Happy Monday everyone. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... tra la la la la. Hope you're enjoying the twinkly lights everywhere, and getting into the festive spirit.
Today I'm pleased to introduce you to fellow author Kathryn Brown. Kathryn's book Discovery at Rosehill is available in Paperback and Kindle.
Paragraph (taken from the end of Chapter One after Camilla has moved into Rosehill) - And when I stood at my new ceramic kitchen sink, looking at the distant orange glow of horizon lights, I was alerted once more to a soul with no face; the silence broken in the wake of a repetitive knocking on my new kitchen table. "Do you like it?" I asked after turning round to face the answer. The reply: two knocks, knuckle bound on ancient Pine.
So Kathryn, what/who inspired you to write?
The real inspiration came from my father, after his death. It took me a few years to write my debut novel, Discovery at Rosehill, but I knew that when I did start to write it, it was the right time to start. I guess you say it was a calling. But inspiration also came from the house in which I live. It’s an old farm house, built in 1750 and containing beautiful Georgian features. I moved here ten years ago after falling in love with the farmer (who is now my husband). The house has a wonderful atmosphere; it’s original character which surrounds the magnificence of its structure, oozes with paranormal embrace and draws anyone sensitive to spirit, like myself, to the recorded history within its walls. Each room has a certain ambience, perhaps a little eerie in some cases, but always welcoming and friendly. This is exactly how I have described Rosehill to be and have based the mansion in the book on my fascinating home.
What is your writing process/when do you find the time?
I try to start writing in the morning, usually around 10am; this is generally when I feel at my best. I tend to carry on until I feel no longer able to concentrate, or, if time is running away with me, it will be when my daughter is due home from school. I did a massive amount of research for Discovery at Rosehill and got to know several mediums due to my main character being one herself. This helped me to develop my own abilities and gave me more confidence about what I felt able to write with regards to spirit communication, manifestations and mediumship. As a subject I’m most interested in together with living in what I describe as a spiritually active house, choosing to write about the paranormal wasn’t a difficult decision.
Any triumphs/eureka moments?
I would have to say most of the book I wrote was like having a eureka moment. It felt natural to tune into the world of spirit, albeit as an author writing about a medium. I remember many occasions when I would be sitting at my desk and suddenly hear someone in the next room. Then there were times when I would actually feel someone standing over me, breathing beside me, their eyes perhaps looking at my computer screen. I felt that often and those times always switched on the light bulb in my head, enabling me to write about yet another finding in my already chaotic mind. I think the triumphs started when the book had been published and people were actually buying it. That was one of the biggest achievements of my life and something I am immensely proud of.
What piece of advice would you give someone who wanted to write a book?
The same piece of advice I gave myself when I started working on my current novel; plan, structure and research. I meticulously planned my new work-in-progress, having everything ready, including my notes, characterisations and plot, before my daughter broke up for the summer holidays this year. When she returned to school in September, I was able to start writing. Less than two months on, I am now almost at 70,000 words and feel I’ve sailed through the first draft. I find that if you don’t have a plot sorted out before you start writing the manuscript, it will take twice as long because you’ll keep going back to change bits here and there. I know they’ll be a colossal amount to change once the editing starts, but this time I’m just getting on with the writing. Just to write a book without it being edited is an achievement in itself.
When I was researching Discovery at Rosehill I remember an established author telling me, “don’t worry too much about your facts”. What she meant was this: if the book is fiction, it’s make-believe, therefore, we can get away with creating a few facts from our imagination. I probably went a little over-board with research the first time round because I wanted to make sure whoever read my work would be satisfied I’d done all the necessary research for such a complex subject as mediumship. But it can also be the case that a reader can get confused if the author digresses too much with facts and information instead of just telling the story. Personally, I’m not keen on reading a fiction book where I have to keep turning back a few pages to remind myself of what was happening, and filling a reader’s head with facts is, in my humble opinion, best kept to reference books.