Kate Winter's debut novel, The Very Happy Afterlife of Rosie Potter (RIP) was released for kindle last summer but the paperback version of this FANTASTIC read is being released next week (May 21st).
I've previously posted my review of this book and now I'm so pleased to be able to welcome Kate to Little Northern Soul as part of the blog tour!
1. Hi Kate and welcome to Little Northern Soul! This is your debut novel, how have you found the writing & publishing experience so far?
Long! There was a big space in between when I approached my agent and the book actually getting signed. I'm not the most driven/ambitious person in the world (to say the least), I tend to get carried away with all kinds of different ideas that are hatching in my imaginarium at any given time, so I only sent off my manuscript to a few randomly chosen agents at the time, before I got distracted and frolicked off to write a story about ghosts on the radio. One was very interested but in the end they all passed, thinking the slightly bizarre elements of Rosie Potter RIP were a bit too much of a risk. So it went on the backburner and just kind of sat there singeing for THREE YEARS. Then I got a phone call out of the blue from LBA (my agents) and they were like "Ummmm... Can we have your book now?" I played hard to get, honest.
That's a complete lie. I said "Ermagherd YES PLEASE!" and the rest is history...
I love fantasy. And I love romance. And I absolutely LOVE comedy. I wanted to write something that read like a kid's book, but for grown ups. You know the way, when your mum was reading to you as a kid and at the end of each chapter you'd be squealing "One more! I want to know what happens next!" ..? Well that's the angle I was going for! So it made sense to make it magical, a little supernatural, a little spooky. And I think we all harbour weird thoughts now and then about what would go on in the aftermath of our own death... Don't we?!
3. What would be the first thing you’d do if you woke up and realised you were a ghost?
I'm pretty sure I'd have a bit of a temper tantrum, to be honest. And then I'd probably go about destroying all my journals and diaries somehow!
4. Your style is engaging and funny – does comedy come naturally when you’re writing or do you have to think it through?
I shouldn't tell you this, but when I'm writing, I'm rarely thinking! It really does come very naturally, and it flows fast when I'm in the zone. It's just a matter of prioritising that time and energy and not getting distracted by boys and booze and shoes (my main vices in life - as I'm sure you can tell from my plotline). I tend to laugh out loud a lot while I'm writing funny scenes. It's a well known fact among my peers that I absolutely crack myself up.
5. What’s your writing process – do you plot the story or just start writing? Do you prefer to write in the day or night?
I absolutely HATE working after dark. I will only do that if I have a serious deadline. And usually if I have to write in the evening, I'll treat myself to a nice long dinner in my favourite little Italian restaurant, and I'll drink wine and flirt with the waiters while I work, just to make it bearable.
In terms of my process, I certainly don't just start writing, dear lord that would be chaos with my flittery little box-of-junk brain. I tend to have a brilliant idea - an entire story can come to me in one tube journey (that happened and will be written at some stage, a tale of a naughty nymphomaniac fairy with pink hair who falls in love with a human boy) but then that story has to germinate in my head (my imaginarium) for as long as it takes before I can actually write it. Sometimes I try to start too early and it completely flops. That's annoying, but essentially, it's ok as I can just pop it back in the oven a while and hope it comes right in another year!
When it's time, I write out several plans, each longer and more detailed than the other. Then bulletpointed sequence of events. Character profiles. Chapter breakdowns. And then I handwrite the entire novel before I ever type a word, which means it flows freely and I can completely edit the sh*te out of it when I finally sit down at my computer!
6. Who is your favourite character from the book and why?
I should think that's obvious...! CHARLES WALKER with a spoon of sugar and a splash of cream, please and thank you. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make my characters come to life. I blame Charles for the fact that I am still single and holding out for a real man!
Unless you love to write, don't do it. And never underestimate the importance of preparation. And don't write books if you want to be rich.
8. Finally, How would your best friend describe you?
She would tell you all kinds of embarrassingly lovely things about me, none of which are true. But she would also tell you that I'm much softer than people think upon first impressions and that I am bloody hilarious (but we know that I agree with her on that, at least). She'd say that I throw a great dinner party, that I dance like my mum and that I should really try not to swear so much when I'm around children.
Thanks so much for being on the blog, Kate - it's been a blast!
You can buy a copy of this fantastic book here and make sure to keep an eye out for other stops on this blog tour - it's going to be a corker!