it all coming together is a mixed up mess that eventually produces something close to a story. Then I spend a very long time writing and re-writing, with new ideas joining all the time, even on something I consider a final draft.
How did you research Small Forgotten Moments? Did you enjoy it?
I didn’t do an awful lot of research, to be honest. I wrote about the memory loss then looked up articles afterwards just to check a few things out. Most of the research was walking across the beach featured in the book and drinking coffee in the café afterwards. I enjoyed that immensely.
Who are your favourite writers? Are you influenced by them?
I love Margaret Atwood, Jane Austen, Matt Haig, so many more. Atwood, particularly, inspired my early writing simply by producing such a wide variety of genres and lengths – she’s as clever and accomplished among short stories as she is her novels.
There are some authors I’m too influenced by. I have a novel which I wrote after reading a couple of Chuck Palahniuk books, and it’s his voice not mine that shines through. I’m not entirely sure I can de-Chuck that novel, it might remain in a drawer, dusty and forgotten.
If you could invite three people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be and why?
Oooh, I don’t know. People who can make me laugh and entertain me – dinner is not a situation for deep political or philosophical thinking! Victoria Wood (the comedian who wrote one of my favourite sitcoms, dinnerladies), Matt Smith (who played my favourite Doctor), and David Bowie to sing to us during dessert.
Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Anyone who didn’t know how to fix a lift, or perhaps someone who’d eaten garlic bread for lunch.
Who would play the main character/s in a film version of Small Forgotten Moments?
Helena Bonham-Carter (maybe when she’s just a little bit younger) would make a great Zenna, the portrait who wanders about a bit.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I work out in my spare time, especially weight training. I love it. It’s the reason I became an instructor. I also walk a lot with my dog and muse, Artoo. Reading is obviously a given.
What is next for you?
I’m half-way through my next book when I get the time to sit down and write. And I’ve got tentative ideas for one after that.
Book? Too many, but recently I read The Midnight Library by Matt Haig and loved it
Film? Again… argh! The last film I watched was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Band/Singer? David Bowie, Queen, most rock from the 80s
TV show? Life on Mars/Ashes to Ashes
Colour? Orange and purple.
Place? The part of Cornwall where I live, there’s no place better!
Biscuit? Dark chocolate digestive
Small Forgotten Moments is available from Amazon.
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