As Katie Fforde’s latest book is released, I had the wonderful opportunity to interview her about her inspiration behind A Country Escape and the first steps when you create a novel:
What was the inspiration behind A Country Escape?
I had two sources of inspiration for A Country Escape. One was from the farmer who helps my daughter with her three sheep who said I should set a book around farming. The other was a television programme that followed farmers through the year. One of them had no children to leave the farm to.
What do you love about living in the Cotswolds?
I love everything about living in the Cotswolds. The scenery is stunning and I never take it for granted. It’s easy to get to London and the rest of the country from here and there is a big range of people who live in the area, lots of them artists and writers.
When you started writing was there a time when you said to yourself, I am a recognised author now, this is what I do for a living?
I suppose there must of been a time when I realised I was a real author but in some ways I still don’t believe it.
In your past you have experienced many different professions, but is there one dream career that you would choose if you could start again and not be a writer? Very hard to say what I’d have been if I hadn’t been a writer as it is the best job in the world. But I think I would have been a counsellor as I love listening to people’s stories. This is assuming I wouldn’t have made it as a torch singer or a flamenco dancer.
What are the first steps when you create a novel, do you start with pen and paper? How do you develop the plot, the characters, the detail in the location?
I don’t start every book in the same way but I do sometimes start with a spider graph which entails pen and paper. I put the name theme in a circle in the middle and add the characters and incidents in circles round the outside and see how they link up. The hardest part is the plot. Once you’ve got that as a frame work the characters create themselves. For example, what sort of woman would take over a betting shop in her fifties? She’d have to be a bit tough and possibly be good at maths. Why is she so good at maths? Details in location are greatly aided by television. I know what sort of area I need or want to be in and add woodlands and lakes for decoration. What is odd is that if I’ve already started thinking of a place, or a house, for example, I find it quite hard to change it in my head.
We know that you support new writers, can you tell us a little about the Katie Fforde Bursary?
The Katie Fforde Bursary is for someone who’s been trying to get a book published for a long time. The prize is a year’s subscription to the RNA (Romantic Novelists Association) and a place at the conference. It may include something else if I see a need.
See the review of Katie Fforde’s latest book – A Country Escape on Hot Brands Cool Places
Image credit of Katie Fforde – David O’Driscoll