My Series of Author & Poet Interviews who will be at Narberth Book Fair. #BookFair. Today with Kate Murray

Titleband for Narberth Book FairThroughout this months I ’ll be posting interviews with the authors and poets who will be taking part in our Book Fair:  http://www.narberthbookfair.co.uk/.

There are forty authors, so, obviously, there are many genres for both adults and children. There will be talks an writing and books, creative writing workshops for adults  workshops & talks and fun workshops for children, activities for the children  Children’s Page and a fun book trail through Narberth, the gorgeous little market town in Pembrokeshire.  Location.

All free!!

And, of course, there will be the chance to chat with all the authors and to pick their brains on all aspects of writing. Even to buy their books and have them personally signed.

And, as usual, there will also be the writing competition: this year is a poetry competition:  competition . Submit a poem, in any form, of 20 lines or less, on the subject of : –

BOOKS AND READING.

Having outgrown our previous venue we have been lucky to hire the Queens Hall: https://www.thequeenshall.org.uk/ who have been very generous in their support of the event.

Although, five years ago,  I started organising the book fairs on my own I was soon joined by Alex Martin: http://amzn.to/2hZCgt2  and Thorne Moore: http://bit.ly/2rc5qyA. Unfortunately Alex has moved on to pastures new  (although is still a great supporter), so Thorne and I have been joined by Elizabeth Sleight. Elizabeth is involved in the charity we are supporting through our raffle; The Harriet Davis Seaside Holiday Trust For Disabled Children: http://bit.ly/2sNyeKQ . 

Today I’m pleased to say it’s the turn of author and illustrator, Kate Murray

Kate Murray

 

To start, Kate. tell us why you write?

Because if I didn’t the voices in my head would get too loud. Sounds odd? Well, it sort of is. I hear my characters all the time. In order to make them quiet I have got to write them down.

What do you love most about the writing process?

Getting the ideas. I love sitting down with a blank page and creating a new story or idea. It’s so much fun!

What is the ultimate goal you hope to achieve with your writing?

One of my goals was to have a child dress as a character for world book day, and it was achieved this year! I just want people to read my books and enjoy them.

 

What book that you have read has most influenced your life?

This is a little odd, but it has to be ‘101 Dalmatians’ by Dodie Smith. I was not a great student as a child. In fact, there was something wrong. At the age of ten my parents were told I was subnormal and ought to go into the ‘special’ group. They argued. Not least because I had perfect recall. I could understand and problem solve, but I couldn’t read. At all…

So that year they cancelled the holiday and we started to learn to read. At the same time I asked to be taught how to ride a bike. My dad went to the local tip and got a bike that was being thrown out. It was a heavy ladies bike, but strong. And it had to be. You see, I couldn’t balance at all. So that summer I rode on the hand painted purple and silver bike with my mum holding on the back. Up and down the green in front of the house, then inside to try to read.

The one day I rode that bike. I stayed upright. There was only a week until we went back to school. Mum handed me ‘101 Dalmatians’ and a switch flicked. I was reading. Even now I don’t know what happened. But the book that has most influence my life and let me read is ‘101 Dalmatians’…

 

How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?

I have 3 short story collections, one novella, three novels, three children’s books for ages 7-10 and a picture book. My favourite has to be ‘Tunnels’

Tunnels: Volume 1

–  Many years ago a band of people were walled up in an underground city. They are still thriving and using the modern world to help their community. None more so than Heather who is determined to use the Upworld to save her mother’s life and give herself a future, though she is forbidden to go. Heather must travel to Upworld and brave modern day Edinburgh.

What genre do you consider your books? Have you considered writing in another genre?

The genre I write in is horror but I have been considering moving into murder mysteries… The multi-layer plots are something that I find ultimately interesting. As well as the character development and effectively creating a puzzle that you don’t want readers to solve until the end of the book.

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In three words, can you describe your latest book?

Dragons, Acceptance, Family

Does your book have a lesson? Moral?

I’m not sure there is a moral as such but the ‘Here Be Dragons’ series is about acceptance and racism. The book deals with dragons, werewolves and other supernatural creatures, but it is actually dealing with different races and how there is elitism and racism. The book is about accepting yourself and others who are different to you.

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Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reins of the story?

My characters always hijack my stories. They go off at tangents and don’t always react the way I want them to. But it always works out for the best.

 When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I wrote my first book, as in a novel, two years ago. I was 39 when it was published.

Do you have any hidden or uncommon talents?

I’m an artist. I design and draw every cover and illustration.

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What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I do a lot of my writing at Trinity Saint David University, Carmarthen, where there is an armchair that people have become so used to me sitting in that it has begun to be called ‘Kate’s Chair’.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

If I’m not writing then I am drawing… Or doing some crochet, or even making clothes. I’m rarely able to say I have any free time.

Give us a random fact about yourself.

I love to swim, in the sea, in a pool, or in any body of water.

