Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Interrogating Kath Middleton

From reader to reviewer to drabbler to author, what's next for Kath?

How do you strike the balance between writing something you want to write and writing something that people want to read, in terms of the compromises you make, if any?

As a new author, I never even considered that I was writing for an audience.  I’m sure that will change!  I have one book published at the moment, one in the editing stage and another still being written.  I’m afraid I still haven’t got into that author mind-set of writing what I think people will want to read.  I’m still writing what I want to say.

What excites, attracts or appeals to you about the genre(s) you write in.

I’m not sure I have a genre.  I write about people faced with unthinkable things.  Then I see how they react – how they survive.  I’m an optimist and I think there’s something admirable in people’s ability to overcome horrible things.  The first book is set in early mediaeval times and the next two in modern times, so I don’t think you could categorise them together at all.

Do you have a box, drawer, folder etc where you keep thoughts and ideas for future stories? Such as names you have come across, bits of dialogue, ideas, characters - even if you have no idea when you might use them?

No.  I have a big echoing skull though, and I just rake stuff out of there!  For each story, I have an outline plan on my computer but I don’t always follow it all that closely.

How do you manage plot bunnies (ideas that invade your mind that aren’t usually helpful to the story you’re writing but breed like...er...bunnies)?

My first venture into ‘authorship’ (as against submitting the occasional short story to anthologies) was with Jonathan Hill.  I contributed some drabbles (100 word stories) to his second book, Beyond 100 Drabbles.  This is a wonderful thing to do with a bunny – turn it into a tiny, stand-alone story!  It makes use of the idea and ties it up and gets it out of your current book!

How much of you is in your characters? Which of your characters is the you that you’d most like to be? Or be with ?

That’s a bit difficult to judge.  I’m sure there’s some of me in Maude from Ravenfold.  There’s a character in my next book that I’m very fond of – but it wouldn’t work out!

Do you become so wrapped up in your writing that your spouse wonders if they're married to you or one of your characters?

I do realise when I’m answering my husband and I stop mid-sentence, that I’ve actually been trying to think of two things at once.  We’ve been married a long time, though.  He copes with my obsessions!

What type of book do you like reading? Is it the same genre as you write?

For reading, I’ll have a go at most things.  I really don’t like ‘icky’ romance though.  Sweet stuff with improbably happy endings.  As I’ve said, I’m not sure I write in a genre myself.

What lengths do you go to to convince us readers that your book has the X factor?

Haha!  As someone who never expected to write, let alone to be read, I am rubbish at this.  I sent a link to a good friend recently, as she’s shown an interest in what I was doing, but I said, ‘I don’t think it’s your kind of book, though.’  As a marketing ploy, that has a long way to go!

I’m not sure an author can convince people, other than making the best job you can of the book, and writing a short but enticing blurb.  Shoving your book up people’s noses and telling them how brilliant you are is probably counter-productive.  People have to discover for themselves if it’s their kind of book.

How do you feel when a reader points out the spelling mistake(s) you have made?

You know what they say, ‘Pobody’s Nerfect!’   Chastened, and grateful – and in a rush to correct it!

What do you like most about visiting KUF/GR/forums?

Goodreads UK Amazon Kindle Forum has been my home from home for a couple of years, and I’ve been a member of KUF for just about a year. I’ve been there as a reader and have found some fantastic authors and lots of keen fellow readers to swap recommendations with.  Nobody was more surprised than I was to discover I was writing a book.  However, I now have a network of friends there who will tell me the truth!

What is on your near horizon?

My second novella, shorter than Ravenfold – and I here exclusively reveal the title – Message in a Bottle.  I’m also writing a third and until I finish it, I have no idea how long that will be.

Where can we find you for more information?

I doubt that there is more information!  What you see is what you get – but I have an Amazon author page http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kath-Middleton/e/B00H1WWW2E and there’ll be more about my own writing as it’s published, on my blog.  http://www.ignitebooks.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html


  1. Lovely stuff! I hope to stagger up in my old campervan this year and meet you lady author! I owe you drink for all you've done for me!

  2. Lovely interview; I especially like the huge echoing head. Once upon a time writers couldn't admit that they heard voices in their heads!