I’m so thrilled to be featuring Kate Forster on the Questions, today. Kate is an enormous inspiration to me. Not only is she a hugely talented author of books for teenagers and young adults, she is a huge supporter of other writers, single-handedly managing the Ladybirds author group, which provides an incredible support network to women writers, new and established. I’m so grateful she took the time out of her busy schedule to talk to me, today!
Tell us a bit about your latest book.
My latest book is about three sisters who have to step up and run their failing family business, after their mother has been injured and their father goes missing. It is about growing up, trusting, being responsible and doing things for the right reasons.
What was the inspiration for the story?
I read a news article about three sisters who are heiresses to a huge skin care compny and I wondered what it would be like to have that sword of expectation over you. When you have wealth but no real purpose, it is easy to make short term decisions without thinking about the repercussions.
Tell us about your main character. Why should we fall in love with them?
There are three main characters in the story of The Sisters. We follow each of them through their journey to responsibility and reliability, and their journey to finding purpose and love. I think they’re all very different and each one will appeal to someone reading the book. They’re funny, they’re fabulous and they’re feisty!
Have you always written, or is writing something you’ve come to in adulthood?
I didn’t start writing until I was 38, but I have always been creative. I tried a lot of creative things to try and tell my stories but writing ended up being the one that stuck.
What was your favourite book as a child?
Pre-teen, it was The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge. Maria, the protaganist was brave and beautiful and noble. She was a wonderful heroine to have in a book as a young girl. As a teen, my fave book was Lace by Shirley Conran. An epic tale of four women and their journey and love and ambition. It was before it’s time, certainly with the feminist overtones,. It was outrageous in some of the content but completely absorbing.
Can you recommend another female author we should read?
I love Australian author, Kerry Greenwood who wrote the Phryne Fisher series. She’s a cracking story steller and very learned. I always come away with some excellent knowledge about baking and history from reading her Corrina Chapman series.
What was the last book you read and loved?
Educated by Tara Westover. A memoir that is quite extraordinary about growing up in a dysfunctional, religious family, whose father clearly has some sort of distrust and mania disorder. It’s intense but uplifting. She’s very honest and brave about her journey out of the backwaters of Idaho and ending up at university.
Do you have a favourite quote by a female author?
Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them. Margaret Atwood.
Tell us three fun facts about yourself, that other people might not know?
- I am an avid gardener.
- I read tarot cards and astrolgy charts.
- I am addicted to ASMR videos of people folding things carefully.
Do you have a favourite illustrator of children’s books? Why?
I don’t. I don’t really read children’s books now that my kids are older.
What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you’ve received?
Best advice – every sentence should make some one laugh, learn something about the character, or drive the story forward. If it doesn’t do any of this, then cut it out.
Worst advice – Ignore the editors notes. They don’t know anything! NEVER do this. Listen to your editors.
What is your favourite song by a female singer, and why?
Death by Chocolate by Sia. I can’t get sick of this song, even though it’s older and I have listened to it so many times. The advice being that heartbreak happens but you will survive. You think you will die but you won’t. Love comes and goes. Heartbreak is s common as the seasons but the sun will shine again. It’s a beautiful song.
You can find out more about Kate and her books at www.kateforster.com.