Tonight on Friday Night Drinks, I am delighted to be joined by fellow RNA member, award-winning romance author, and all-round gorgeous lady…..Kate Field.
Hi Kate, thank you for joining me for drinks this evening. Sorry we aren’t meeting IRL this time, but my virtual bar is quite cosy. First things first, what are you drinking?
It would have to be a glass of red wine – perhaps a Californian red. I’m from Lancashire – it’s rarely warm enough to make a chilled white wine desirable!
The wrong side of the Pennines but I’ll let you off! If we weren’t here in my virtual bar tonight, but were meeting in real life, where would you be taking me for a night out?
I love a cosy, country pub with roaring fires and comfy seats. One of my favourites is The Aspinall Arms in Mitton, in the heart of the Ribble Valley, so I think I’d take you there. It has a gorgeous garden overlooking the river, just in case we’re lucky with the weather!
That does look nice, I might be tempted to venture in to enemy territory to visit! If you could invite two famous people, one male and one female, alive or dead, along on our night out, who would we be drinking with?
I’ll have to pick Kenneth Branagh for our male guest. I’ve loved him since I was a teenager and saw him play Hamlet – it was a mesmerising performance. Every time I see him being interviewed, he has wonderful stories to tell, and he seems genuinely interested in listening to other people too. My female choice would be Miriam Margolyes. She tells hilarious and irreverent stories, and I don’t think we’d stop laughing all night.
Ooh, good choices. I absolutely love Kenneth Branagh. He was so good as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing (Beatrice & Benedick are my favourite Shakespearean couple.) I have a feeling Miriam is barking mad so it would definitely be a fun evening.
So, now we’re settled, tell me what you are up to at the moment. What have you got going on? How and why did you start it and where do you want it to go?
Last year, I collaborated with a group of author friends on a collection of short stories called Miss Moonshine’s Emporium of Happy Endings. We’re planning to publish another Miss Moonshine anthology this year, with a Christmas theme, so I’m writing that story at the moment while I’m waiting for the edits on my next novel.
What has been your proudest moment since you started writing and what has been your biggest challenge?
My proudest moment has to be when my first novel, The Magic of Ramblings, won the Joan Hessayon Award for new writers. It was a huge surprise, as anyone who saw the photo of my shocked face will know! I completely failed to capitalise on the win, though, as I’m too modest to ever mention it, unless I’m asked a question like this. It feels so bigheaded to say ‘award-winning author’! As you’ll gather from that, promotion is my biggest challenge!
It’s okay, I’ll do it for you. I’ve already mentioned that Kate is an award-winning author. Her winning book, The Magic of Ramblings is one of my favourite novels of recent years and you can read my glowing review of it here. I’ve been a huge fan of her writing since I picked this book up.
What is the one big thing you’d like to achieve in your chosen arena? Be as ambitious as you like, its just us talking after all!
Well, between us, Sunday Times bestseller has a good ring to it, doesn’t it?! Back in the real world, my latest book, The Man I Fell In Love With, recently had an orange bestseller flag on Amazon for about 48 hours and that felt like a huge achievement!
What are you currently working on that you are really excited about?
The edits for my second book with Avon are due this week, so I’m looking forward to going back to that. I’m quite anxious too, as we didn’t discuss the idea before I started writing it, and I’ve had no feedback so far, so I hope the editor thinks the book has potential! It’s a story about archeology, kindness, and a couple who meet again seventeen years after the man abandoned the woman at the worst moment of her life. It’s exciting to see how the finished book will end up!
I love to travel, and I’m currently drawing up a bucket list of things I’d like to do in the future. Where is your favourite place that you’ve been and what do you have at the top of your bucket list?
Many years ago, we spent a couple of weeks visiting Florence, Venice and Rome and it still ranks as one of my favourite holidays. I’d love to go back. It’s not very exotic, but visiting the Isles of Scilly is high on my bucket list. There’s something fascinating and romantic about island life.
The Isles of Scilly are also on my bucket list. Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself that people might not know about you.
The first Valentine’s Day card I ever sent was to a boy called Simon in primary school. Unfortunately, I didn’t realise they were supposed to be anonymous. Simon then sent my card to another girl, crossing out our names and adding hers instead. You will never find a romantic hero called Simon in one of my books!
Oh, that’s a sad story! Books are my big passion and central to my blog and I’m always looking for recommendations. What one book would you give me and recommend as a ‘must-read’?
You may have read this one already, as I’m late in discovering it, but I recently read The Salt Path by Raynor Winn and loved it. It’s gorgeously written, has given me a new perspective on homelessness, and has inspired me to walk the South West coastal path one day. I think I’ll give sleeping in a tent a miss though!
Just days after Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of 32 years, is terminally ill, their home is taken away and they lose their livelihood. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall.
Carrying only the essentials for survival on their backs, they live wild in the ancient, weathered landscape of cliffs, sea and sky. Yet through every step, every encounter and every test along the way, their walk becomes a remarkable journey.
The Salt Path is an honest and life-affirming true story of coming to terms with grief and the healing power of the natural world. Ultimately, it is a portrayal of home, and how it can be lost, rebuilt and rediscovered in the most unexpected ways.
I have a copy of this but haven’t got round to it yet. So, we’ve been drinking all evening. What is your failsafe plan to avoid a hangover and your go-to cure if you do end up with one?
The memory of some terrible hangovers in the past is my safeguard! I’m boringly sensible and have learnt when to stop and never to mix drinks!
After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?
A long walk in the countryside, a pub lunch and then spending the rest of the day with a good book. If only every day could be like that!
Kate, thank you for joining me, as it has been as much of a delight as seeing you in the flesh. I wish you great success with the book and look forward to catching up with you at an RNA event soon.
Kate’s new book, The Man I Fell in Love With, is out now. You can buy a copy here and I can’t wait to read it.
Sometimes we find happiness where we least expect it…
After twenty years of contented marriage, no one is more surprised than Mary Black when her husband announces he’s leaving her… for another man.
For the sake of the children, Mary has no choice but to pick herself up and start again. She hosts family meals that include Leo and his new partner. She copes with the kids wanting to spend less time with her and more time with their ‘fun’ dads. But one thing she can’t quite ignore is Leo’s gorgeous brother, who has just come back to town…
After living a life of sliding doors and missed opportunities, can Mary finally put herself first and take a chance that could change everything?