Katherine Blakeman interview


A little introduction:

Hi everyone! My name is Katherine Blakeman and I'm from the South East of England. I write heart-warming (and often heart-breaking) stories of love and hope, both historical and modern day. My two great loves are historical fiction and lesbian fiction.

When did your love of books begin?

Pretty much the day I opened my first book in preschool. I dug out my old records from that time recently and the amount of times they've written about my love of reading is astonishing. I have my paternal grandmother to thank for that. I have fond memories of her reading me fairytales when I was too young to even understand them. I was enthralled. She died when I was five so they are very precious memories, and part of why I write today is to emulate in my readers the feelings she helped evoke in me.

When did you start to have the wish to become an author?

From memory, I wrote my first story when I was six or so. It was written in childish scrawls on a few sheets of paper stapled together, borrowed from my teacher, who praised my use of a rhetorical question at the end of the story. From then on, I wrote all the time. In wet break, in silent reading time, when the rest of the class was at swimming practice. (Long story there.) By the age of eight, my teacher was regularly reading my stories out to the class. I loved it, and from what I remember, so did they. Then when I was nine, another teacher sent my novel to a contact of his in the publishing industry, who published it as an eBook. It's no longer available, but it turned nine year old Kathy into something of a celebrity at school. People asked me about that book all the way through the rest of my schooldays!

How have you found the process for becoming an author?

Honestly? A bit of a minefield. The writing bit's all right. Stick me in front of my manuscript on Word document and after a bit of procrastinating and a few hours on Twitter I'll get writing. But present me to the rest of the publishing industry and writing community and at first I shrivelled up under the stage fright. But I'm starting to make friends. Slowly. And there are plenty of friends to be made, especially in fellow self-publishers. There's still a lot of stigma surrounding self-publishing and so we're bonding over that!

What would you say to those wanting to become an author?

Ease the pressure on yourself. It's okay if you read your first draft back and want to bleach your eyeballs with how bad it is. We all feel that. But the first draft is simply to make it exist. You have time to make it effective later - for now, simply get anything down.

Tell us about your book/books:

With pleasure!
If you're a fan of cosy cottagecore historical romance set in Britain in the interwar years, I have just the book for you! The Silent Chapter beckons you into the lives of fervent suffragist Dorothy and disturbed ex-soldier Patrick. A chance meeting on a muddy Manchester riverside throws them into a relationship, and a marriage. Wanting a fresh start, they elope to the tight-knit chocolate-box village of Little Wychwood in Bedfordshire. There, reviving a neglected farm to become the backbone of the village seems like the perfect occupation while they start a family.
...Except it's not quite as simple as that. Things go wrong very quickly, and they don't really let up at all over the next forty years. That's not to say there aren't times of joy, because there are. Life is full of ups and downs for everyone, but the Hammonds have a particularly bad time of it, which poses the question: How will they get through it? Or indeed, will they get through it? 
Especially with the village at stake.

What do you love about the writing/reading community?

The camaraderie. There's a little squabbling now and then, like with any community, but I can wholeheartedly say that the writing and reading community is absolutely wonderful. They've made me feel so welcome.

If you could say anything to your readers what would it be?

Erm.... what readers? 😂 Just kidding, I'm sure I'll get some eventually...
Just... thank you. Thank you for taking the time to read my work. You're the best!

Where can people connect with you?

Your best bet is my Twitter, @kblakemanwriter, but I am active on my Instagram too, @kathblakemanwriter. I also have a Facebook profile, and a website, www.katherineblakeman.com


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