The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Welcome romantic novelist, Kate Allan...

1.    What do you wish men understood about women?
Actually, they need to stop worrying about not understanding us and just let us get on with it. We're fully rounded people, just like them. Not some mystery. I'm not sure I believe that men and women are really all that different and in my novels I love to challenge gender stereotypes, giving both men and women roles they are not “supposed” to do, such as female soldiers (The Lady Soldier) and male midwives (Secrets at City Hospital).

2.    Do you only work on one book at a time?
Yes, or I'd get confused I think. Writing a novel is a complex thing and I like spending time in the heads of my main characters.

3.    Who is your favorite fictional couple?
There are so many lovely couples in literature; all Jane Austen's couples for a start. But I've always loved Miss Piggy and Kermit from The Muppets, since being a child. It's a slightly dysfunctional relationship but the possibility for real romance to blossom is there. Kermit could do with a  strong woman and he brings out her softer side.

4.    Do you have a favorite quote that sums up how you feel about life?
“Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery” – Jane Austen. I'm an optimist.

5.    Do you set daily writing goals? Word count? Number of chapters? Do you get a chance to write every day?
With two young children plus work, I don't get time to write daily so I have to make do with fits and starts when I have the chance. Plane and train journeys are great for getting writing done. I don't let myself take a book or buy a newspaper and then I am forced to write.

6.  What do you like better, Twitter or Facebook? Why?
They've both got their good points but I probably prefer Facebook as most of my friends and a lot of family are on there and it's a great place to share information and photos.

7.    What are you working on now?
I'm writing a contemporary romance but after that I'm hoping to tackle the sequel to Mary Bennet, which will be the story of her sister Kitty. Mary Bennet finishes on a bit of a cliffhanger as far as her sister Kitty is concerned and so I already have a dramatic opening to Kitty Bennet's story!

8.    Tell us about your latest release and where we can find it
Mary Bennet follows on from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, starting about eight months after the end of Austen's novel. It tells the story of what happened to Mary Bennet, the unpromising middle daughter in the Bennet household. Three of the five sisters are married but Mrs Bennet remains determined to see all five daughters married. Mary Bennet is available as a paperback from all good bookshops (ISBN 9781495245091) and also as an ebook from Amazon Kindle.

No one who has ever seen me would suppose me a heroine. My situation in life, the character of my father and mother, indeed my own person and disposition are all against me.
Mrs Bennet is determined that all five of her daughters must marry. Mary overhears a conversation between her parents that shatters her already fragile sense of self-worth. She knows she is the least attractive of the sisters but to hear that her attempts to overcome this by being intelligent and accomplished are laughable sends her into a deep depression.
Mary and her her sister Kitty are sent to Derbyshire so that their elder sister, Mrs Darcy, can introduce them to suitable young gentlemen. Mary is satisfied to remain a spinster and is shy with gentleman. But she does decide she should try and improve herself.
On the way to Derbyshire she meets a strange gentleman who she considers ill mannered. However she is intrigued by his knowledgeable conversation about old buildings.
On arrival at Pemberley, the home of the Darcy’s, Mary discovers that the stranger is a Mr Sharnbrook of Kent and also a house guest. Mr Sharnbrook is an amateur archaeologist and has come to Pemberley to excavate possible burial mounds as part of his studies. Mary is interested in his work and offers to help him sort out his notes. Engrossed in the work, her spirits begin to lift.
A continuation of Pride and Prejudice beginning eight months after the end of Jane Austen's novel, Mary Bennet tells the story of how the Bennet's neglected middle daughter tries to overcome the disadvantages of her character and find happiness.

About the Author

Kate lives in the Bedfordshire countryside, England, close to the Chiltern Hills. She developed plans to be a novelist at the age of seven after reading about the career of prolific children's author Enid Blyton, whose adventure and mystery story books she read avidly. She taught herself to use her mother's typewriter to try and make her stories look like "proper books". Endlessly fascinated by "the past", Kate took a degree in History before starting a commercial career.
She began seriously writing in 2001, taking a notebook with her on the train to make best use of her commute to work. She wrote two historical novel manuscripts before receiving an offer of publication for the second - a short novel - in 2004 from DC Thomson. Fateful Deception is a romantic adventure set in the early 19th century and was shortlisted for the 2005 RNA New Writers Award. 
2006 saw the publication of Perfidy and Perfection, Kate's romantic comedy set in Jane Austen's England, and the publication of two short novels: Fateful Deception and The Restless Heart.

Kate also writes in partnership with author Michelle Styles under the name Jennifer Lindsay. Jennifer Lindsay's first novel, The Lady Soldier, is a romantic adventure about a lady who disguises herself as a man in order to join Wellington's army. It was published in 2005.
The kind of stories Kate writes are those that she would like to read, and she hopes that others will find them enjoyable and entertaining too.
Kate is member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors.


1 comment:

  1. Rachel, thank you for taking part in Kate's tour today with your interesting interview.