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.

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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.
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