Katie Fforde

Be­ing dyslexic hasn’t held Katie back, she’s just re­leased her 22nd book! Here, the half-scottish writer tells us about life, love and happy end­ings...

No. 1 Magazine - - BEST-SELLING AUTHOR... -

She is the god­mother of ro­mance hav­ing just re­leased her 22nd novel A Sum­mer at Sea – a love story set in Scot­land. Like many of Katie Fforde’s books, this one is also in­spired by real-life events she has ex­pe­ri­enced dur­ing her 63 years of life. Now a busy grand­mother-of-four, the half-scottish, best-sell­ing au­thor has no plans to re­tire and still finds time to pen romantic nov­els that change fans’ lives. So who bet­ter to speak to about love, life and happy end­ings...

All my books have a per­sonal as­pect to them. If they are not based on per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence, they are all about sub­jects that I am re­ally in­ter­ested in.

I wouldn’t write about sub­ject if I wasn’t in­ter­ested in it. A Sum­mer at Sea is very per­sonal be­cause I have known The Puffer (the Clyde Puffer which fea­tures in the book) for over 40 years. Nick and Rachel Walker, who run it, are some of my old­est friends. And it’s cen­tred on my real hol­i­day ro­mance – it’s only been go­ing on 43 years! It’s loosely based on my early ro­mance with my hus­band Des­mond. I do think you can meet some­one away from home and carry on that re­la­tion­ship.

I would never write some­thing with a sad or gloomy premise.

I have to write up­lift­ing sto­ries partly so I am not mis­er­able for the year-or-so that it takes to write them. I like a happy end­ing and a cheer­ful theme – I couldn’t do har­row­ing, or write about chil­dren or an­i­mals be­ing harmed.

I think my books are like a box of choco­lates, they have dif­fer­ent flavours and you are go­ing to feel cheered up.

The prom­ise is you will feel safe in my world. I set out to do that be­cause when I was a young mum with two ba­bies who wouldn’t sleep, my hus­band was away at sea and it was stress­ful, I was very sleep­de­prived, and my safe place was a Mills & Boon novel. I read them one a day, this was my happy place to go. Then I thought, ‘I would love to do for other peo­ple what those books do for me’. There is a lot of me in my books. If you think, ‘that wo­man is so ir­ri­tat­ing’ then you won’t like my books!

Writ­ing is a bit of a chal­lenge, es­pe­cially when you have been in the busi­ness as long as I have.

You are very anx­ious not to dis­ap­point peo­ple, come up with some­thing fresh and get it on to the page. I like to write about 1,000 words a day but my time is more lim­ited now my chil­dren have had chil­dren – I have re­cently cel­e­brated the ar­rival of my 4th grand­child! I am 63 now, and my hus­band is semire­tired, but I have no plans to re­tire from writ­ing. If ever I have no ideas and don’t know what to write, I may think about re­tir­ing, but while I still have loads of sto­ries and I still en­joy do­ing it, I will press on.

I am writ­ing my next book now. I start my new book long be­fore the pre­vi­ous one hits the shelves – in fact about a year be­fore.

My new book went on sale at the end of Fe­bru­ary, and I am on chap­ter 10 of my lat­est book I am work­ing on. It’s about a hid­den gar­den, an artist, a gar­dener and a stone­ma­son and their lives in­ter­twine. I know the end­ing will be happy, but I don’t know how that end­ing will come about. To­wards the end of the book I’m writ­ing, the book that I want to write starts com­ing into my head – the new book be­gins to emerge. It’s like feel­ing broody when one of your chil­dren goes to school. It is quite odd, be­cause for months my head’s been in another book, and then I find my­self talk­ing about the book that’s out there.

With hus­band Des­mond on the Clyde Puffer

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