Kate lives on a boat near Bristol with the Deckhand, who she’s married to, and the Stowaway, who’s small. Yes, it gets cold in winter, and no, weirdly, she’s never fallen in. The Stowaway does tethered swimming as a punishment sometimes, though.
Kate used to work in the British TV industry as a researcher, director, and undercover reporter. It wasn’t quite as much fun as it sounds, and at 4am on the morning of her 28th birthday, while filming police in Oldham cutting a dead man down from the tree he’d hung himself from, she decided it was time for a change of direction.
She enrolled in the MA Creative Writing programme at Brunel University, where she was gratified to learn that, in contrast to her previous English Lit courses from GCSE to BA, she didn’t have to read Jane Eyre. She studied under such geniuses as Fay Weldon and Celia Brayfield, and none of them even suggested a Brontë. Not even the wonderful Sean Gaston. Reader, she could have married him.
For her dissertation, Kate wrote 35,000 words in 4 weeks. They weren’t great words. The sentences were even worse. One of the worst was about, “a cold, necrotising fear [which] had cast a shadow across the capital.” She’s sorry about it now. Much of it was so bad that, traumatised, she had to buy a new computer.
Then, she wrote. She wrote and wrote and wrote. Sometimes she even did some research. In 2009 she finished her first novel, and sent it out to some agents. Some laughed, some cried, others said, I quite like it, but not that much. Celia Brayfield once told her that if nine Russians tell you you’re drunk, you should lie down. So Kate laid down for a short while, stopped drinking, had a rather nice baby, then started writing again.
September 2011 – The Blanks is finished. It’s the same title as the last book, but it’s a new book, save for about 5% of it. Promise. And now, Kate’s got to find something else to write.