I am excited to interview the incredible Kate Solly. Kate’s novel, TUESDAY EVENINGS WITH THE COPETON CRAFT RESISTANCE will resonate with a lot of readers, me included. Kate is delightful, effervescent and an Australian author to watch out for.
Kate Solly writes funny, feel-good fiction with an eye for the profound within the domestic. Her first novel, Tuesday Evenings with the Copeton Craft Resistance, is a hilarious and heartwarming read about community, bigotry and the power of grassroots craftivism. Kate is married and has six children. When she’s not writing, she spends her days saying ‘put that stick down’ in a firm voice and divesting her kitchen table of its cemented weetbix glaze.
Here’s my interview with Kate:
1. Why do you write – and why did you decide to write a book?
I write as an enjoyable creative outlet, a means of self-expression. I decided to write a book when I realised that if I rolled all of my blog posts and Facebook rants together, there would be enough writing for several books!
2. What genres do you enjoy reading?
I like to read widely. I love chatty commercial fiction, but also enjoy crime and literary fiction.
3. How long did it take you to write your first book from first word to publish?
Around six years.
4. What’s the most challenging part of being an author for you?
The days when the words aren’t flowing, or when I just can’t get started.
5. What do you love the most about being an author?
So many things! It’s a real treat to meet other authors. They are such a warm and friendly bunch.
6. If you could give an aspiring author one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t waste your time seeking permission to be a writer. If you write, you are a writer. You don’t need someone else to tell you it’s okay.
7. What is the best line you feel you’ve written in your published work(s)?
Oh, I don’t know!! The first one that springs to mind contains a spoiler, so I won’t use that. I like ‘Claire always looked like she was about to drop something important.’ I feel it describes both Claire and Meredith (who thinks it) really well.
8. What’s the shortest time you’ve ever written a story?
I don’t do ‘short’! But one time I wrote a really successful article in one day. I was angry at Michael Leunig, so it all just poured out of me.
9. What was the hardest lesson you learned in the writing process, and what did you take from that?
You need to respect your reader, but it’s also impossible to please everybody. In the end, you have to follow your own principles and cope with the fact that some people won’t like what you’re doing.
10. What is the best book you’ve found on the writing process?
11. Are you self-published, traditionally, or hybrid-published, and why did you take that publishing route? Would you choose that route for your next book?
Traditionally published with Affirm Press. I chose this route because I would find it hard to manage the whole business on my own. I would choose this route again, because I am in love with my publisher, Kelly, and want to have her book babies.
12. What drew you to the subject of your latest novel?
I love crochet and I love groups of people from different backgrounds coming together in a group. When I saw a news article about people protesting a mosque, I wanted to see them get their comeuppance in a brilliantly creative way.
13. What did your discovery path look like, in choosing the genre to write in?
I wanted to write the book I most wanted to read.
14. What does your typical day look like, when you are working on a book?
I get up early, go for a run and then go to a cafe to write. Then I get home, get the kids off to school, come home, do some housework and write some more. I write until school pick-up, then it’s the usual after-school routine. Sometimes I get a bit of work done after dinner, but my brain is usually fried by then!
15. Do you put yourself into your characters, or are they completely fictional?
They are ALL me! Even the bad guys!
16. How much of your own life, and your own experiences, have affected your storylines?
A great deal. I’ve written scenes into my novel that have been lifted directly from my life.
17. What’s the most interesting book you’ve read in the last year? Or at least, one that kept you thinking about long after?
SCARY MONSTERS by Michelle De Kretser haunted me for ages! Such an unusual book.
18. Have you ever read a book outside of your usual genre – and found it surprising? Why?
I recently read A COUNTRY OF ETERNAL LIGHT by Paul Dalgarno. It wasn’t a book I would usually pick up. It was fascinating and I kept thinking about it afterwards.
19. Do you write what you want to write, or what you feel is sellable?
I think of what I write as a bit of a conversation. If it’s just me writing what I want to write, then it’s like I’m droning on about my special subject and the other person is bored out of their brain. If it’s just me trying to write what is sellable, then it’s like I’m desperately trying to say all of the cool and impressive things – and the other person is bored out of their brain!
I think there is a middle way. I write about the things I find interesting, but I’m always conscious that I’m doing it in a way that the reader finds entertaining. I listen to my readers, I ask for their feedback, I try to think what the experience would be like for them reading the book. It’s more like an engaging conversation that way.
20. Would you still be an author if you knew no one would read your books?
Yes, but I don’t think I would be very happy. I think having even just one person read what you’ve written is part of the process.
21. What’s the best book you feel you’ve written?
Easy! TUESDAY EVENINGS WITH THE COPETON CRAFT RESISTANCE (I’ve only written one!)
You can find Kate here:
Link to Kate’s book: TUESDAY EVENINGS WITH THE COPETON CRAFT RESISTANCE.
Link to her best book selection (#17): SCARY MONSTERS by Michelle De Kretser