What is the most amusing thing that has ever happened to you? Not particularly to do with your writing

Because of my dyspraxia I fall over a lot. But I love to walk. On one particular day I was walking my dog in the forest commission above a village called Cilcennin. If you go to the top of the near hill it looks down one a lovely Iron Age Hillfort. It’s a beautiful spot.

Anyway, if I concentrate on where I’m going then I can keep track of my feet and I don’t fall. In fact, half the time I am at more danger of falling in the street rather than on a walk, because I pay attention. On that day I was with a friend. We were chatting.

I put my foot down and there was nothing there. Basically, I’d fallen into a rabbit hole.

“I’m okay,” I said pulling myself out and realising that from the knee down I was now covered in mud.

I put my foot down and limped forward, I’d sprained something but nothing was broken. I gave a massive grin and look up.

“I’m good. Nothing…” what I meant to say was nothing broken. But what came out was a strangled cry as I put my good foot down another rabbit hole and ended up face first in the mud. Luckily I bounce, I have to. I fall over too much not to.

But I did end up in A&E, with two sprained ankles and a load of nurses laughing at my ‘2 rabbit hole’ accident

Kate’s Links:

Blog
Wesite

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An Interview with Kate Murray

Today I’m pleased to hand over to Kate Murray, author and artist.

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  1. Who am I?

Well, I’m Kate and I work in a shed workshop just outside Tregaron. My day normally consists of writing and drawing. Yes, I’m a full-time writer, or at least I’m trying to be. I write for adults and children.

  1. What first inspired you to start writing?
    I was never meant to write. What I mean, is that I have bad dyslexia and I was never encouraged to write. I would hate to count the amount of times I’ve heard – ‘at least you can draw’. That phrase meant that I steered clear of any writing. Instead, I told stories. Anyone I saw and stood still long enough to listen, I would suddenly start telling them a tale.The stories would happen on the spot. I would instantly make them up and then forget them. It went on for years. And then my Aunt bought me a notepad. Mum bought me a pen and suddenly I had everything I needed to write down a story. It was so scary at first. I felt as if someone had just handed me some tools, but no instructions. How did you go about writing a story?

 

I enrolled onto a free course near Aberystwyth and with guidance I wrote my first story. The teacher suggested I submit it. I did. It was accepted. Suddenly I felt like I knew what I wanted to be, that I had found my place.

So I wrote, and have been writing ever since.

  1. What are you working on?

There are two projects on the go at the moment. The first is a novel called ‘The Gone’. It’s about an apocalyptic world and a heroine who feels very normal, and not the least like a hero. The novel is being serialised for free on a blog, go to https://thegone.wordpress.com/ for a read.

The second project is a picture book about the moon, the sun and the stars. ‘How the Moon lost the Stars’ is going to be available soon as an ebook and a paperback.

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  1. What facets of your life, both personal and professional, are woven into your book, if any?

At the moment I’m weaving in my own experiences and thoughts into ‘The Gone’. It’s odd really, but I find myself using everyday stuff to make the characters ‘pop’ into reality; the smell of coffee, or the smooth satin touch of cold tiles in a bathroom. Those experiences run through my writing and allow my character to feel more real. It helps that ‘The Gone’ is written in first person present.

  1. How did you get published?

I self-published my first collection, ‘The Phantom Horse’, and from that I got a call from the editor of ‘Raging Aardvark, a small Australian Press. I was told that the editor wanted to meet me. I started to splutter that it was a bit far when she interrupted and said the editor was holidaying in Lampeter. A day later I had a two book contract! The next two short story collections were published by ‘Raging Aardvark Press’. Now I have been thinking about opening my own small press for my picture books and the novels. It’s early days but the plan is slowly coming together.

  1. Do you write in one specific genre or are you multi-talented?

I mostly write in the horror/thriller genre. It is where I find my stories take me and I feel comfortable. Even some of my kid’s stuff is horror based, but when it comes to picture books it can be about anything.

I have started to broaden into the romance genre, although my stories tend to have a bit of a twist to them.

  1. What one thing did you wish you’d known before you started this project?

I wish I had known how long it would take. With my dyslexia I feel that I can plug away at a story for a long time before I get a decent word count. And the sheer determination that is needed. You have to really want to be a writer in order for it to work.

  1. What is the ultimate goal you hope to achieve with your writing?

My ultimate goal is to write something that people want to read. I want people to laugh, cry and gasp at my stories. It is really all I’ve ever wanted – to tell a decent story and have people enjoy it.

  1. Give us a random fact about yourself.

I have a pup who stays with me as I write. I can end up throwing her ball whist I type one-handed.  It’s a skill that I developed and one that comes in handy when she is in a playful mood.

Kate’s writings:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Phantom-Horse-Kate-Murray-ebook/dp/B00J4K5CUK

https://thegone.wordpress.com/

http://amzn.to/1H4JIgL

http://amzn.to/1DqGSeU