This month I have the pleasure of interviewing Kate Forsyth, author of several books, including The Puzzle Ring.
Welcome, Kate. Please tell us a bit about your writing background.
I wrote my first novel when I was only 7, and have been writing ever since. I don’t remember ever deciding I wanted to be a writer – it feels as if I was born with the desperate desire – but there must have been a point in which I realised people were paid to spend their days reading, writing, and daydreaming, and knew that it was the job for me.
It sounds brilliant, but I doubt it’s as easy as you make it sound. 😀 Tell us about your latest publication?
‘The Puzzle Ring’ is a novel about a girl who discovers her family was cursed long ago by one of the Sidhe (a Scottish fairy). She sets out to break the curse but discovers that to do so she must go back in time to the tumultuous last days of the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots, a time when witches were burnt, queens were betrayed and wild magic still walked the land. It is a thrilling adventure story, filled with all sorts of fascinating information about Scottish history and fairy lore.
I’ve already put it on my “to-read” list as it sound like a book I would enjoy. What project are you working on at the moment?
I’m writing a YA fantasy novel called ‘The Wildkin’s Curse’ about a wildkin girl who sets out to free her cousin from prison, with the reluctant help of two starkin boys. Her cousin has the Gift of Telling which means she can foretell the future, but also has the gift of altering the world with her words. She can wish, she can curse, and she can change the future. It’s the sequel to an earlier book of mine, ‘The Starthorn Tree’.
Is your life reflected in the stories you write?
Not directly. I write stories about curses and perilous quests and battles and fairy queens. However, I do believe that every writer builds stories out of their own lives and their own imaginations. We take everything we’ve ever heard or seen or read about or wondered about or been excited by or disgusted by, and we turn it into something else. It’s an alchemical process.
I agree totally. Do you know how the story will end when you first start writing it?
Yes, I always know the ending before I start. I don’t always know HOW I’ll achieve the ending, but I cannot start writing until I have a clear narrative arc laid out in my mind.
I believe writers could easily be swept away with their story and let “life” slip away without meaning for it to happen, so I’m interested to know how do you balance writing with the rest of your life?
It can be difficult, but I try very hard to! I do this by only writing when my children are at school or asleep, or when they are so busy and happy they don’t mind what I do.
What advice would you give to a newcomer to writing?
Read a lot, write a lot, and rewrite a lot. It’s actually very easy.
And a question that will allow us to see the person behind the writer, what do you do when you are not writing?
I am very busy with my family – I have 3 children aged under 11 – so that involves all the usual mum things of shopping, cooking, cleaning, washing and folding – urk! It’s a sign of my true love for my family that I do it. For my own pleasure, I read books, I garden, I walk by the beach with my dog, I go the movies and out dancing with friends.
Do you believe in writer’s block? Why?
All writers get blocked sometimes, but know to go and work on something else and let the subconscious mind work on it at will. I like to think about the problem before I go to sleep, and I usually wake up with the solution.
What are your writing goals for the future?
To keep writing till I die.
It has been a pleasure “chatting” with you, Kate. Thank you for your time and good luck with your future writing ventures.
To find out more about Kate’s books, please visit her website: http://www.kateforsyth.com.au/