Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Author Spotlight - Kate Hardy
3. Where do you hope to be in 5 years time?
Still writing – and heading towards my 75th M&B, I hope!
4. Which was the last book you read that you wish you'd written?
This is a bit of a cheat as it was a re-read of an old favourite – Susanna Kearsley’s “The Shadowy Horses”. I’m not sure what I like most about her books – the characterisation, the clever plots, the warmth, the dialogue… Anyway. It’s brilliant and I wish I’d written it!
5. Was there any particular author or book that made you want to be a writer?
No – I knew from before I started school that I wanted to write. I think my earliest influences (and this is going to sound pretentious, so I’ll apologise in advance, though it’s still true!) were Emily Bronte, Madeleine L’Engle and Victoria Holt. (So the book of my heart would probably be a bit on the Gothic side and involve timeslip, but I’ve been trying and failing for four years to persuade my ed to let me write my Regency doctor book!)
6. What's the most romantic moment of your life so far?
Walking through St Mark’s Square in Venice, hand in hand with my husband, and seeing Venus rising. Or possibly standing on the top of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkling on the hour (also with my husband). Actually, the children were with us both times, but it was still very romantic! (And yes, I am using both settings in a book…)
7. What do you wish you'd known about being an author before you were pubbed?
How much of a time-suck the internet can be… :o)
Seriously, I don’t think there’s anything, because I worked on the university newspaper as a student and was friends with people who went on to become journalists, so I was realistic before I started. I knew that publishing works slowly and isn’t a “get rich quick” industry (so when you see TV programmes about people getting their first book accepted and published within a couple of weeks AND they can afford to give up their day job… er, fiction alert!!); and also that you have to put the hours in (books sadly don’t write themselves) and be prepared to change things (i.e. do revisions, sometimes more than one set).
But I can’t think of any job I’d rather do, or where I’d have such lovely colleagues.
8. What's the best writing advice you've ever been given?
Take time to refill the well – read a lot, watch films, or just go for a long walk somewhere inspiring.
9. How do you go about researching the medical detail that needs to go into your books?
The biggest trick is to keep the detail accurate without it overwhelming the reader (I do have a habit of including too much detail, probably because I used to be a health journalist!). The Oxford Handbooks of medicine are brilliant – they’re the ones that junior doctors use. I also use http://emedicine.medscape.com/ - the only thing I would say there is that it’s US-based, so I also tend to check out Netdoctor to make sure that any treatments I’m planning to use are available in the UK, where my books are set. Plus it’s quite handy knowing medics (among the other med writers) whose brains I can pick if I’m desperate!
10. Tell us about your book.
The Fireman and Nurse Loveday is all about Tom Nichols, a firefighter who has to balance his dedication to his job with being a stand-in father to his orphaned nephew; he’s helped very much in this by one of the practice nurses, who works as a health visitor and does all the school visits and clinics. Flora Loveday’s terribly shy and thinks nobody like Tom would ever fall for her – but Tom teaches her otherwise, and finally manages to bring her out of her shell.
11. What’s next for you?
Next is a Medical Romance set partly in Capri; then a very raunchy Riva set in an ice-cream empire in Naples; and I’ve just handed in another Riva, so I’m awaiting my ed’s reaction to see if it was too much of a weepie! I’m working on the outline for my next Medical Romance, and we’re just about to go off on a research trip so I can plan my next Riva (which will hopefully be my 50th M&B) – I can’t wait!