Sunday 21 May 2017

Fab Firsts - Q&A with Kate Field

Congratulations to Kate Field on winning the RNA Joan Hessayon Award at the RNA Summer Party on Thursday evening. It is an honour to have her on Rachel's Random Reads this week. 

Fab Firsts is my new regular Sunday feature, that is going to be highlighting books that are firsts. When interviewing authors, it will be about their first book, as well as other firsts in their lives. When reviewing books for this feature, there will be a mix of debuts, first books in a series, the first time I read an author, and possibly other firsts depending on what I can think of!

If you are an author wanting to take part in Fab Firsts then please do email on gilbster at gmail dot com and I'll whizz the questions over to you.

I hope you enjoy this look at a variety of hopefully fabulous firsts, while making some sort of dent in my review and paperback TBRs which are my current main focus!

I'm Kate Field, an author of women's fiction.

1) Can you tell us a bit about your first book?

My first book, The Magic of Ramblings, is a contemporary romance and it was published by Accent Press in September 2016.

It's about a Victorian Gothic mansion in Lancashire and the three people who live there – Cassie, Barney and Frances, who are all hiding from their pasts. Through friendship, love and the magic of Ramblings, can they help each other find a happy ending?

2) What was your original inspiration to become a writer, and to write your debut?

My first attempt at writing a full length novel was inspired by my love of Georgette Heyer’s Regency books. When I ran out of books to read, I tried writing one myself. The Regency era wasn't as popular then as it is now, and I was advised to try contemporary romance instead.

I haven't forgotten my first love, though: in The Magic of Ramblings, Cassie goes to work as a companion to Frances, which was often a popular job for heroines in Regency romances!

3) How long did it take you to write your first book?

The Magic of Ramblings is the fifth complete book I’ve written, although the first to be published, and it took about 8 months to write the first draft and three or four more to edit it. I have a day job so writing has to fit around that. The very first book took years to finish!

4) If you could do anything differently in retrospect, what would you change about your debut, or how you went about writing it?

I wish I'd had more confidence in myself and my book. I never really believed I would be published, so when it came out I didn't have much presence on social media – and I still don't! – which made promotion more difficult. I’ve met some lovely bloggers online and in real life since publication and I wish I had been braver and contacted them in advance.

5) Was your first book self or traditionally published, and how did you go about making that decision?

It was traditionally published by Accent Press. It was an easy decision to make as I didn't have the confidence to believe the book was good enough to be published until someone else told me it was.

6) Do you have any tips for other first time authors?

Start preparing for publication day as early as possible! And the advice I've had to take on board recently – stop worrying about sales and reviews, and remember the joy of writing.

Tell us about your first…

7) Book you bought

It would have been one of the Nancy Drew books by Carolyn Keene. I remember touring round bookshops on holiday so I could find the latest one. Looking back, I can't believe how generous my parents were, agreeing to spend so much holiday time in bookshops when they weren't keen readers themselves.

8) Person you fell in love with

I can't provide a better answer than Jane Eyre. ‘Reader, I married him.’ We’ll celebrate our 22nd anniversary in 2017, touch wood!

9) Holiday you went on

The earliest holiday I remember was spent in Harlech, North Wales, not too far away from our Lancashire home. The only things that stick in my mind are that we had to open a gate to drive across a field to the house we stayed in, and that I slept in a bunk bed for the first time, both of which seemed hugely exciting at the time!

10) Album you purchased

Hunting High and Low by a-ha – on a cassette tape. That ages me, doesn't it!

11) Embarrassing moment you can remember

I’ve always been a shy person and easily embarrassed, so over the years there have been far too many moments to remember, but one stands out. I attended an all girls school, but a few lessons in the Sixth Form were mixed, including a course of lessons on American Studies. The teacher asked everyone to prepare a talk on a famous American we admired, and picked a few people to deliver it to the class. After impressive talks about Martin Luther King and the poet EE Cummings, my name was called. I stood up, scarlet faced, and said, ‘My favourite American is Jon Bon Jovi because he oozes pure sex from every pore.’ I’d been dared to say it by a friend and the memory still mortifies me now!

12) Pet

It was a Yorkshire Terrier dog called Lucy. She was left to my Dad in the will of a former colleague. 

13) ..choice of alternative career if you weren’t an author

I wanted to be a pathologist, probably because I’ve always loved reading crime novels. I realised in the nick of time that I was too squeamish to pursue that career!

14) Dish you cooked

I was brought up in a traditional ‘meat and two veg’ household, so although it sounds odd nowadays, when I went to university and a friend showed me how to cook pasta it was a revelation!

15) …toy that you recall loving

My first love wasn't a toy, it was an old pyjama top called Sniffy.  I used to sniff one particular corner of it - no other spot would do - and couldn't get to sleep without it. My Mum would sometimes sneak Sniffy away for a wash when I was at school, and it took ages for him to smell right again!

Thanks for featuring me on your blog, Rachel.

You are very welcome Kate, its been a pleasure to host you, and thank you for answering my questions.

Kate Field – bio

Kate writes contemporary women’s fiction, mainly set in her favourite county of Lancashire,  where she lives with her husband, daughter and hyperactive cat. 

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
The Magic of Ramblings is her first published novel.

Social media links:

Twitter: @katehaswords

Buying links:


  1. Thanks for inviting me on your blog, Rachel, and for the congratulations on the Joan Hessayon award! It was a wonderful surprise! x

  2. That's a lovely interview and what good timing after Kate winning the Joan Hessayon award last Thursday! I have now read a fair few interviews with you, Kate and yet this is the first time I've heard that Jon Bon Jovi story... Great idea for a feature, Rachel :)


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