Special Post

I’ve had this interview with Number 1 bestselling author, and all round lovely lady, Kate Long for a few days and have been wondering when best to post it. (I was trying to leave it so it appeared closer to the launch of her latest novel, The Daughter Game (Picador), which is March 7th. You can pre-order from amazon here.)

And what should the postman have for me yesterday? Why, my very own copy. I’ve read the first few pages and I have to say it’s terrific so far. I took that as a hint that I’d best get on and post the interview.

So here’s what Kate had to say about the new book (amongst other things, including otters and grandparents’ rights)…

So, who’s it for and what’s it about?

Although my books are sometimes billed as ‘women’s fiction’, I’d say The Daughter Game is aimed at a general adult readership. It follows the story of teacher Anna who becomes over-involved with one of her female students, a troubled and unstable teenager called Kali. Anna’s personal life is an unhappy one, and she gains temporary solace from casting herself as this girl’s special mentor, unaware that Kali is a highly manipulative young woman. As Anna’s marriage breaks down, Kali moves in and starts a series of events that throws Anna completely off course.

Why did you write it?

I’m always interested in the power balance of relationships, the swings and shifts, the capitulations and gains. Also, I was a teacher myself for fifteen years, and I know the strains put upon pastoral carers, and the tricky situations that arise as you struggle to mediate between students, parents and other teachers.

What do you hope readers will get from it?

An entertaining read, above all else. Though if there is a message to all my books, it’s that we should try our hardest to appreciate what we have rather than focussing on the things we don’t have. Easier said than done, of course, but essentially the secret of happiness is to be thrilled with the ordinary.

How do you think it compares to what you’ve written before?

It’s definitely more serious, though there are moments of comedy. The ending’s upbeat, but only by a whisker.

How long did it take you to write?

A year to produce the first draft.

Did you use a fountain pen to write it?

I always write directly onto the computer, though occasionally I’ll scribble prompts on scraps of paper to get me from one scene to another.

Tell us something about you.

Conventionally: married, mother-of-two, Midlands-based, ecologist manqué.

What’s next for you?

I’m currently working on a novel about grandparents’ rights. Last time I was on BBC Radio Shropshire I heard a woman speaking about her campaign to get access to her grandchildren, and I was deeply impressed by her arguments.

Anything you’d like to add?

Always report mink and otter sightings to your county wildlife group.

***

I’d also like to direct you to Jenn Ashworth’s blog. Jenn is most definitely one of my favourite writers at the moment. The stuff she writes for adults is tremendous. It’s bold and delicate and funny and, often, disturbing. Really fantastic. She’s one of these writers with a unique voice – and that’s something I don’t come across every day – let alone a voice that I like. Anyway, I thought her post on short stories was brill and definitely worth a read.
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And huge congrats to Anne Brooke, whose latest novel, Thorn in the Flesh, was released yesterday.

0 Comments on “

  1.  by  Lexi

    It sounds a very interesting book, and her ‘message’ is something we should all remember.And in the unlikely event I see an otter as I bike about Hoxton and Islington, I now know what to do.

  2.  by  Anne Brooke

    Fabulous interview – very interesting stuff indeed. Though I am now worried about Kate tackling mink! Tell Kate she mustn’t tackle any mink – they’re vicious little beasts even when in a sunny mood!!:))And thanks for the plug – much appreciated.HugsAxxx

  3.  by  Lane

    I love the title of this book and the cover looks so beautiful. Can’t wait to get my hands on it. Thanks Nik.Off to check out Jenn Ashworth’s writing now:-)

  4.  by  Nik's Blog

    Thanks for stopping by, folks. Glad you enjoyed. It is important to be prepared, Lexi.Anne, I shall pass that on!Lane, the cover’s actually one of my faves already. Great minds. :)Nik

  5.  by  Mum'sTheWord

    Ooh thanks for the reminder about Kate’s new book, Nik. I absolutely loved ‘Queen Mum’ so this is on my To Do list…very near the top! 🙂

  6.  by  Emma K-F

    Really interesting interview, Nik – thanks muchly. I hadn’t heard about Kate’s new book yet, but it sounds like a very good read. I shall definitely add it to my ‘to buy’ list! I have to confess that I’ve got no idea what a mink actually looks like – I’m imagining a small sort of raccoon type creature, without the black eyes… ;-)Emma xx

  7.  by  Emma K-F

    Thanks for the pic link, Nik – they do look rather ottery, don’t they? Apart from the nose, that is – it seems more pink and pointy. It’s unlikely that I’ll spot any mink (or indeed otters) in my part of London, but at least I’ll know what to look for now! :-)Emma xx

  8.  by  Kate

    Yes, lots of people confuse mink with otters because they’re the same shape and only slightly smaller, but mink are really dark and they have a white patch under their chins. You’re supposed to report even dead ones, I’m informed. And Anne is right; they’re little psychos.Thanks for all the book comments!Kate X

  9.  by  Nik's Blog

    Thanks for stopping by, Kate. I didn’t realise mink have patches of white. Thankfully (as far as I know) we don’t have them round here, but my eyes will be peeled at any rate.Nik.

  10.  by  Jenn

    Aww – thanks for the hyperbolic plug, Nik. I feel a bit bad about not replying earlier, but in my defence, I had a little bump in the car and banned myself from computering until my neck recovered.I really liked the way you pointed out my writing is for adults. That makes it sound like it might be rude. I’m not very good at writing rude things, but I am going to try harder now so I don’t let anyone down.

  11.  by  Nik's Blog

    A hyperbolic plug? I think that MUST be a first for me – never done one of them before! Just wanted to give a plug for, as I said and mean, one of my favourite writers.And I have to spell out links what might have adult content, you know!Children read this! :)Always a pleasure to have you stop by.Nik x

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