Our chat with Kate…
I wrote lots of stories as a child – I’ve recently discovered that both my grandmothers kept copies of stories I gave them when I was 8 or 9. Through my teens it wasn’t on my radar. When I was in my early twenties I tried writing again but had nothing to say. I admire younger writers so much for being able to write so fearlessly. The day I started writing seriously was 15 February 2013. My six year old son had asked me what I’d wanted to be when I grew up and I’d said a writer. He simply said, ‘so why aren’t you trying?’ and I’ve been trying ever since!
Hannah found me in her slush pile. She passed on a full, but asked to see the next story I wrote, so I worked hard, wrote another and sent it to her. She liked it and asked to meet up where, after about forty minutes, she offered to represent me. (These few sentences contained a lot more tears in real life, both happy and sad!)
Oh wow. There have been some seriously tough moments. Rejections and waiting are broadly my personal challenges, although the really tough moments were being rejected after I’d got my hopes up. A couple of times the fall nearly broke me. What got me through was having friends who understood and an agent who refused to give up on me. Also. First drafts are hard. And synopses.
Read widely, write a lot, don’t get stuck on one story and keep going. Find your tribe of writer friends.
With SO many lists! And even then, I forget loads of stuff. I try to prioritise what I want to do in each chunk of time, so before school it’s family-focused, during the school day it’s writing in the morning and writing-related things in the afternoon (blog posts, organising school visits etc) then after school it’s back to being mum again. One day a week I travel to Bath where I’m doing an MA, which I adore. It’s busy but it’s all stuff I want to do, so it’s a happy busy.