Thank you for being guest today, Kate
I find it quite unsettling to be asked, as an author, to do a guest blog for Dizzy C. No – I don’t wish to imply in the slightest that it’s her blog that’s unsettling me, far from it. It’s a great blog with loads of interesting articles and reviews and I am very flattered to be asked to contribute, honest. It’s the fact that people think of me as an author that I find a bit weird. I know in my heart that if you’ve written sixteen books that is definitely how people will tend to regard you but it still astounds me that
A. I have racked up that number and
B. people buy and read them.
To say I feel a total fraud is an understatement and I am waiting to be found out. Being asked to guest as an author on Dizzy C’s blog just compounds that feeling.
More often than not, when I read interviews or blogs about authors, they tend to include the sentence ‘I always wanted to write’. Or ‘I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t making up stories’. Me? No. I thought those awful essays we have to write at school – you know the ones… ‘what I did on my holiday’ – were a total waste of time and effort. And then when I left school and joined the army, I wrote memos, signals, briefing papers, and all sorts of jargon-filled military letters and documents. Did creative writing play a part in any of that? Absolutely not.
After eight years of using phrases like ‘nil returns required’ and ‘expedite’ I left the army to start a family. From the next three years, when I wasn’t producing kids or moving house, all I wrote was Christmas cards and shopping lists – again, hardly a training ground for a potential author. But it all changed when I was asked to help with the organisation of a magazine for army wives and suddenly I found myself writing a regular column. The column led to a book being published, and then another and finally a novel, and that was it.
Of course, to begin with I wrote about what I knew. The first six books were army based (surprise, surprise) but then I branched out and used things I learned in the army or other things I’d done since to provide backgrounds; skiing, sailing, working with a TV company… But then I realised I could use ‘research’ to find out about wonderful other worlds. Telling people I’m an author, researching a book really does open doors, even if I felt a total con-artist doing it. But it means I’ve been to Silverstone as a guest of the Williams team and I’ve been shown around the servant’s quarters at
Blenheim Place and last year I spent a glorious day at Henley Royal Regatta.
Which leads me to my latest book – Cox. Henley is just down the road from where I live and it was the trip there that made me realise what a wonderful glamorous world rowing can be; fit men in lycra, bands playing, Pimms, hats, frocks, blazers and flannels…. It was bliss. So, I just hope that in this book I have managed to convey this fab world to my readers and I don’t get found out about being a hoaxer just yet.
Find out more about Kate and her novels here
Follow on twitter @LaceKate