Please give a warm welcome for debut author, Kay Brooks, who joins me today to talk about her first book and more.
Why don't you start us off by telling us how you discovered/decided you wanted to become a writer?
When I was a little girl, my mum bought me an A4 pad to practice my writing on. I started to write a story about our two pet Siamese cats going on an adventure. It was so much fun that I continued until I finished the entire pad. Unfortunately, it was in pencil! I would love to read that through now. I knew then that writing was my passion.
What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?
I have a separate notebook for each novel where I make all my notes. I tend to start with an outline and then do notes for a few chapters before starting my first draft. At the end of the process, my notepad is usually full, colourful with highlighters and scattered with post-it notes! I’m not a tidy person.
Give us a sneak peek into your writing life and tell us about one strange writing ritual you have.
I try to write each day though that isn’t always possible, as I am a mother of two boys and have a full-time job as a secondary school teacher. When I am in the midst of writing a novel, I often have dreams about the characters or wake up with ideas, so I keep a notepad next to the bed just in case!
If you were going to cast the hero of your book, what actor would get the part?
This is a really difficult one as a lot of Oliver’s character has been taken from my husband’s personality. Jackson Rathbone, who played Jasper in the Twilight series, would probably pull off the ‘old-fashioned suave’ well. For Tabitha, Emma Stone would be perfect!
Do you have a favorite TV show you can't miss?
I don’t get chance to watch much TV but I do love Doctor Who, Downton Abbey and Glee! When I have chance to sit down and enjoy watching something, I love my eighties films and have quite a good collection now.
If you could meet any character from any book for a drink, who would it be and why?
It would have to be Cathy from Wuthering Heights. I’m going to be cheeky and assume I can pick a part from the book too, so I would meet with her when she is making her choice to marry Edgar. I would tell her to follow her heart and stay with the person who truly makes her feel happy!
Please share with us some juicy details about your latest release.
Between Heaven and Earth is essentially a love story but there’s much more to it than your traditional boy meets girl scenario. Oliver has to overcome his inexplicable immortality before he can find peace. In finding the answer, he takes Tabitha on a rich journey through the past, meeting some colourful characters from history.
How do you balance family life with your writing?
I only write when my children are either busy entertaining themselves or tucked up in bed. I even write on my lunch hour at work when I’m not too busy. My husband understands that it is more than a hobby; it is a compulsion and when I don’t write, I miss it.
If you could trade places with a character in one of your books, who would it be and why?
Definitely Tabitha! She’s strong-willed and enthused by life. She cares about the people around her and is determined to stand by her principles. Plus, she falls in love with Oliver and I have to admit that I did a bit too!
Anything your fans would be surprised to know about you?
I also write short horror stories which can be quite harrowing or even gruesome. I do veer away from my love of happy-endings occasionally.
Dealing with writing deadlines can be a challenge. What do you do to cope with the stress?
I love deadlines! Being a teacher, I pride myself on being quite organised and I like nothing more than to be ahead of time.
Is there something special you do to celebrate when one of your books is released?
This was my first novel to be published through a publishing company. I was far too nervous to do anything special, so I just spent most of my time emailing and phoning family and friends. I wanted everyone to know. I could quite happily have shouted it from the rooftops: I am a published author!
Between Heaven and Earth
Life can be very lonely when you have secrets. Oliver knows that better than most. Being over one hundred years old and still looking the same as he did back in 1834, most of his existence is spent moving from one place to the next in hope of hiding his immortality. Carrying the guilt of his father’s death is exhausting and Oliver wishes for death to release him. Then, the wayward Tabitha enters his life, wanting him to take her on a journey through his history. In return, she’ll teach him that love can conquer anything in its path.
Looking down at the body of his father laying on the ground underneath the oak, the young man felt the full force of overpowering despair. It may as well be his own body lying there while the flames continued to practice their evil custom of destruction behind him.
The gathered crowd was silent,their judgement falling heavily. No matter what crime had been committed, no man deserved to be killed by his own son. His mother’s body continued to burn, her soul having moved on without being subjected to the horrors now playing out in the village square. Her daughter, now orphaned by the hand of her own brother, was in the early stages of shock. Unable to cry, she stood shivering and waiting. Waiting for somebody, anybody to do something that would make this nightmare stop. Her heart slowly broke as the realisation that nothing could reverse what had just played out embedded itself deep within her.
As the fire started to spread, people broke out of their state of incredulity; this had happened and justice must reign. Disbelief quickly changing to hysteria, the young man saw his chance to run. He took it. Ignoring his sister’s cries for him to return, he ran for his life.