Today it's my stop on the A Summer at Sea blog tour and it's my absolute pleasure to welcome bestselling author Katie Fforde to the blog to find out a little more.
Welcome Katie, as an author of 20+ novels I'm sure that a lot of readers will feel that they know you so can you tell us one fact about yourself that might surprise us.
‘I have recently become addicted to my Fitbit. I march up and down in front of afternoon television.
If I've counted correctly over the years you've written 26 books & short stories/novellas, do you still find inspiration for new stories comes fairly easily?
I’m lucky in that I find ideas for new books all the time. I might have had an idea for a while but hadn’t thought how to use it and then something else occurs to me and a whole book idea is formed.
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book A Summer at Sea?
A Summer at Sea is about a midwife who takes a job as a cook on a puffer. I met a wonderful midwife (who happened to have delivered my grand daughter) and thought, what a great character a midwife would make, and then my agent suggested I put the puffer (a steam vessel that used to take cargo and passengers all over the Highlands and Islands of Scotland) in a book. I’ve known the puffer for over 40 years and thought I’d set my book on it.
Had you much experience about boats before you started writing this novel? If not, how did you go about researching puffer boats?
I’ve been married to a sailor for more years than I care to remember. I’ve been to sea with him on container ships and traditional cargo ships. Our first home and business together was on a pair of narrow boats and we still have a Dutch barge in Canary Wharf. I have had several very exciting trips on the puffer, most before she was converted into a luxury passenger carrier, but a few since as well. We are old friends!
If you had to describe Emily in three words, what would they be?
Adventurous, intuitive, good-at-knitting
What essentials do you need to have close to hand whilst writing?
I need a pencil and paper for jotting things down on, a notebook into which I put names, dates, important facts about my characters, and very often, a cup of tea.
How do you think your writing style has changed since you first picked up a pen to write? And can you see yourself writing forever or do you think that one day you'll decide that it's time to stop?
I think my style has changed a bit since I first started writing and probably not for the better! I do sometimes wonder how much longer my books will go on selling. When that happens I will stop. I would probably like to teach writing if I couldn’t actually write myself.
What’s the best thing about being an author? And on the flip side what is the worst?
The best thing is having a job you can go on doing more or less forever, that lets me sit around making things up. The worst thing is the worry that the ideas will dry up or you won’t know what happens next. It hasn’t happened yet.
What is the best writing advice you have ever received?
I once met someone in a queue at a writers’ conference and he told me he thought if you just went on long enough you would get published. I thought about it and thought, well, if it takes me ten years, that’s fine. It didn’t take me quite that long but I wasn’t going to give up the fight!
Finally do you treat yourself to something special upon publication of each book?
I don’t usually remember to treat myself to something special but I did when I’d published ten books (diamond ring, very nice!) and then realised I hadn’t done anything to celebrate 20 years and so justified a rather expensive painting. Probably just as well I don’t do it for every book!
A Summer at Sea by Katie Fforde is published by Century, £12.99 hardback
Emily is happy with her life just as it is.
She has a career as a midwife that she loves . She enjoys living on her own as a single woman. But she’s also feels it’s time for a change and a spot of some sea air.
So when her best friend Rebecca asks whether she’d like to spend the summer cooking on a ‘puffer’ boat just off the Scottish coast, she jumps at the chance.
But she barely has time to get to grips with the galley before she finds herself with a lot on her plate.
Rebecca is heavily pregnant and is thrilled to have her friend on board doing most of the work. Then there’s Emily’s competitive and jealous kitchen assistant who thinks she should be head-cook, not Emily.
And there’s Alasdair, the handsome local doctor who Emily is desperately trying not to notice.
Because if she falls in love with him, as he appears to be falling for her, will she ever want her old life back again?
Pop back to the blog this lunchtime when Emma will be reviewing A Summer at Sea.